UltraViolet Attracts More Than 750,000 Households in First Three MonthsWednesday, January 11th, 2012
Hollywood Studios Announce Expansion of Titles Coming to Market; UltraViolet coming to the Living Room with New Applications on Hardware Devices
LAS VEGAS — Consumer Electronics Show — The Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE) LLC — a cross-industry consortium dedicated to creating a consumer-friendly open market for digital content distribution — today provided an update on the roll-out of UltraViolet™ at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Following the launch of an initial 19 UltraViolet-enabled titles, more than 750,000 households have registered with UltraViolet to create and start using personal digital libraries.
Hollywood Studios Plan Significant Expansion of Titles
The audience of registered users is expected to grow exponentially in the year ahead, as Hollywood studios offering UltraViolet films and TV shows, through UltraViolet-enabled DVDs and Blu-rays as well as electronic sell through (EST), plan to dramatically expand the scope and scale of UltraViolet. Collectively, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group will release hundreds of additional UltraViolet-enabled titles in 2012, including new releases, catalog and TV titles.
Release plans include most theatrical new release titles in 2012, such as ‘Moneyball’, ‘J. Edgar’, ‘Happy Feet 2’, ‘Tower Heist’ and ‘Hop’, along with theatrical catalog and TV titles, including ‘The Town’, ‘The Smurfs’ and ‘One Tree Hill Season 9’, ‘Chuck Season 5’ and ‘The Big Bang Theory, Seasons 1 and 2’. Also, a sampling of additional UltraViolet-enabled titles planned for the UK in 2012 includes, ‘Crazy Stupid Love’, ‘Midnight in Paris’ and ‘Dolphin Tale’.
UltraViolet-enabled DVDs and Blu-rays are currently for sale in thousands of retail locations across the U.S. and UK. Sony Pictures, Universal and Warner Bros. estimate that hundreds of millions of their DVDs and Blu-rays bundled with UltraViolet rights will hit U.S. shelves in 2012.
Additionally, Paramount Home Media Distribution recently announced that the January 24th U.S. release of “Paranormal Activity 3” will be UltraViolet-enabled. Additional studios are expected to begin offering UltraViolet-enabled titles in the near future as well.
Content Accessibility Continuing to Expand via Web sites, Apps and Devices
Through Flixster, as well as Sony Pictures’ and Universal’s dedicated UltraViolet Web sites, UltraViolet users are currently able to access titles in their libraries on a wide range of Android/iOS devices, as well as PCs and Macs. In total, UltraViolet users can already stream and download to hundreds of millions of devices.
In addition, major device manufacturers have started to introduce products that work with UltraViolet in several ways. Samsung announced that its Smart Blu-ray™ players will stream movies and TV shows stored in the cloud through a new Flixster application coming this year. In addition, these players will offer a “Disc to Digital” feature, developed in conjunction with Rovi, that will allow consumers to add their existing DVDs and Blu-rays from participating studios to their UltraViolet digital libraries, making them accessible via download and streaming on a wide range of devices. The Smart Blu-ray players will also enable consumers to easily activate UltraViolet digital titles through the insertion of UltraViolet-enabled discs and will also utilize Flixster to allow consumers to access and stream their UltraViolet titles directly on their televisions. Additional device manufacturers are expected to announce new products that deliver UltraViolet benefits at the CES show and later this year.
Mark Teitell, General Manager and Executive Director, DECE, commented: “We have entered 2012 with significant momentum, thanks to a wide range of major companies, as well as innovative and fast-moving small ones, joining the list of UltraViolet implementers. In addition, the Hollywood studios have made a major commitment to expanding the list of UltraViolet titles coming to market in the year ahead. We believe the consumer value proposition will only strengthen as the availability of UltraViolet content expands and more retail outlets, apps and devices come on-board. As consumers begin to build digital libraries and take advantage of this open and interoperable platform, they will increasingly benefit from the convenience, choice and flexibility that UltraViolet will deliver to the home video market.”
Substantial Technology Support Paving the Way for Accelerated Roll-out
To help enable the pipeline of consumer-facing launches, additional companies have announced technology products and services that will support the UltraViolet ecosystem by making it easier, faster and less costly for consumer-oriented companies to deploy UltraViolet. These business-to-business enablers include cloud platform and distribution white-labeling providers such as Akamai, CSG Systems, Neustar Media, and Rovi; companies developing media players and related technologies for the forthcoming UltraViolet Common File Format, including castLabs; and content authoring/playback technology providers like DTS.
In the first half of 2012, DECE will introduce a Common File Format for downloads, making download functionality consistent across all UltraViolet retailers. This will further increase consumer convenience by making repeated downloads of different file types unnecessary, even when using different brands of UltraViolet-compatible media player apps or devices.
UltraViolet became available to UK consumers with the marketing of Warner Bros.’ “Final Destination 5” on December 26, 2011. Numerous other companies have become UltraViolet licensees for the UK market, and further announcements on UltraViolet products and services for the UK are expected soon. Additionally, DECE plans to begin UltraViolet roll-out in Canada in the coming months, with specific details on timing to be announced, as well as a number of other territories in 2012 and 2013.
“The collaboration among leading multi-industry companies in developing UltraViolet has been exceptional,” Teitell continued. “As the roll-out expands globally, additional geographic launches will benefit from the experience and data we are gathering through our U.S. and UK deployments.”
DECE Membership and UltraViolet Licensing Continue to Grow
DECE is comprised of approximately 75 members spanning ten countries. A broad range of companies became members in the past year, including most recently BBC Worldwide, Deutsche Telekom AG, Elemental Technologies, LodgeNet Interactive Corporation, NCR Corporation and Rogers Communications. In addition, approximately 30 companies have also signed on as UltraViolet licensees, enabling them to implement technical specifications; market content, services and products with the UltraViolet name; and make use of the open UltraViolet account management and digital rights library system.