Advanced Television

Consumer education key to UltraViolet success

October 20, 2011

By Colin Mann

Raising public awareness will play a significant role in ensuring the success of digital rights ecosystem UltraViolet, according to panellists at the Digital Hollywood conference in Marina del Rey.

“True ownership of purchased content in the digital space, and the ability to use that content mostly anywhere you want, is the message the industry needs to promote for UltraViolet, and that message will be crucial in the early days of UltraViolet, commented Sapth Sholingaparum, VP of product management for Deluxe Digital Studios.

He suggested that consumers would ask: “Why is it different from Netflix; why is it different from Apple?” Describing UltraViolet as “a long-term benefit” he said that “in the short term, it’s going to be a challenge to differentiate itself.”

Justin Herz, SVP at Warner Bros. Digital Distribution and GM of Warner Bros. Advanced Digital Services, noted that Warner is already seeking to raise consumer awareness with UltraViolet featured heavily in ad spots for Horrible Bosses and Green Lantern.

“In the coming months you’ll see a lot more messaging,” he advised. “The freedom this whole ecosystem provides is absolutely something consumers want. How to communicate that in a 15-second, 30-second spot is a challenge.”

Brad Hunt, president of consulting company Digital Media Directions, agreed that UltraViolet’s main challenge is achieving widespread brand awareness, with Jason Spivak, SVP of worldwide digital distribution for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, suggesting that the challenge also involves all UltraViolet-vested companies achieving “a common vernacular”. An important distinction was that UltraViolet wasn’t a service. “It’s a product, maybe a product enhancement,” he added.


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