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, the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE) – a cross-industry consortium dedicated to creating a consumer-friendly open market for digital content distribution – has revealed at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
DECE suggests 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 expand dramatically 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, catalogue 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 catalogue 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 US 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 US shelves in 2012.
Mark Teitell, General Manager and Executive Director, DECE, said the consortium had 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,” he declared.
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 US and UK deployments,” he concluded.