Major Hollywood studios and consumer electronics manufacturers have revealed an initiative designed to boost the take up digital content ecosystem UltraViolet and shift movie sales to a multi-device future.
At a Day One keynote at CES 2013 in Las Vegas, CEA President and CEO Gary Shapiro introduced a group of Hollywood studio executives to announce the initiative between the studios, which include Sony Pictures, Universal, 20th Century Fox, and Lionsgate, as well as CE device makers, will see buyers of new smart TVs and connected Blu-ray players receive 10 free movies with their device purchase starting laterin 2013. Participating consumer electronics manufacturers in the UltraViolet promotion include LG Electronics, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung, Sony Electronics, Toshiba and Vizio. Participating service providers include Best Buy’s CinemaNow, Flixster.com, Nook Video and Walmart’s Vudu.com.
Warner Home Video President Ron Sanders also revealed that UltraViolet now has more than nine million accounts, and expects to pass the 10 million mark sometime in the next few months. There are currently more than 8,500 UltraViolet-enabled titles.
“UltraViolet provides consumers with the freedom to enjoy the content they own no matter where or how they purchased it Our partnership with the consumer electroics manufacturers is great for both of our industries and especially for the consumer,” said Sanders. He also said the studios were “extremely optimistic” about in-home disc to digital initiatives. “We believe the connected benefits will lead to exponential growth,” he said. In the US, retailers Walmart (Vudu) and Best Buy (CinemaNow) currently offer disc-to-digital services.
“It is terrific to see leading companies in content and hardware come together and agree on a standard allowing more content, more options and more products to consumers,” Shapiro said. “We are pleased to provide the global spotlight of CES to support this major announcement. This new promotional effort exemplifies the spirit of the CES as the home for introducing exciting new innovations and cross-industry partnerships to the world.”
He described the collaboration between the consumer electronics and home entertainment industries as “promising”, noting that the parties sometimes disagree, but sometimes come together.