MIPCOM: Hollywood-backed cloud video service UltraViolet is set to launch in more international markets this year and next following its roll-out in the UK at the end of 2011.
Speaking in Cannes, Jessica Schell, executive VP of new media and digital entertainment at UltraViolet backer Universal Pictures, said the US-originated scheme would go live in Canada “shortly.”
Launches in Australia, New Zealand and Ireland will follow early next year, with UV set to go live in France and Germany in the third quarter of 2013, she added.
“UltraViolet has already attracted many major partners, both retailers and studios, and these have grown the accounts to over five million already. In advance of launches in new countries, there are many plans in the works and discussions with retailers and content companies going on,” said Schell.
UltraViolet launched last year and allows users to access compatible DVD or digital titles that they have purchased legally on different devices from a cloud computing ‘locker.’
Schell said Universal, Sony, Fox, Warner and Paramount are now putting all of their major releases into the UltraViolet format and that there are 7,200 UltraViolet releases, including Hollywood blockbusters and European titles.
However, she warned that although UltraViolet sales will soon be possible in new markets, “it really takes content providers, retailers and other access providers to engage in order for people to be able to actually use UltraViolet in that territory.”
She added: “As we launch in other countries, local content is going to be critical to success. UltraViolet is obviously great for the consumer and it’s great for the film and TV producers because it adds value and encourages ownership. For retailers and distributers, what’s key here is that the consumer benefits will drive consumer loyalty and sales, and also give retailers increased learning about their customers that they can use in marketing.”
She was speaking on behalf of the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem – a cross-industry consortium that includes technology providers, consumer device makers, entertainment retailers, video service providers and the major movie studios – on the day BBC Worldwide also announced its first UltraViolet-enabled DVD releases.