Market Insight

UltraViolet locks up year with substantial growth

January 06, 2014

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The DECE has released 2013 statistics for UltraViolet (UV), the digital rights locker for movies and TV shows. Worldwide, 15 million new household accounts were added during the year with about 4.5 titles per account. It is estimated that there were more than three times the number of UV transactions in 2013 compared to those in 2012.

From a content perspective, television has been growing with TV episodes accounting for 3,500 of the 12,000 UV-enabled titles - a little over a quarter of the total catalogue.

UltraViolet was picked up by more retailers in 2013 with BestBuy's CinemaNow, Target's Target Ticket, Australia's JB Hi Fi and Canadians theater operator Cineplex Entertainment now offering UV. Thirteen service providers now offer UV services.

Geographically, UV has also expanded and is now offered in Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg are all expected to launch their service in Q1 2014.

In 2013 UV's progress was steady: increasing penetration in the US (e.g. CinemaNow, Target Ticket)  and increased geographic reach (Australia, New Zealand, and France, etc.) helped to drive household accounts to 15m total and 2.3m titles getting added to consumers' UV libraries during Christmas week.  These results are certainly indicative of increased consumer engagement with UV. However, the number of accounts is not always reflective of real usage as consumers can sign up and then never use a service again - this is why services like Facebook commonly report MAU (monthly active users) and not just a total number of accounts.

We continue to believe that there are opportunities for UV both in the US and internationally as more service providers get on board, particularly the major online service providers (e.g. Amazon, Microsoft, Google) and pay TV operators. The latter category is especially interesting as it creates the opportunity for consumers to access their UV libraries as part of their pay TV service. However, in many regions this presents a number of deployment challenges as, for example, much of the cable infrastructure in the US would need to be upgraded to fulfill the true potential of a UV / pay TV integration.

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