UltraViolet Reaches 800,000 Accounts, Averages 1.25 Titles Per Account


UltraViolet, the movie studios’ attempt at establishing a digital media locker system, launched last October. The first studio to support the initiative was Warner Bros., who has run their UltraViolet storefront and account service through Flixster. The “buy once, play anywhere” service got off to a rocky start, but has continued to plug along, perking the interest of Akamai and picking up Paramount for direct UltraViolet sales along the way. Despite the early reactions and limited content, it would seem that people are at least trying out the service.

iSupply has announced that as of the end of January 2012, UltraViolet had accrued 800,000 accounts, 50,000 of which were added in January. That being said, UltraViolet users are only averaging 1.25 titles per account. These numbers may be enough to make iSupply’s analyst bullish on the future prospects of UltraViolet, but I would probably want to reserve judgement a bit longer. If that average does not improve in coming months as established account holders continue to register new movie purchases with the service, then that should serve as a good indicator that consumers are not finding the value in UltraViolet’s proposition.

The bigger concern though is the emphass that is being placed on UltraViolet adding 50,000 accounts in January. The service launched in October, last year. This means that UltraViolet added an average of 250,000 accounts a month for the last three months of 2011, but only managed to add 1/5 as many accounts in the month following the biggest gift-giving frenzy of the year and in the midst of CES, the one time of year that every mainstream news outlet can be guaranteed to provide coverage of the big trends in consumer electronics and media. Trends like UltraViolet. Even if UltraViolet can keep January’s average for the rest of 2012, the service will not add as many accounts as it did in 3 months in 2011. This is not to suggest that hitting 800,000 accounts in 4 months is not a significant accomplishment for a service with extremely limited content offerings that was so widely derided at launch, but do these numbers paint a portrait of success?

More Blu-ray titles are featuring the digital media option and consumers are at least trying the movie industry’s alternative to, well, piracy. iSupply just announced that there are now more than 800,000 household accounts, up from 750,000 at the beginning of 2012. But so far it seems most of those accounts are just testing the waters, as iSupply notes that the average account has 1.25 titles. 


  • I don’t understand all the

    I don’t understand all the negativity surrounding Ultraviolet. I suppose sites are just trying to get hits by making negative spins on its progress. The Ultraviolet service has not even fully rolled out yet and people are calling it a dud. As far as only 50,000 accounts being added in January you have to consider how many A-List Ultraviolet titles were rolled out in January compared to the previous 3 months. Do you think “Drive” was going to have the same effect as “Harry Potter” on new account sign ups? 1.25 titles per person does not seem surprising or alarming at this point. How many Blu-ray titles/person do you think people had 4 months after Blu-ray’s launch? There will be several hundred Ultraviolet titles rolled out this year along with an widespread ad campaign. If the total number of accounts & titles per account have not increased significantly by the end of this year Ultraviolet backers may have something to worry about but like other formats it will see success given enough time to mature.

  • Let me add this comment (if

    Let me add this comment (if my first comment makes it through the ridiculous spam approval process). The only reason someone would not find value with Ultraviolet is because they don’t fully understand it, or because they are a heavy iTunes user that is pissed that they can’t get a lousy standard definition copy to play on their Apple TV. Who would not find value in being able to stream or download their movie collection anytime, anywhere, and from almost any device? Ultraviolet’s main problems right now are 1) Lack of ubiquity, 2) Lack of education, and 3) lack of a common file format. These problems are all going to be rectified this year as the format continues to roll out. It is going to be like Netflix as far as being on everything but better because you will be able to download your movies to your PC or NAS and share it with several family members. If Warner wouldn’t have been stupid and greedy and just offered an iTunes version out if the gate as well they could have avoided a lot of the negative press that came with the rollout. Universal and Paramount learned from their mistakes and now offer both but Warner and Sony still do not and I think it is hurtung the format by limiting choice.

    • George L. Schmauch Jr.

      Sorry your replies got

      Sorry your replies got blocked.  I just unblocked them.  Please notify us if any future messages get blocked.

  • Apparently watching movies

    Apparently watching movies via Flixster on a rooted phone is prohibited. Who woulda thought?