El Segundo, Calif. –
the multi-industry effort to provide ubiquitous digital access to purchased
movies, has passed the 800,000-household user milestone in the United States,
according to a new study released Wednesday by IHS Screen Digest.
The firm’s “U.S. Video Market Intelligence Service” report found
that UV has made rapid progress since the first UV-enabled DVD and Blu-ray
Discs (BD) were sold in October.
Consumers have redeemed digital rights to 1.25 titles, meaning U.S.
consumers now have added more than 1 million films to their digital film
collections via UV-enabled discs.
“One million may not sound like much compared to the 504 million
movie discs sold in 2011,” noted Tom Adams, principal analyst and director,
U.S. media, for IHS. “However, we have projected that only 19 million digital
film files were sold during the entire year of 2011 by electronic sell-through vendors
like iTunes, Xbox Live and Vudu. This suggests that if UV can continue to gain
momentum this year, it could encourage consumers to buy more movies. Movie
purchasing represents an important priority for movie studios, which have seen
their film sales dwindle in the face of growing physical and digital rentals
and streaming services like Netflix.”
The rental business has dramatically outperformed the purchasing
segment in recent years, with the number of U.S. digital rentals amounting to
more than three times the total for digital purchases in 2011, IHS said.
Consumers spend more per movie watched when purchasing a film
than when renting one, on top of which as much as 80 percent of consumer movie
purchase spending flows through to studio top-line revenue, whether of physical
discs or of digital versions, according to the report.
Retailers and distributors keep the majority of rental and
subscription spending, rather than passing it back upstream to studios.
UV is a common file format and digital rights authentication
system designed to allow a digital copy of a film or television show bought
from any vendor – physical or electronic – to be played on any one of 12
devices owned by up to six members of a household, either via download or
streaming from the cloud.
The UV ecosystem is designed to allow users to view the content
they have purchased – on disc or online – on a growing number of
Internet-connected devices, including UV-enabled BD players, TVs and media
IHS said that beyond the large number of accounts achieved in
less than four months, the quickening pace of commercial activity around the UV
format has heartened studio execs in recent weeks.