Joseph O'Halloran ©RapidTVNews | 09-09-2011

Even though the Ultraviolet initiative has strong backing among premium content and popular CE firms, it will face will face strong challenges in order to pose a serious threat to Apple in digital media distribution.

New research from the Digital Media Strategies (DMS) division of Strategy Analytics, has found that even though Ultraviolet will ensure that such compelling content will be able to be played efficiently, effectively and most importantly securely across registered devices in a connected home, the initiative will still struggle in the face of the iTunes juggernaut. Indeed the analyst says that Ultraviolet must address a range of challenges if it is to drive meaningful consumer adoption.

“Given the scale of the challenges facing Ultraviolet it is just as well that the strengths and capabilities of its backers are the most impressive ever seen in a CE and media industry consortium. To drive consumer adoption, Ultraviolet will have to offer a frictionless experience across multiple content and device vendors,” said Ed Barton, Director of the Strategy Analytics DMS.” In the face of entrenched and ever-strengthening competitors, Ultraviolet will have to offer a clear and convincing answer to the question many consumers will naturally pose: Why use it?”

The answer for the Ultraviolet, says Strategy Analytics is that in order to convince consumers to shift away from entrenched digital media consumption habits, such as using iTunes and Amazon Instant Prime, Ultraviolet must match usability and service levels. It emphasises that Apple’s absence from the DECE consortium behind Ultraviolet means that the market cannot be certain about whether Ultraviolet-enabled content will work on Apple devices or whether iTunes will sell UV-enabled content. This could be a huge factor in ensuring UltraViolet’s success or failure among mass markets.

Barton concluded: “Consumers love content which offers seamless device portability and have already demonstrated this in their spending: in the absence of cooperation from Apple, Ultraviolet must surpass what is already available from competitors (and, of course, from pirated media) in order to deliver the results such a consortium deserves.”