YouGove: 2014 the year of UltraViolet?

December 19, 2013 20.23 Europe/London By Robert Briel

UltraViolet Girl2014 could be the year of UltraViolet…if marketers make consumers see the light, according to YouGov.

“2013 was the year that UltraViolet made inroads into the UK market and 2014 could be the year it breaks into the mainstream,” according to Shaun Austin, director of media at YouGov.

“Research we conducted in the second half of the year shows that almost a fifth (19%) of consumers in the UK were aware of the digital rights authentication and cloud-based licensing system that allows people to stream and download content to multiple devices. This is a three per cent increase from the start of the year. However, while a chunk of people have heard about UltraViolet, just 13% of people who are aware of it actually know what it does.

“Given the proliferation of smart mobile devices the ability to watch your own TV and movies wherever you want, whenever you want is more important than ever before. To this end, our data show that those who already use UltraViolet see its benefits. Over half (55%) of those who have tried it say they are likely to use the service when they next purchase a physical disc and almost three-quarters (72%) of those who are very familiar with the system are likely to use the service again.

“The implications are clear: people who use the service like it and want to use it again. To inspire mass take-up of UltraViolet, retailers, digital content providers and the studios need to back the service and explain its benefits. If they follow Tesco and Blinkbox’s lead then there is potential for the service to become a success. However, further marketing and education are key to this.”

Broadband TV Views. People who are still buying physical discs may be aware of UltraViolet, but their numbers are dwindling. In countries with fast broadband connections the numbers of DVDs and Blu-rays sold are going down – in the Netherlands sales of discs were down 36 – 38% compared with a year ago. So UV might be ‘added value’ to physical discs, it has all the signs of trying to repair a ship that is already sinking.

Netflix, Apple’s iTunes, HBO Go, Sky Go and others are now leading the way and offering consumers content anywhere and anytime on any device. There will be no rescuing a ship that many consumers have already abandoned. It is telling that parties such as the Walt Disney Company and Apple are not part of the UV consortium – UltraViolet will not happen. (Robert Briel)