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Is UltraViolet Finally Catching On with Consumers?

In a major sign of support for UltraViolet, satisfaction with the digital locker service is at nearly 90% from users, according to a new study from NPD Group.

Results from the research group’s report based on a survey conducted in February found that 82% of individuals with an UltraViolet account — there are now over 16 million — plan to continue to use the service in the future. UltraViolet launched in 2011, and is a product backed by most studios, with the exception of Disney, retailers and tech companies.

And those that do tend to buy more digital movies and TV shows than traditional consumers of home entertainment.

In fact, NPD found that a UV user is 11 times more likely to have made an electronic sell-through film purchase in the last year than those without an account.

That bodes well for studios focused on growing digital sales of their homevideo titles over VOD rentals, and as more consumers opt not to build large DVD or Blu-ray libraries at home.

According to the Digital Entertainment Group, consumers spent nearly $1.2 billion buying movies and TV shows digitally in 2013, up from $808 million in 2012. The key driver behind the jump: the growing tendency of studios to release big titles digitally two or three weeks ahead of their release on disc, a practice pioneered by Sony Pictures in 2011 and now embraced by all the majors.

UV users tend to watch films from their libraries on a TV, rather than a mobile device. Around 61% said they accessed their UV library on a TV, up from 43% in August, NPD said, with Internet-connected TVs and Blu-ray players used the most. Around 72% of UV users watch on computers, with 60% on tablets.

Earlier this month, NPD said there were 42 million U.S. households with a TV connected to the Internet, either through a videogame console, Blu-ray player, streaming service or through the TV, itself, during the first quarter. It added there are more U.S. households with streaming media players than Blu-ray disc players connected to the web.

Individuals who already have set up UV accounts tend to be active buyers of home entertainment, either way, spending three times more on home entertainment content.

“Device interoperability has always been a key value proposition of UltraViolet,” said Justin Bailey, NPD’s director, industry analysis, in a statement. “The proliferation of UV users accessing UV movies on their TV and across a broad array of connected devices demonstrates this utility,”

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