×

UltraViolet to Shut Down This Wednesday

Cloud movie locker UltraViolet is shutting down this coming Wednesday (7/31), putting an end to one of Hollywood’s more ambitious efforts to promote the ownership of digital content. Consumers have 2 more days to link their UltraViolet libraries to an existing retailer to make sure they won’t permanently lose access to their digital movies and TV shows.

Variety was first to report on the upcoming closure of UltraViolet in January.

Consumers who have an UltraViolet account should access the service’s website before Wednesday, and make sure their library is linked to a participating retailer. IN the U.S., these retailers include Walmart’s Vudu.com and FandangoNOW.

Ultraviolet launched in 2011 as a cloud video locker service, with the idea to offer consumers a way to archive their digital purchases, and access them across the services of participating retailers. Users could, for example, buy a digital movie on Walmart’s Vudu service, and then access it on FandangoNow.

The service had contracts with all major studios except Disney, which was developing a separate cloud locker called Disney Movies Anywhere. It also teamed up with a number of digital retailers, and even allowed consumers to upconvert their existing disc purchases for a small fee, effectively turning DVDs into downloadable digital titles.

However, without Disney, UltraViolet had a hard time to get buy-in from some of the major retailers, with iTunes, Amazon and Google Play never joining the party. What’s more, with consumers embracing streaming services like Netflix over media ownership, cloud locker services became a lot less relevant. The final nail to UltraViolet’s coffin was Disney’s relaunch of its own cloud locker as Movies Anywhere, a cross-industry cloud locker with buy in from all major studios.

UltraViolet’s closure functions as a reminder to consumers that ownership rules are different in the digital world. Case in point: The service is warning consumers that they may not be able to access all of their UltraViolet-linked content anymore because of changed licensing terms, or because their retailer of choice went out of business.

That’s exactly the kind of issues that UltraViolet was meant to mitigate by making media portable. Now, the company has some advice on how to future-proof one’s digital media library: “You may want to make sure to link your UltraViolet Library to as many retailers as possible to maximize access,” UltraViolet’s website recommends.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • iQIYI headquarters building in Beijing

    China’s iQIYI in Talks for Indonesia Expansion

    Chinese streaming firm iQIYI is in negotiations to expand further into Southeast Asia through a venture with Indonesia’s Media Nusantara Citra. iQIYI announced its first step outside Chinese-majority territories in June, when it revealed a linkup in Malaysia with pay-TV leader Astro. It also operates in Taiwan. In April, the company said that it planned [...]

  • Spotify logo is presented on a

    Spotify Triples Free-Trial Period on Premium Service

    Spotify today extended the free-trial period for its Premium service from one month to three, tripling the amount of time listeners can take full advantage of the streaming giant’s offerings without paying for them. According to the announcement, the offer is “always-on/not limited time,” and will roll out across Spotify Premium plans globally: Individual and [...]

  • Moviepass

    MoviePass Confirms Security Lapse May Have Exposed Customer Credit Card Data

    MoviePass, the struggling movie ticket subscription service, confirmed that a security issue may have exposed customers’ records online, including credit card info. In a statement, MoviePass said Wednesday that the security lapse was recently discovered and its system was immediately secured. News of the data breach was first reported Tuesday by TechCrunch, which alleged that [...]

  • Tycho weather app

    This Website Creates Spotify & Apple Music Playlists Based on Your Local Weather

    Electronica musician Tycho launched a clever promotional website for his new album “Weather” this week: Visitors of Tycho’s website can use a web app to generate a playlist based on their local weather. Playlists can be saved to both Spotify and Apple Music, and consist of 25 songs, both from Tycho’s catalog as well as [...]

  • AT&T TV

    AT&T TV: An Unskinny Streaming Bundle That Looks a Lot Like Traditional Pay TV

    AT&T this week launched AT&T TV, a new subscription streaming television service that uses an Android-based internet set-top, in 10 markets. But the way it’s priced and packaged looks very similar to cable and satellite TV services — in other words, AT&T TV isn’t targeted at the cord-cutter crowd. It’s basically designed as a way [...]

  • Sofia Wylie arrives at Variety's Power

    Disney Channel Enlists Duplass Brothers for YouTube Hip-Hop Dance Series Starring Sofia Wylie

    Disney Channel’s first original scripted series made exclusively for release on YouTube is “Shook,” a hip-hop dance short-form series starring Sofia Wylie, produced by Mark Duplass and Jay Duplass. “Shook” will debut Saturday, Sept. 28, on Disney Channel’s YouTube channel. The scripted single-camera show centers on 15-year-old Mia (Wylie), who yearns to dance professionally but [...]

  • YouTube logo

    YouTube Is Getting Rid of Messaging Feature

    YouTube is killing off a feature that allowed users to share videos and other messages with each other. YouTube Messages, which was first introduced in January of 2017, will be turned off by September 18, the company announced this week. “We’re constantly reevaluating our priorities and have decided to discontinue YouTube’s native direct messaging feature [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content