Mark Cuban Weighs in on UltraViolet

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Mark Cuban has become a serious voice in media as a mogul who not only owns the Dallas Mavericks, but leads the media industry in innovative technological solutions with, Magnolia Pictures, Landmark Theaters and Flingo (which is a service that allows videos to stream directly to television from the web or mobile device). He recently added his two (billion) cents to the conversation surrounding UltraViolet, a topic that has been covered with some interest here.

Speaking to an audience at the Producers Guild of America’s Produced By Conference on June 10 stated that the end-user experience and interface is too complicated. UltraViolet would allow subscribers to “purchase” a digital version of a film or show that is stored remotely in the cloud. There is no physical copy, such as a DVD or Blu-ray, to load in a player. Instead the show streams to a selection of prepared devices. However, Cuban felt that the consumer experience was complicated with too many steps required to connect and access their content.

His recommendation? Copy Netflix, specifically the simplicity of their interface and the groundbreaking recommendation software which revolutionized their company and the streaming video model.

“Great concept, but [UltraViolet] won’t work because it’s too much hassle,” Cuban said. “I don’t like the implementation. They’re trying to solve one hassle but created more. When big studios realize how simple it all should be, they can out-Netflix Netflix.”

The involved entrepreneur also lauded Netflix for the way they have stabilized financial risks by introducing a new syndication business model. Specifically, a distribution channel that pays upfront (instead of consignment) and thereby minimizes the financial risk to content holders.

He stated, “By signing deals with Netflix that create a definitive amount of cash, whether it does well or not, the economics changed dramatically,” he said. “This makes TV much more stable, and there will be a ripple effect for online content.”

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