As an answer to UltraViolet’s growing threat, Netflix has announced that it plans on releasing a subscription plan that will allow users to stream content on different devices using the same account. If Netflix works on making this plan as simple as possible for users while beefing up its movie selection, it might just keep UltraViolet at bay.
As far as online streaming rental services go, Netflix is king, the behemoth that all other similar services are trying to beat out. None so far have come close to what Netflix has to offer, leaving it relatively unthreatened at the top of the heap. The recent release of UltraViolet, however, should make Netflix worry a little. UltraViolet, a service developed by six of the major film studios in Hollywood, is the threat that Netflix hopes will not infringe on its target audience. Fortunately, it won’t, not in its present form.
To clarify things, UltraViolet is a cloud-based system that allows users to acquire digital copies of the movies they purchased and use those copies, using the same account, in up to twelve different gadgets at the same time. The service recently celebrated a successful launch and partnering with Wal-Mart, where it was able to reap 2 million new accounts from the launch. That initial figure should definitely give enough reason for Netflix to worry. Luckily for the online streaming service, UltraViolet has more than a few issues of its own to resolve and streamline before it can really start working on being a pain in Netflix’s side.
To start things off, UltraViolet has a very time-consuming and confusing registration method. In order for you to enjoy digital copies of your physical DVDs, you have to enter a given code in the website of the studio that produced that movie. You then have to register with the main site for UltraViolet. Imagine having to do this for an extensive DVD or Blu-ray collection, and you’ll be quick to realize just how much of a headache it is. Couple this with having to repeatedly log in to UltraViolet’s central site every time your session expires, and it becomes something you’d pay someone else to do.
Despite such a complicated registration process, UltraViolet has some major features that give it a boost. Unlike Netflix, you don’t have to repeatedly pay to view a movie; you only need a single purchase to realize the “buy once, play anywhere” slogan. It also helps that UltraViolet is backed by six big name Hollywood studios: Sony Pictures Entertainment, NBC Universal, Fox Entertainment Group, Paramount, Lionsgate, and Warner Bros. Backed by such an industry force, the service benefits from a movie selection that is far more superior to Netflix’s collection.