UltraViolet’s “anytime, anywhere” mantra promises consumers the freedom to do with their digital content as they please. As a matter of fact, the online content streaming service allows users to access their content on a number of devices, even simultaneously, as long as those devices are UltraViolet-enabled and are linked to the user’s UV account. Taken from this perspective, it seems that UltraViolet has actually done a lot in terms of opening up the possibilities of what users can do with their digital content. From this perspective, users can confidently state that, yes, UltraViolet has been a success. But there are a few factors, once viewed from a different angle, that lead to one distinct question: is UltraViolet truly a success in terms of its capacity to offer true content freedom?
The arguments going against the “anytime, anywhere” freedom mantra of UV can be associated to insightful observations about how completely you are able to control the media you have on hand. Even though UltraViolet offers you the ability to access content using a wide variety of devices, it won’t for example authorize you to sell that content to another user or maybe lend it to a certain period of time to another user. All those things can be done easily enough with physical media, which prompts the first restriction.
Another restriction that could maybe keep you from considering UltraViolet a success is its affiliations. Though UV has been able to complete contracts with Warner Bros, Fox Studios, and a few other giant Hollywood studios, the online content streaming services has yet to close a deal with Disney and Apple, the biggest companies in the respective industries. Support from either or both of those companies would have meant a significant boost to UltraViolet’s reputation as a worth service. One other shortcoming for UltraViolet is the lack of information coming from the DECE concerning detailed user patterns on online streaming and purchase. The most common way to get into UV is by buying physical media, DVDs or Blu-rays that will serve as a soft entry points into the service. The general assumption is that users are doing exactly as UV expects them to do, which is buy a UV-enabled DVD or Blu-ray and then sign up for a UV account. To what extent that actually happens, no one can be sure due to lack of available information.
To call UltraViolet a success right now may be a little too premature. It hasn’t really singlehandedly changed the way a majority of people consume their content and is still not to develop enough to stand on its own two feet.