Report: Walmart to help push UltraViolet to consumers

Walmart employees could soon be helping customers start UltraViolet accounts and add DVDs they already own to their UV locker for a small fee, as efforts to rev up consumer awareness of the slow-moving "proof of purchase" vehicle move into a higher gear.

The Wall Street Journal, quoting unnamed sources, said the movie-industry's online digital service also would spend $30 million on an advertising push after the Walmart deal is announced, possibly in early March. No firm news, yet, on when Walmart would launch the service. The retailer, along with some 70 other companies, including almost all the major studios, is a member of UltraViolet.

Walmart declined comment, beyond saying it was "supportive of the UV coalition and [sic] are still thinking through how this technology can come to life in our stores and benefit our customers."

UltraViolet is the end result of a project by a consortium of industry players, the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem. And industry support generally has been widespread, with most of the major studios, including Warner Brothers Entertainment, Sony Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal Pictures and Paramount Pictures, already behind it, The technology allows consumers to "store" a copy of movies they buy in a "digital locker" that they can access from other devices.

Two major players, Apple and Disney, have balked, reportedly working on their own competing technology, KeyChest.

Another part of the problem is that UltraViolet has been a dud with consumers, many of whom were frustrated and confused by the system that requires them to have a UV account and to also have an account with the studio from whom they're buying content.

For more:
- see this WSJ article

Related articles:
Amazon content deal with Viacom readies it to go toe-to-toe with Netflix
In a hit for Hollywood, Amazon buys into UltraViolet
Hollywood sees Amazon as leverage for UltraViolet, but it's too late for this holiday season
Vudu-to-Go lets users download movies to watch offline
Will UltraViolet be a hit with consumers? Analysts have big concerns

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