While advocates of the “content locker” initiative known as Ultraviolet have endured plenty of skepticism from the digerati, ABI Research is predicting that UV accounts will exceed 65 million globally—a dramatic increase from an estimated 6-8 million accounts at the moment. It’s basing that partly on the idea that most UV accounts only have one user right now but that gradually multiple users will start using the accounts as the market matures, thus pushing up the user numbers.
ABI also noted that “key holdouts”—ie, content companies currently not supporting the UltraViolet initiative—could push the number of accounts past 100 million if they were to change their minds. “After a shaky start UltraViolet is starting to pick up steam; however, several key players are not supporting the UV ecosystem,” said ABI senior analyst Michael Inouye. “Apple, Disney, and Amazon remain the most notable holdouts in the US, but other ecosystem players like Microsoft could further fragment the market if they do not adopt UV support. As more users sign up the pressures to support UV will certainly mount. While we expect the number of holdouts to decline, reaching universal support will prove an uphill battle.”
Another factor: Consumers don’t yet trust the concept, with most still opting for subscription and digital content rental services such as Netflix and Hulu. “The ease of accessing and storing digital video libraries must approach that of digital music,” noted ABI practice director Sam Rosen. “If competing video libraries gain consumers’ trust without joining the UltraViolet ecosystem, many of the components of UltraViolet will help facilitate B2B commerce, but will fail from a consumer perspective.”