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Disney Movie Anywhere V.S. Ultraviolet (1 Viewer)

Joshua Clinard

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When DMA first came out, many digital media enthusiasts commented that DMA was better than the UV ecosystem because it was able to connect to iTunes. It later added Amazon, Google Play and Vudu. But DMA lacks many other important features that UltraViolet has. For instance, Disc to Digital and library sharing. Also, only titles branded with the Disney label are available. No other Disney studios like Touchstone, Hollywood Pictures, or Disney Channel movies are available.

I made a chart comparing features, but I don't know how to make a table on the forum, so here it is.

http://widescreenadvocate.org/news.php

What do you think?
 

Josh Steinberg

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I'm the kind of person who redeems all of his codes, but rarely uses the digital versions - which makes sense, if I've got the discs, why bother with the streaming copy?

That said, while neither service is perfect, I like what Disney Movies Anywhere is trying for. Yes, there are limitations about which titles Disney is offering. And true, it doesn't include a Disc to Digital functionality. Or "loaning" titles to other members. But even with those limitations, DMA is trying to make it so that if you buy a Disney title, you've got it everywhere. It's the only service that's trying to bridge the gap between the different walled gardens. For that alone, I appreciate DMA. Ultraviolet codes are nice and provide a decent bit of insurance against a disk breaking, but the DMA ones go one step further by making it so much easier to access that content. The iTunes versions of DMA redemptions almost always include bonus content, while the Vudu versions of DMA and UV redemptions rarely do. Though in theory UV offers the ability to view a movie on any number of different services, in practice I only have access to UV titles through Vudu on a single one of my devices, so there are times when it feels as much a walled garden as iTunes does.

But most of this is theory for me, since if I want to watch the movie, I'll just put on the disc. I generally don't buy digital-only content, and the thing is, it's not like there are two versions of each movie put out by different studios, so while UV and DMA may be "competiting" it doesn't seem like a competition. If you want to redeem a digital code from a Warner movie, it's gonna be UV. If you wanna redeem one from a Disney movie, it's gonna be DMA. It's not as if we get a choice about that, so to a certain degree I'm not sure how helpful the comparison is in practice.
 

Joshua Clinard

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The original concept of UltraViolet was also if you buy an UltraViolet title, you would have access to it everywhere. It's the walled gardens that failed to get on board with UltraViolet, not the other way around. DMA probably was just better at negotiating behind the scenes to get the deals done. Amazon and iTunes want to keep people using their walled gardens, but in the case of Disney, they have a lot of power because their is less competiton in the family market.
 

Josh Steinberg

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The original concept of UltraViolet was also if you buy an UltraViolet title, you would have access to it everywhere. It's the walled gardens that failed to get on board with UltraViolet, not the other way around. DMA probably was just better at negotiating behind the scenes to get the deals done. Amazon and iTunes want to keep people using their walled gardens, but in the case of Disney, they have a lot of power because their is less competiton in the family market.

To be clear, I'm not blaming Ultraviolet for these failures - simply stating that DMA is doing a better job right now at delivering on the concept that Ultraviolet pioneered. Perhaps if Disney had joined Ultraviolet from the start, they could have wielded that power towards getting the same deal for everyone. But at the moment, I think DMA is working better right now than UV is.

I don't necessarily understand how any of these services can make enough to stay viable when the studios enforce prices on the titles so the stores have no control over that, with the studios then giving away huge numbers of free copies via the codes from the discs which the stores have to honor, and then on top of that, having to honor purchases made at other stores. Even if it's only a small amount, it must cost Vudu or iTunes money to store the digital copy of the movie I've redeemed, money to store my account information in its database, and money to stream that movie to me - and yet, I haven't paid them anything for it.
 

Joshua Clinard

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I agree that DMA is better at delivering a universal digital locker than UV, but there are other features of UV that make it more useful to me. As long as Vudu is around, I don't really need to store my copy at multiple providers. If Amazon joined, I'd be ecstatic, because it would open up competition, and probably force some studio's to offer more titles with UV rights. Looking at you, MGM. But I don't really have to have that. I have an almost endless supply of movies that will take me years to watch because of Vudu, and Disc to Digital.
 

Josh Steinberg

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I agree that DMA is better at delivering a universal digital locker than UV, but there are other features of UV that make it more useful to me. As long as Vudu is around, I don't really need to store my copy at multiple providers. If Amazon joined, I'd be ecstatic, because it would open up competition, and probably force some studio's to offer more titles with UV rights. Looking at you, MGM. But I don't really have to have that. I have an almost endless supply of movies that will take me years to watch because of Vudu, and Disc to Digital.

The disc to digital thing is definitely cool, but I don't have much of a use for it. There was a time where I was commuting nearly 2 hours from my house and staying away from home for 2-4 nights each week, and at that time, I did disc to digital to throw a few of my favorite movies into my UV account - I figured then if I ever couldn't sleep and wanted something on a whim, at least I'd have them there. But I don't think I ended up watching a single disc to digital title during that time, so at a certain point, I gave up. Even at the Vudu discounted price for doing more than 10 at a time, it wasn't worth trying to convert hundreds of discs for me. But I can easily imagine someone with a different circumstance getting more usage out of it.

I do like that UV allows you to share your library with people. I set up my mom and my little brother with my Vudu library, and while I don't think they check it very often, it's a nice perk. But even though DMA doesn't offer that, I could just as easily give them my DMA login info to accomplish the same goal.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that while I can see objectively that UV has some cool perks, they're not entirely relevant to the way I watch my movies.
 

Sam Posten

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These services simply are not in competition with each other. UV is a silo, DMA is a cross silo solution.

If all of the studios had their own version then it wouldn't matter which silo you preferred. Which is how UV was marketed originally but the Studios chose to support what was best for business models instead of what is best for consumers.
 

Cranston37+

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At the end of the day, the average consumer doesn't know or care about either one, and as the average consumer goes...
 

Joshua Clinard

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It's not the studio's who chose how UV turned out, it's the walled gardens. They chose to remain walled gardens, instead of supporting the industry standard.
 

Cranston37+

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It's not the studio's who chose how UV turned out, it's the walled gardens. They chose to remain walled gardens, instead of supporting the industry standard.

Just for the sake of playing devils advocate - why then would the walled gardens be okay with DMA? It's the same business model. Right now you can buy a Disney movie from Google and play it through Apple...
 
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Sam Posten

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It's not the studio's who chose how UV turned out, it's the walled gardens. They chose to remain walled gardens, instead of supporting the industry standard.

Pure fantasy to think anything otherwise would or will happen. 6 years later there remains zero reason for Apple or any other service to go UV exclusive. It's actively against their best interests.

Hell you still can't ensure that a title bought on one UV storefront will appear on your front end of choice. That's MADNESS from any of these other services perspective, even if they don't have the market pull Apple and Amazon do.
 

Josh Steinberg

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Pure fantasy to think anything otherwise would or will happen. 6 years later there remains zero reason for Apple or any other service to go UV exclusive. It's actively against their best interests.

Hell you still can't ensure that a title bought on one UV storefront will appear on your front end of choice. That's MADNESS from any of these other services perspective, even if they don't have the market pull Apple and Amazon do.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I wonder how anyone can make money off of this. Just as a hypothetical example, I bought "Independence Day" on Blu-ray last week and it came with a coupon to redeem on either UV or iTunes. The Blu-ray was discounted to $10, so that's already not a high margin item, the studio already isn't getting much from me out of that. Now,

if I redeem the coupon on iTunes, that's one and done. But still - iTunes has to pay storage costs on the data for their version of the movie, and they have to pay for data storage to maintain my account information. So even if iTunes doesn't have to give any money to Fox for processing the redemption, they're still spending money on this transaction. Does Fox reimburse them for that?

If I redeem the coupon through the Fox website for Ultraviolet, then the code is processed by Fox. It must cost them some money in database maintenance for this. Ultraviolet also keeps a record of this redemption, so they're probably spending some money on data storage. Then, since my UV account is linked to my Vudu account, Vudu has to process this redemption as well, and allow me access to their stored copy of the file. I didn't buy it at Vudu, I didn't redeem it at Vudu, but still Vudu is left with an expense of storing and transmitting the data file that holds the movie, as well as all of the account information showing I have rights to access it. And if I decide to log into Flixster or one of the other services, they'll have to honor it too.

So here's a movie I paid $10 for on one disc, and look at how many different potential parties now have to do things to give me access to it in a variety of formats. I truly don't get it. Why would Vudu even want to be on the hook for holding onto that media and then making sure that its made available? What could they possibly be getting that makes that a good deal for them?
 

Joshua Clinard

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The studio's pay Apple when you redeem a movie on iTunes, and they pay Vudu when you redeem a movie on Vudu. Even though you redeemed it at the Fox website, you still had to choose a provider, and the only options are Vudu, Flixster, and maybe CinemaNow or FandangoNow. Whoever you picked gets some money from Fox. Also, the Studios pay a fee to be part of the UV ecosystem, so that's how the website and database are paid for.
 

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It's not the studio's who chose how UV turned out, it's the walled gardens. They chose to remain walled gardens, instead of supporting the industry standard.

THIS^^^^^^^

If Disney and Apple were not tied at the hip that ball may have never started rolling. What the walled gardens are doing is what's bad for consumers.
 

Sam Posten

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The walled gardens existed for 8-10 years before UV did. Their creation did nothing to entice them to change. UV was putatively designed to kill both iTunes and movie rentals, failure on both parts so far.

Other than discount code swapping it really seems like it hasn't done anything for consumers in general to get them off the gardens which at least in Apple's case provides a billion percent more streamlined and navigable marketplace.
 

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The walled gardens existed for 8-10 years before UV did. Their creation did nothing to entice them to change. UV was putatively designed to kill both iTunes and movie rentals, failure on both parts so far.

Other than discount code swapping it really seems like it hasn't done anything for consumers in general to get them off the gardens which at least in Apple's case provides a billion percent more streamlined and navigable marketplace.


So your'e theory is that Ultraviolet never wanted Apple to join? UV was created for the sole purpose of killing itunes?
 

Joshua Clinard

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I don't understand why you keep posting the lie that UltraViolet partners wanted to kill iTunes. The purpose was so that if people bought movies on iTunes, they could also watch them on non-apple devices. And If you bought a movie on Amazon, you could watch it on your iPhone. It was to be platform agnostic. That was their stated purpose. No one that belonged to the group said anything about trying to kill iTunes or rentals.
 

Joshua Clinard

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You are really misrepresenting what he said. It couldn't be any more clear. What he said was, when a consumer buys something electronically, it needs to work everywhere. So they were NOT trying to kill iTunes. They were trying to preserve the digital sell-through market. They were trying to create a digital standard, just like when you buy a DVD, it works on every DVD player, not just the one from the store where you bought the DVD.

The CEO said he has found the digital transaction model to be poorly executed. “It’s very difficult for the consumer to know that when they buy something that it works on any device,” Lang said. “It’s either tied into an Apple ecosystem or best of luck trying to make it work.”
 

Sam Posten

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And then they forgot to incentivize the existing markets and consumers with it. "We want to make an open standard with a ton of downsides to replace a system millions of people use and love without making sure it will be interoperable with them first". Yeah that will work. And oh by the way "we want to force you to buy movies and not rent em at the same time". Brilliant!
 

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