Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ultra Violet Brings Cloud Competition

It's time to take the fight to the "clouds" as in storage, streaming and downloading. With Apple and Amazon developing their own cloud platforms, "a consortium of large Hollywood studios, gadget makers and retailers" have been also backing UltraViolet, a cloud storage locker to enable movie ownership across devices. Their hope is that combining the physical sale of a DVD with a digital copy will reinvigorate the DVD industry. But they are running in third place as Apple and Amazon have each released their own proprietary cloud product. And neither require a DVD purchase to own a movie.

To date, each have their unique pros and cons and the Wall Street Journal has a nice chart differentiating each service. Obviously too, cloud competition is in the nascent stage, with not enough movie content or device choices and flexibility to stream and/or download. As this business grows. more content will become available. I also expect that content deals will start to include exclusivity over one cloud than another, just like what Amazon has done with DC Comics and their digital graphic novels. If you can't differentiate cloud service by exclusivity and other unique attributes, then you are left with price wars. The studios and other content creators don't want that.

Can UltraViolet succeed against Apple and Amazon? Only if consumers once again want to embrace ownership of DVDs. The DVD manufacturers that have signed on to UltraViolet might be upset if a DVD purchase was no longer required. Will consumers embrace the cloud experience? Certainly the push is on and the iOS 5 system on the iPhone and iPad include an iCloud subscription. But I should tell you, I recently uploaded iOS 5 on my iPhone and have deleted my iCloud account. It seemed to have caused a faster draining of my battery life and so far, without it, I am seeing a longer usage. As we depend on our devices to do more and more, power consumption and longer battery life must become the next priority.

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