With Walmart beginning its big consumer push for UltraViolet Monday, the major studios’ movie cloud initiative finally has participation from a major supplier of animated kiddie titles, DreamWorks Animation.
The studio announced that it will participate in Walmart’s “Disc to Digital” service, a new component of UltraViolet that allows consumers to establish a cloud based digital version of DVD and Blu-ray movies they’ve just purchased or already own inside Walmart stores.
Under the agreement, hit DreamWorks Animation film franchises such as Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar will now fall under Walmart’s Disc to Digital portfolio, which as of Monday includes about 4,000 titles. This is a fairly big deal for the broad-reaching UltraViolet agenda, given that the top supplier of animated family titles, Disney, is the only major not to back the cloud initiative.
On Monday, Walmart began a new service in 3,500 of its U.S. stores, offering consumers the opportunity to authenticate new disc purchases, as well as DVD and Blu-ray titles they already own, into the UltraViolet cloud.
Consumers can bring their discs into the photo department of each of these stores, and for $2 each, they can have a version of the movie made available to them through Walmart’s online movie rental and sale service, Vudu.
Once these movies are authenticated and placed into a Vudu account, consumers can download or stream them, or sign up for an UltraViolet account and move their titles from Vudu into other online movie services, such as Warner Bros.-owned Flixter.
UltraViolet launched in October with little fanfare — only about 1 million users had registered for the service as of February.
But the studios hope the broad consumer outreach supplied by home entertainment’s top retailer will kickstart the initiative, which is meant to entice consumers into digital movie ownership.
By at least one account, Walmart is off to a rocky start, with store reps not adequately trained to offer the Disc to Digital service.