Amazon is talking with three major movie studios about digital rights in hopes of giving customers better access to the digital movies they buy on the site, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Amazon wants to join other retailers who have partnered with UltraViolet, a digital locker that stores people’s movies in the cloud. Anytime viewers purchase a movie from one of the partners, the film shows up in their locker. And when they buy a physical DVD, they get a code for the digital version too. It's a lot like having a virtual shelf full of DVDs.
Now when you buy an e-movie on Amazon, you typically can only watch it via the Amazon app. Users have to juggle it with their other video libraries. An UltraViolet deal could streamline that experience and strengthen Amazon in its rivalry with Apple, the online movie market leader. Research firm IHS reports that digital movie sales and rentals are projected to grow 25 percent to $2.3 billion this year.
Amazon is discussing UltraViolet with its main backers, Warner Brothers, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Universal Pictures, which have to sign off on rights to how their movies can be accessed digitally, according to the Journal's sources.
Nearly every studio backs UltraViolet, with the exception of Walt Disney. Ultraviolet has grown slowly due to technical issues in the early years and a lack of interest from big retailers. A deal with Amazon could change all that.