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UltraViolet Digital Movie Locker to Shut Down Later This Year

Service will shutter on July 31

UltraViolet, the digital locker that allows viewers to watch their shows and movies on several platforms, is closing down on July 31.

The service, run by the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem, notified users via email on Thursday that it was shuttering. UltraViolet stored the digital rights for shows and movies, rather than the actual content, on the cloud, allowing viewers to watch their content on multiple devices. Codes included with the purchase of DVDs or Blu-Rays also allowed viewers to access a digital copy of the content.

On its website, UltraViolet has told users it’s working with retailers to maintain their access to their shows. It also included instructions to not close their digital libraries or unchain them from their current retailers. The service’s closure will impact more than 30 million users.

Vudu, Walmart’s video service and UltraViolet’s largest retailer, told Variety — the first outlet to report the news — its customers are not in danger of losing access to their content.

“Customers who use Vudu to watch, rent, or buy movies and TV shows will not be impacted by the discontinuation of the UltraViolet platform,” Vudu VP Scott Blanksteen said.

The service launched in 2011 with backing from every major studio except for Disney. The Mouse House later debuted its own locker service, Movies Anywhere, in 2017, which also connected to top retailers like iTunes and Google Play — something UltraViolet didn’t offer.

“In the years since UltraViolet’s launch, we’ve seen the emergence of services that provide expanded options for content collection and management independent of UltraViolet,” the company said in the shutdown FAQ section of its website.  “This and other market factors have led to the decision to discontinue UltraViolet.”

UltraViolet customers will be able to continue purchasing digital content and redeem codes up until it shuts down, according to the company’s website. “After UltraViolet shuts down, you can continue to make online purchases and redeem codes as before through your chosen retailer, but the content may only be available through that retailer.”