UltraViolet, an older “cloud movie locker” service, is shutting down. The service, which allowed consumers to unlock a digital copy of their DVDs and Blu-rays, was something of a transitional step between the age of physical media and today’s streaming video landscape.
Over time, it’s become less necessary for consumers, as movie marketplaces and subscription services now offer extensive libraries of movies for streaming, rental and purchase — all in digital formats.
The shutdown was first reported by Variety.
Today, UltraViolet claims to have more than 30 million users, who are able to stream more than 300 million movies and shows from their cloud libraries. But arguably, “UltraViolet” never became a household name.
The service was not well-received at launch. When the Hollywood and tech execs first came up with the idea, many people at the time thought it was just another “form of DRM” to keep people from sharing their movies — the way that was possible with physical disks.
After a few years, however, UltraViolet loosened its grip a bit. Walmart’s Vudu began offering a way for people to selectively share their UltraViolet movies with friends back in 2014, for example.