M-Go, which seeks to launch a digital storefront for movies online, has just announced deals with five of the top six Hollywood studios that will allow it to sell UltraViolet-enabled movies and play them back on a number of connected devices. The deals were done with NBCUniversal, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox, and Warner Bros. Digital Distribution, and will include rental and purchase of new films on the same day and date that they become available on Blu-ray and DVD.
M-Go is a joint venture between Technicolor and Dreamworks Animation, and was shown off earlier this year at CES and SXSW. The idea is to create apps that will work across multiple devices, including tablets and smart TVs. Already, M-Go has struck deals to have its apps loaded on Samsung and Vizio TVs, Blu-ray players, and tablets. It’ll also be available on Intel ultrabooks and other devices.
UltraViolet, of course, is the culmination of several years of work among the big studios and tech companies and is designed to let consumers create a “digital locker” of movies that they can watch across multiple retailers and applications. The first website and apps to support the streaming protocol were launched by Time Warner’s Flixster late last year, but UltraViolet has been slow to catch on with other retailers. Wal-mart and its Vudu subsidiary now participate in the initiative, and Amazon announced earlier this year that it had struck a deal with one studio — but has yet to roll out a storefront supporting UltraViolet.
Of course, another retailer can’t hurt, but M-Go — and UltraViolet in general — will need to show they can compete with other existing apps and markets — like Apple’s iTunes and Amazon Instant Video. It also has to show that users even WANT to buy and own content anymore, considering most growth in the home video market is happening from subscription video on demand services like Netflix and Hulu Plus.