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'Insatiable' Brits gobble Blu-Ray, deserve reward

Fox bigwig says HD discs will be key to cloud lockers

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Britain's appetite for buying movies makes it a lively laboratory for Hollywood's marketing experiments. One of these is the "triple play" bundling of a Blu-Ray disc, regular DVD and digital file in the same package - a practice now standard here. Unfortunately, however, we won't be at the forefront of UltraViolet just yet, billed as the second generation of triple play.

20th Century Fox says Blu-Ray sales rose 49 per cent in Q3 over the previous quarter, and Vincent Marcais, Senior Vice President of International Marketing, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, says he expects Blu-Ray viewing to overtake DVD in 2013.

"The UK has the biggest per capita proportion of buyers in the world, the demand of British movie buyers is insatiable. Ninety per cent of UK consumers who are actively involved with video choose to buy. That's really striking, compared to US where people are renting."

As for UltraViolet, the cloud locker scheme devised by cross-industry consortium DECE, it would seem we'll have to wait for that too. But Marcais thinks we in the UK deserve a little something for our open-walletedness.

"Where you get a lot of people who buy content, I think we should reward that," he says. "The notion for consumers is safety - buy once and play everywhere."

"Personally, I'm convinced that Blu-Ray will be the gateway to the UltraViolet file, so if you buy a Blu-Ray disc that has an UltraViolet copy on it, you have the safety of an HD disc - but it's also in the locker for you on all your other devices. In the beginning that's going to be the environment." ®

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