Amazon is testing a new service that automatically gives customers a free digital version of Blu-rays and DVDs they purchase from Amazon. Two members of a German Blu-ray forum have reported receieving an email from Amazon informing them of the test program after purchasing Blu-rays and DVDs. Digital versions of the titles they purchased were added to their Amazon Video library and were available to stream immediately. The email from Amazon makes it clear that the service is only being tested and that access to the free digital copies may be revoked in the future.
Amazon already offers a similar service, called Amazon AutoRip, for music where customers who buy select CDs from Amazon automatically receive a digital version added to their Amazon Music library. This new Blu-Ray and DVD service from Amazon is the video equivilant of AutoRip and is no doubt an answer to UltraViolet, a similar program that provides access to a digital version of content in a cloud locker which is unlocked by entering a code included with physical media. Amazon, as well as Google, Apple, and Disney, are notably not members of the UltraViolet alliance.
The Amazon Fire TV and Fire tablets, lost all access to UltraViolet content a couple months ago when Flixster, the only app that streamed UltraViolet content on those devices, dropped all streaming capabilities. While a competing UltraViolet-like service from Amazon would not restore access to the content that owners of Amazon’s hardware once had, it would at least provide feature parity for future physical media purchases.
It’s unknown if Amazon is testing this new service in countries other than Germany. It’s also worth noting that the two individuals who have received the free digital content are both Amazon Prime members, so membership may be a requirement for the service.