The next step in Hollywood’s effort to educate consumers about its UltraViolet digital rights locker came from Warner Bros., (s TWX) which is taking to Twitter with a promoted trend aimed at getting Harry Potter fans excited about streaming the title to their computers and other devices.
The #UltraViolet Promoted Trend was launched to coincide with the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, which goes on sale on Friday. With the release of the final installment in the popular Harry Potter franchise, Warner Bros. is promoting the ability to own a digital copy for streaming to computers, tablets and smartphones.
The Twitter promotion is just one more effort by Hollywood studios to teach consumers about the benefits of UltraViolet, which in theory will allow consumers to purchase a movie once and watch it anywhere they want to. Then again, if you read the fine print, the deal isn’t as good as first promised: The UltraViolet stream is a standard-def version of the film only, and special features are not included. Finally, while the plan behind UltraViolet is to eventually enable consumers to watch movies that they’ve bought on a wide range of platforms, it also warns that the service is not available on all devices. So much for that.
Restrictions like those explain why some consumers aren’t fans of the digital copy scheme, at least in its initial rollout. UltraViolet has received scathing reviews from consumers who purchased The Green Lantern and Horrible Bosses: the first two titles to be released with the streaming copy attached.
Early reviews from the Harry Potter release aren’t much better. While the DVD has yet to go on sale, there are already a number of one-star reviews attached to the title on Amazon, (s amzn) most of which warn to stay away from the UltraViolet digital copy.
For now, the biggest complaint seems to be with the use of Warner Bros.’ Flixster application for accessing digital copies online and on mobile devices. When other applications and websites come online, consumers might have better user experiences to choose from, which could reduce some complaints. Until then, the studios are facing an uphill battle against consumers that aren’t satisfied with what UltraViolet has to offer.