Movie Studio’s iTunes Rival UltraViolet Gets Black Eye From Angry Consumers

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Photo by bindermichi - http://flic.kr/p/6MXboC
Photo by bindermichi - http://flic.kr/p/6MXboC

Here’s a Hollywood marketing tactic we never thought of: Create an iTunes alternative so roundly despised that you’re forced to send angry consumers to iTunes. And you wonder why your DVD player is gathering dust?

Warner Bros. is handing out iTunes coupon codes to the studio’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 on disc. Designed to highlight Ultraviolet — Hollywood’s answer to iTunes, Netflix and other services killing physical sales of movies — the flick instead became the focus of a very public rejection. Half of the 400 Amazon.com reviews gave the movie one star because of the Ultraviolet fiasco.

Studios promoted Ultraviolet as a way movie fans could buy a Blu-ray or DVD disc then stream it over-and-over again to all their devices, using Warner Bros.’ Flixster app.

But there were already plenty of signs consumers just weren’t going for the idea. Two previous Ultraviolet titles — Horrible Bosses and The Green Lantern — were also panned as everything from “an awful move” to “a joke.”

If you bought one of these turkeys, Flixster is handing out coupons for a free iTunes download at support.ultraviolet.flixster.com.

All of which leaves Apple in the cat-bird seat, once again. Apple and animation mogul Disney passed on UltraViolet to create their own digital movie locker, KeyChest. As for Hollywood, it looks like they have the makings of another disaster movie.