Warner Brothers Backs Off Veronica Mars Streaming Limits

Warner Brothers apologized and offered to compensate customers following a messy, DRM-laden rollout of the Kickstarter-backed Veronica Mars movie.
Posted at 10:56 AM, Mar 16, 2014

Warner Brothers is cutting fans of Veronica Mars some slack.

The studio is now offering The Veronica Mars Movie on a range of more broadly used streaming and download sites, after its attempts to distribute the movie on its own Flixster service ran into digital rights management-generated backlash. (Via The Wrap)

The Veronica Mars movie is one of Kickstarter’s biggest film success stories: it gathered close to $6 million from fans in one of the fastest and most popular campaigns the site has ever hosted.

But when Warner Brothers first released the movie last week on its own Flixster service, for some users, watching it was not as easy as pressing play.

One writer for GigaOM had to log into and link together three different accounts to finally watch the movie: Flixster, then the studio-backed Ultraviolet online video library, and then a VUDU streaming account to actually get it to play.

Of the whole process, she says "I am now very, very appreciative of the simplicity of iTunes."

Flixster and Ultraviolet are understood to be movie industry attempts to get a slice of Apple's media-profit pie.

A writer for iMore says such projects "are harder to use than Apple's versions, less consumer friendly, and almost without exception end up abandoned for those very reasons."

Kickstarter backers have reason to be sore: Flixster was the only way to get their early release of the film. It’s now available on iTunes and Amazon as regular digital downloads. (Via Warner Bros.)

And for the $20 it's worth, Warner Brothers appears ready to make it up to Veronica Mars fans. It's sending this message to customers fed up with Flixster:

"If you have your heart set on a specific digital retailer, go ahead and buy the Veronica Mars movie on that service, provide us the receipt and we'll refund you the full price of that transaction." (Via Re/code)