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Comments

Smy


If I had to wait an extra 30~ days to see a new release because one profitable business is so greedy as to rip off another profitable business' model, then sure, I'll wait. I'll also never purchase another movie from the offending studio that takes such actions, nor will I go see one of their titles in the theater. Rather than depriving myself of having instant gratification of watching a favorite title whenever I want, I look at more as the large amount of money I will be saving. I could always just requeue it on Netflix if I get the urge to see it. Patience.

hfidek

yet another industry that doesn't understand that the world is changing a shame

Kevin M

Pretty dumb but I would be able to wait an extra 30 days. If I really am dying to see a movie I'll go see it in theaters otherwise I can wait till I am able to rent it.

Crow550

So Hollywood video & Blockbuster will get new titles for rent? Then 30 days later Redbox & Netflix?

WTF?

Why do these companies want to fu......screw us? Why?

Josh

Why don't the wholesalers just sell anyway. How can the studios force wholesalers to sell 28 days later after the release date?
Do they have that power?

What if the wholesalers just say 'sorry studios. I'm selling now-like or not. If you want me to stop force me to.'

It can't be legal for studios to force wholesalers to delay when they sell or to who they sell. If I was a wholesalers I just sue the studios. I'm sure that some lawyer can find that the studios are breaking some type of law. Or at less can try.
Anti-trust, anti-compensation, something

Any one have an answer?

Todd

Wholesalers have a contract with the studios. In this case, it sounds like that contract will say that hey can't sell new releases to Netflix or Redbox for 28 days. If they violate that, and the studios find out (and they will), the studios can cancel their contract with the wholesalers and the wholesalers will no longer be able to sell any movies from that studio. Stupid, but that's the way it works.

Personally, I think Warner's just going to end up screwing themselves with this. People aren't going to be more likely to buy the DVD if they can't rent it, so any retail sales increase will be marginal at best. Netflix and (especially) Redbox customers will simply forget about Warner titles (Netflix users will still get them eventually if they're in the queue), so they're essentially marginalizing themselves.

If I were Netflix, I'd simply tell Warner to shove off. Let's see how they deal with losing the top rental company in the the country. I'm guessing they won't be so happy about that.

Mike

who cares? I rent movies because they're commercial free and I got tired of having Comcast charge to use my TV as a billboard more than 50% of the time I was being billed for.

let them all delay the release for 30 days, it won't affect my subscription to Netflix one bit. however, it will never get to that point. this will be contested in court, restraint of trade will be invoked and the media companies will look more foolish than they already do.

what does worry me though is the post office situation with them probably reducing and consolidating a number of offices as well as eliminating mail service on Saturdays.

Andy

Why can't Netflix just buy them at a store?

Drew

Funny, it seems I already have to wait 30 days to get new releases from Netflix anyway.... :)

Kilroy

"Why can't Netflix just buy them at a store?"

Two reasons:
1) They'd be buying them at retail price instead of wholesale price. Which is probably about twice as expensive.

2) They'd probably get sued if they tried to rent movies bought in that manner -- it would be the same as if you opened a rental store with your home DVD collection. I'm pretty sure that's against the law (but don't have any hard facts to prove it).

Ad Hustler

I hope they do this. Then movie studios can die the same death as record labels. There is only one way to survive these days. TAKE CARE OF THE CONSUMER!

If you don't the consumer does 1 of 2 things.

1) They lose interest and don't spend any money on your products. And yes, renting from Netflix is spending money on your product because if people don't rent from Netflix then Netflix DOESNT BUY YOUR MOVIES.

2) They steal it online. It's already easy enough to download virtually any movie. Don't give the consumer motivation to do so.

That is all.

-Ad Hustler

JW

I thought rental movies were significant more expensive than retail (consumer) movies. I thought that was the business model for VHS back in the day, at least.

It seems strange to me that a rental company could buy a dvd for $20 or whatever and rent it out forever. Anyone know much much a rental DVD costs netflix?

Scott

Drew hit the nail on the head. Getting hot new releases on netflix is hit and miss anyway, I don't count on netflix for that. There's always other stuff to watch, and if I don't get the hot release until next month, that's fine with me. There's nothing magical or imperative about being able to watch it the week it comes out. If I'm that desperate to see it, I can still get it from a blockbuster. Actually, if it's something I am that interested in, I probably saw it in the theater. I really don't think a 30-day window is a big deal, and may help keep brick-and-mortar stores healthy. Do we really want those put out of business? They serve a purpose too.

Patchoulifan

What's the difference? I've waited a lot longer to see some new releases. If I don't work it just right, I have waited two months or more for a new release. Slumdog, Wanted, Pineapple Express, and many others. Gran Torino is still a long wait in my queue...

For me, Netflix is great for obscure titles, and I'm just pleasantly surprised if I get a new title within a month of release.

I've considered canceling, but the thought of walking into a video rental store negates that.

andyg8180

Warner can suck it... It's bad enough i wait a month to two months to get a new release let alone wait one month to START waiting a month to two months...

I'm a Watch Instant kinda guy now... Lots and lots and lots to watch... ehem Lost lol

L0gic

I won't buy another DVD ever again without first watching the movie. Movie theaters these days are rarely worth the cost or the letdown...

Way to often I say "I spent $x for this crap?"

If Warner or any other company puts this delay in place, I simply will not purchase another DVD from them, period. If I ever want to see something again, I'll put it back in the queue.

Seeing how Netflix watches this page... I might guess that Warner and others might look at it too.

Take note Warner and the rest of you...

You don't have the power anymore, and you can't get it back. Take your head out of your @$$ and adapt.

David Grenier

I don't really care about waiting a month or two for new releases. I often put new movies in my queue, but by the time they get to the top and I actually see the film they are often a couple years old (I think I just finally saw Step Brothers).

I figure I can be disappointed by Transformers 2 when it comes out on DVD, or I can be disappointed by it a few months later. It doesn't matter much to me.

I think the "I need the latest new release the week it comes out" folks are probably more Redbox customers anyway.

Bryan Irrera

Since I rent very FEW mainstream titles, this likely won't be affecting me anyway...I'll be sticking with Netflix!

Seth

Hard to say what Netflix will do. Or how much they want to piss off Warner.

They could just get the titles anyway. They get Blockbuster Exclusive titles without much of a problem.

Ann_from _Brooklyn

Just a renegotiating tactic. I think all will end well.

Vincent Wright

No, I wouldn't drop Netflix, but I think if they are going to do this, they need to do it for all rental outlets.

J T

A 30-day wait means my family would want to go to the local video rental store. Which means I'd expect netflix to lower their rates, or I would probably reduce my level of service. One way or another my netflix bill would have to shrink significantly.

Dan

@Kilroy

"2) They'd probably get sued if they tried to rent movies bought in that manner -- it would be the same as if you opened a rental store with your home DVD collection. I'm pretty sure that's against the law (but don't have any hard facts to prove it)."

No. The entire rental industry works upon the first-sale doctrine (google it). In particular, try renting a newer Weinstein release. They signed an exclusive contract with Blockbuster for renting, all non-BB copies of their movies say something along the lines of "This disc intended for retail sale."

Assuming the people at Netflix are smart [safe assumption] they will simply list the release date as later and provide information in their FAQ and to their support staff about this policy. Buying at retail is either too expensive or leads to limited availability. Either way hurts the business far too much. It's better to expose the studios as the culprits and explain that they aren't able to buy the DVDs at Wal-Mart.

2McAbre

@ JW: "I thought rental movies were significant more expensive than retail (consumer) movies."

Rental places purchase their copies at wholesale, not at or above retail. Depending on the title and format (SDVD vs BD) determines the wholesale cost.

The average (last time I purchased wholesale) ranges between $4 & $18 per copy.

With average retail (after markup) being between $4.99 & $29.99.

Anthony

I don't quite see the big deal. Unless the other studios decide to do the same thing this isn't going to work.

People are just going to rent the new releases from the other companies.

More so because their not renting these 30 day delayed movies their not going to be talking about them for 30 days which means there will be less word of mouth which means there will be less retail sales which means there will be less profit at the end of the day.

Del

No big deal, if I waited until the movie comes out on DVD, rather than seeing it at the theatre, 30 days is not that much.

JP

"Fair" subsumes that you have a right to tell the studios what they can/cannot do. It is certainly completely within the studios' moral and legal rights to determine how they want their property sold, if at all.

They created the wealth and value of these films (of course some are worth more than others). If consumers wanted to change movie-distribution terms, they should start their own companies instead of trying to force the existing studios to behave as they would have them.

Personally, I don't understand why the studios don't already delay the Netflix and other rental channels by some time to allow those who really want to watch a movie to purchase it. They're missing out on potential revenue without alienating the consumers.

Tom Wolper

To answer the original question, no, a 28 day waiting period for new films would not affect my Netflix subscription. I use Netflix for older classic movies or ones that went into limited release and never got to a local theater.

The thing that surprises me is the negative tone to it from the studio. They are trying to build revenue by creating a false scarcity. I could see it being done in a positive way, like an option for Netflix Premium - you pay $5 a month on top of your current plan and you get to receive movies in that 28 day window. The number of people signing up for that should make up any revenue difference for the studios.

chef_m

Just how important is NF's business to Warner? For example, how many copies of a given title does NF purchase, 100? 1,000? 10,000? Sure it depends on the title, let's say this year's "Star Trek" or "Up"?

Anybody have any idea?

byteme

Every time a large industry tries to "force the market," they end up hurting their profits more than they help. The more inconvenient they make it for consumers to do things legitimately, the more they push them into getting it "free."

All of this is because Hollywood is only making insane profits when they believe they should be making ludicrous profits. In they end, they only end up hurting themselves as well as others along the way.

No matter what they do to try and push me into giving them more of my entertainment dollars, I still only have X dollars available to spend.

Most movies are only worth seeing once or twice. I have no interest in paying full price to own it forever. For those few movies good enough to make me want to see them several times, I will consider buying it. Making me wait to see a piece of crap doesn't make the crap more desirable to own. Heck, even when I do buy a movie it's usually more than six months after it was first released on DVD, when the price starts to drop to a reasonable level.

The problem is, they can't take advantage of scarcity the way they used to. With the incredible amount of entertainment material currently available, scarcity no longer exists. Don't want me to watch your movie right away? Fine. I'll watch something else. You'd just better hope I still remember your movie at all when you finally decide you'll let me watch it.

tsrblke

I agree with most of the comments above. If I care enough to see a movie, I'll go see it in theaters. If I consider a movie not high enough on my radar for me to do that, it's unlikely another 30 days is going to cause me to run out and buy it. I'm just not sure they get the psychology of people....

dAVe

"Would you drop Netflix if you had to wait 30 days for new releases?" - No, not for that reason.

"Is it fair for the studios to include Netflix in the 30-day DVD rental kiosk release window?" - It seems to me the sense of fairness should be to include all DVD-rental companies (local & majors) in the 30-day delay window. DVD sales have been slumping the last few years, more so now will full-blown recession, so creating a 30-day window to entice people to 'buy now, don't wait to rent' seems like a typical buisness move albeit not a just & fair move. Question is, should the 30-day wait period also include DBS/Cable/PPV/on-demand companies that have been pushing to get the hot-new-release titles available ASAP to compete with NF/BB/RB?

Perkins Cobb

Actually, as alluded to above, Netflix has at various points gone out and purchased retail copies of some high-profile title that was a BB exclusive or was for some other reason withheld from them.

(I think I remember an article in which some Netflix exec bragged that they got them at Walmart.)

But I think they're too big to do that now, and since their future business model is totally dependent on negotiating for more on-demand content from the studios, I don't think Netflix will turn this into a deathmatch with Warners. More likely, they'll give in on this and try to horsetrade for more on-demand content from the catalog, or some other kind of future goodwill from WB.

mnxmfan

Would I drop Netflix if there was a 30 day window on new movies? NO. Do I think it's a dumb move by the studio's? YES!

If I really want to see a movie, I see it in theatres. Otherwise, I wait until it comes out on DVD, get it from Netflix, and then if I think its something I'll watch again, I go BUY it after I rent it. Rarely do I see a movie that I need to buy right when it comes out on DVD, and I would NEVER blindly buy a DVD without having seen the movie at least once first.

Adding a 30 day window just means I'll wait 30 days, or I might just not watch it at all, depending on if I remember to see it when the window is up. Seems pretty easy to me.

But if Netflix is going to be held to this standard, and kiosks are going to be held to this standard, then every rental option should be held to the same standard.

Bill

If, I was Redbox & NetFlix I would just say fine we won't buy your videos then. Explain to their customers how the studio is doing this and encourage them to write and call and voice their feelings to the studio why they can't see movies as soon as they are out. As far as blockbuster being the only one allowed to do this I see this ending up in a court because of the whole monopoly factor. Only time will tell. I hope they decide to snub them myself. Time for these companies to learn they need us. I would never go buy the dvd and if i can’t rent it then they make zero dollars.

Keith

I think the premise of the post is a little misguided. The article says Warner is giving Netflix a choice of either an initial release buy or a 28 day window. Basically, if Netflix wants them at initial release they will pay more for them then if they get them at 28 days. It's up to Netflix from here.

Keith

To the poster talking about the wholesale pricing of movies. When Hollywood Video, Netflix, or other rentailers buy the DVDs they are far below retail. The agreement with the studios is typically for 13 weeks for revenue sharing. So, for example, Hollywood Video buys a DVD for $6 but shares a percentage of that title's rental revenue for the first few weeks (up to 13 depending on their agreement). The studio ends up getting more this way (potentially) then selling the DVDs at full retail to rental companies.

JDoors

What is the purpose behind this proposed delay? The only thing I can think of is to help brick-and-mortar stores, but I can't imagine why studios would care WHERE their sales come from, nor can I imagine why they would choose to give preferential treatment to what may well be a dying business model.

If they think retail customers might BUY a movie within that 28-30 day window rather than waiting to rent it (that is, only those customers who use NF or RB), then they're f'n stupid.

If I see a movie in a theater and love it enough to own it, I'm not going to be renting it, from anywhere. The studio ALREADY HAS a committed customer. How is that delay helping them in this case?

If I HAVEN'T seen the movie yet, I'm not committing my hard-earned dollars toward owning a copy of it until I DO see it. So all this delay accomplishes is to put off any decision to purchase a copy of the movie for 28-30 days. How is that delay helping them in this case?

Can anyone put into plain English how this targeted delay is advantageous to the studios?

Dan

I'm going to guess that the reason why this is important for the studio is because:

1. They depend on people who buy DVDs blindly and affordable rentals hurt that market.
2. The subscription model of DVD rental has created a race to the bottom where wholesale DVD prices are pushed to the very basement.
3. They can create pricing tiers for access to their content. If BB wants to continue to have this advantage they will pay a premium for the new release with no wait.
4. This model served the industry pretty well in the theater market. They were able to push up the price of first run theaters while discount theaters kept box office numbers moving later on.
5. This essentially creates a third US release date, and set precedent for a fourth. Current three would be Theater, DVD-b&m, DVD-kiosk+mail. Fourth would be to separate the DVD-b&m into for sale and for rent.

I'm sure there's more to it, but that's what I could think of.

vio

Wow. I'm more concerned with Redbox than I am Netflix here. The type of low-income Joe Sixpack consumers who typically rent DVDs from Redbox are especially fixated on having "hot" new releases IMMDIATELY. This is definitely good news for Blockbuster. Maybe they'll survive past 2010 afterall.

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