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Warner Bros. Doesn't Seem To Get It; Plans To Delay DVD Rentals For 8 Weeks To Boost Disc Sales

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by Tambay A. Obenson
January 11, 2012 11:05 AM
3 Comments
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Maybe Warner Bros. execs didn't get the memo on stats showing that online streaming sites like Netflix, as well as reduced wait times between a film's theatrical release and its availability as a rental, actually have curbed piracy all over the world.

Because if they'd recieved that memo, and cared anything about the potential that its films would be pirated and dumped online for audiences around the globe to download via torrent streams, I'm not so sure they'd be so quick to act on this...

In an obvious attempt to help bolster DVD sales (once a significant cash stream for studios), the WB is planning a release strategy change that would make DVD rental companies like the aforementioned Netflix, as well as brick and mortar firms like Redbox and Blockbuster, wait 56 days instead of the current 28 days after a DVD goes on sale, before they can offer the latest releases as rentals to their customers.

So, for the consumer, this means, you'll have to either spend the $20 or whatever dollars to buy a DVD that you may actually just want to rent for $3.99, and have no interest in owning; or you wait an extra 28 days (about a month) after the DVD goes on sale to rent it from your favorite online or real-world rental retailer.

Netflix is said to be going along with the new plan, because it won't necessarily hurt their online streaming model won't be hurt; however, Redbox and Blockbuster intend to fight this decision... though I'm not quite sure how much leverage they have and just how successful they'll be.

But, based on 2011 year-end reports on film piracy (specifically of Hollywood studio movies) around the world, which I posted on S&A about a week ago (HERE), this doesn't seem like a smart move for the WB.

I figured studio execs would by now be instead looking to the future, and investing their resources into coming up with a business model that allows audiences to consume what they want, when they want, while still remaining profitable in the process. Therein lies the challenge...

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3 Comments

  • Tamara | January 11, 2012 1:03 PMReply

    Many a DVD in my "collection" have been saved by me NOT buying a (not worthy) feature when I can easily rent it via Netflix/Retailer/streaming*, watch it once (which is usually the determining factor) for a much cheaper price than inflated purchase of 20+ bucks. Are DVDs really even "worth" so much any more? Blu-Ray, yeah I get it but even those prices have gone down in the past years. I used to be an on the bandwagon, want-it, need-it, gotta-have-it ON RELEASE DAY kind of renter/purchaser, but not anymore. I have 140+ plus features in queue and I'll get to them in due time. Rarely are there features that I'm salivating like a film-fiend to have, to own from this day forward, for better or worse, for richer, for "poorer" <---yeah, I usually wait. No prob. I don't have to own everything I have a mid-to-moderate-to-slight interest in viewing. Only after viewing will I decide if a feature is "worthy" of my purchase. *snob* LOL Also, folk ain't buying DVDs or even BluRays like they used to...okay, maybe BluRays, but that will soon phase.... Eh, and meh. Warner Bros. don't you all make enough mula in the box-office sales anyway? Sheesh!

  • VichusSmith | January 11, 2012 11:39 AMReply

    I DESPISE Warner Bros. for their decisions about digital and rental distribution. Not only have they been delaying releases, but most of their new stuff also don't show up on Netflix Instantly at all!

    You can't fight the future, or your goddamn customers! They'll see that they're in error, and probably to late.

  • slb | January 11, 2012 11:21 AMReply

    No, they don't. I read this story a couple of days ago and *SMH*. These content providers fail to realize that people do not want to spend $20 to "own" a movie. Increasing the embargo window will not help their sales. With so many other entertainment options, people just wait. There a few movies in my Netflix queue that are scheduled to come out 30 days later than they are avaiable in the stores. And so what. I do not care. I've got a hundred other movies in my queue currently available for my viewing pleasure. Plus tons of television series with multiple seasons waiting to be watched. I'm not gonna suddenly run out and buy the Hangover II on DVD because I have to wait an extra month to watch it.

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