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Netflix Will Delay Renting New WB Releases 418

DesertBlade tips the news that Netflix will delay renting new releases from Warner Brothers for 28 days, and adds "Luckily I am so far behind in my movie watching that I will probably never catch up anyway." "It's part of a strategy by several studios to create staggered releases of DVDs so that the most profitable transactions are available first and cheaper rental options take effect further down the road. The move could be copied by other studios, forcing consumers to wait nearly a month if they want to rent popular movies from Netflix. ... The studio is hoping that the four-week window will push consumers interested in watching movies at home to buy the DVDs or pay a premium to rent them from stores like Blockbuster or from Internet and cable video-on-demand services. Warner Bros. already imposes a 28-day window on $1-a-night kiosk firm Redbox."
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Netflix Will Delay Renting New WB Releases

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  • What a great idea! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pojut ( 1027544 ) on Thursday January 07, 2010 @05:49PM (#30688008) Homepage

    Artifically deny your customer the ability to buy your product. They'll love you for it!


    • by NFN_NLN ( 633283 ) on Thursday January 07, 2010 @05:53PM (#30688060)
      "The studio is hoping that the four-week window will push consumers interested in watching movies at home to... pirate the movie instead."
      • by MikeFM ( 12491 ) on Thursday January 07, 2010 @06:14PM (#30688370) Homepage Journal
        Seriously - how many people are so eager to watch the released movies that they can't wait a month but weren't going to buy the movie? Yeah so they are going to piss off a lot of people just so they can pick up a tiny portion of the market?
      • by nine-times ( 778537 ) <> on Thursday January 07, 2010 @07:11PM (#30688994) Homepage

        Agreed. I know that lots of people around here are probably keeping up on all the latest and greatest sources for pirated movies and TV shows, but for most people, it's simply too much of a hassle. I sincerely think that movie studios and TV networks need to learn that ultimately most people aren't really willing to pay for "content". Rather, people are willing to pay for convenient, easy, and reliable access to that content. If they make it as more of a hassle to get the content legally as it is to get it illegally, and too expensive to boot, then they'll lose out on that revenue. I don't say this as someone who approves of pirating, but sometimes it doesn't do you much good to disapprove of reality.

        But anyway, I'm just not sure it matters. I don't even know when DVDs are released most of the time. I only know when Netflix tells me that the DVDs will be available. Move that date forward a month, and I probably won't notice.

        • by gad_zuki! ( 70830 ) on Thursday January 07, 2010 @08:28PM (#30689584)

          Do people even buy movies? Your typical WB movie is a mild distraction over the weekend. Its not fine art. Its not something you ever need to watch more than once. Without the spectacle of the big screen, the allure of fresh popcorn, and THX sound, its really not much else. Its like TV. Entertainment for the lowest common denominator. Watch it once and forget it about. This is why people gravitate towards rentals and on demand.

          What great gems does WB think we're all going to rush out to buy? I just went to their website and heres a list of the items they are showcasing:

          The Book of Eli, Terminator Salvation, The Hangover, The Ellen Degeneres Show, Valentine's Day, Final Destination 3D, Whiteout, Sherlock Holmes, Gossip Girl, The Invention of Lying.

          Wow, I want to see maybe one of those and only in the theater. The idea of owning any of that is pretty silly. WB, your products are a commodity. Theyre chewing gum. We chew them for a short while and we spit them out. Get on the rental bandwagon and give up your fight to sell me 30 dollar bluray discs of your junk.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by dave87656 ( 1179347 )

        pirate the movie instead

        I've found I've just lost interest. The entertainment industry with the constant barage of huge lawsuites, high prices and greed has finally gotten to me. I used to rent movies once a week or so but now it's just gotten a bad taste. I just don't really care what they do anymore. They can charge what they want, I'm on to new stuff: local theater, outdoor stuff, etc.

        I stopped buying music several years ago. That had more to do with living in Germany where GEMA (the equivalent of the RIAA) gets money for every

    • by Moryath ( 553296 ) on Thursday January 07, 2010 @05:53PM (#30688076)

      Yeah. They used to wait over a year before you could even get the VHS... and we hated the hell out of that.

      Artificial scarcity doesn't work. Period. If only they could learn this.

      • by Pojut ( 1027544 )

        Perhaps I'm remembering wrong, but during that window weren't you able to purchase a real VHS copy for some absurdly large amount of money (low triple digits)?

        • by jgtg32a ( 1173373 ) on Thursday January 07, 2010 @06:01PM (#30688224)

          Yeah it was like $100

          • by BrianRoach ( 614397 ) on Thursday January 07, 2010 @08:50PM (#30689742)

            I'm not sure why this was modded "funny", it's the truth.

            Back in the dark ages when VCRs roamed the earth, the movie studios didn't want you to actually own anything but decided that renting was ok ... as long as the rental stores paid $100+ per copy for each tape. This is why it was $5 a frigging day to rent the things.

            Same with LaserDisc but it was even worse because most places weren't renting them ( Yes, get off my lawn. I think I paid something like $350 - $400 for the first Star Wars trilogy on LaserDisc. I still have them )

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by MBGMorden ( 803437 )

          Sometimes. Rental places tended to do it. I remember being able to rent a copy of Star Trek Generations 8-10 months before I could find a copy for sale.

          And I promptly dubbed a copy of it. I suspect that people will do the digital equivalent (grab it off a torrent site) these days.

          Companies just don't get it. We have a way to get your shit for free. If you find ANY way to get us to pay for it then count your lucky stars and hope we keep using that method. Try anything that aggravates us though and we g

          • by jollyreaper ( 513215 ) on Thursday January 07, 2010 @06:37PM (#30688672)

            Sometimes. Rental places tended to do it. I remember being able to rent a copy of Star Trek Generations 8-10 months before I could find a copy for sale.

            I don't know what the current practice is but VHS tapes for rental places used to be $75 a copy. There was a staggered release where the $15 to $25 tapes didn't come out for a while after rental. I remember trying to get the MST3K movie on tape after it came out for rent and it was at the ridiculous price. I think the theory was they could soak the rental places and then mop up the remainder of the market by mass-producing tapes at a lower price point. It's been so long since I've bought a movie I have no idea if they're still doing tiered distribution or if rentals are available before purchase copies. Physical media is so 20th century.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              >Physical media is so 20th century.

              And yet I'm not generally willing to pay for non-physical media. I know the iPod generation is throwing wads of cash at Apple's music store, but they're stupid.

              You can sell me an object, with some objective value, or you can sell me a service, such as Netflix. With Netflix (mail or streaming), I'm not paying per movie. Sure, there's a floor to how cheap it can get (about $1), but ultimately I'm paying for access to their library, as fast as I can personally con
        • by PCM2 ( 4486 ) on Thursday January 07, 2010 @06:34PM (#30688632) Homepage

          I believe the term was "priced for rental." The idea was yes, the prices were absurd -- for anyone but a VHS rental business.

          The economics of VHS tapes were different, though. Unlike DVDs, comparatively few people tended to actually go out and buy them, bar a few "core" titles (Disney movies for the kids, Star Wars, Godfather, etc.) VHS tapes were bulky and not easy to store, their packaging tended to look kinda crappy on your shelf, and their picture quality really was not good. Not only did they tend to wear out just from playing them -- and occasionally your VCR would outright destroy one -- but storebought tapes weren't that great quality to begin with. Remember, this was an analog tape medium, and it was in the manufacturers' interests to duplicate them for as low cost as possible. Often this meant they were made from low-quality materials and were duplicated on high-speed equipment. From a collector's/fan's standpoint, all but a very few were 4:3 pan and scan -- so between that and the poor resolution, the only real way to see your favorite movies was to wait for them to come to a local second-run theatre. So it became a kind of Catch-22 -- because VHS tapes were never that attractive, studios were never really able to get the economies of scale that would drive the cost of VHS releases down to where mainstream customers would pay for them.

          People did buy laserdiscs, though, and those collectors were among the first to jump on the DVD-buying bandwagon. When regular people got word that DVDs gave you picture quality comparable to laserdiscs without all the disc flipping and swapping, DVD sales exploded. Way back in 2001, when cheap VHS tapes had become more common and DVDs were fairly new, revenue from VHS sales was still far less than that from VHS rentals -- but it was also less than the revenue from DVD sales, even back then. (This according to the Video Software Dealers Association [].) I honestly think enough people buy DVD releases regularly enough that this waiting period won't be that big of a deal -- especially in the age of home theater. Even if you have to pay $20 to buy the disc, it's still cheaper than taking a date to the movies.

      • by zindorsky ( 710179 ) <> on Thursday January 07, 2010 @06:52PM (#30688846)

        Artificial scarcity doesn't work. Period.

        I don't know ... seems to work pretty well for the diamond industry.

    • by Anonymusing ( 1450747 ) on Thursday January 07, 2010 @05:58PM (#30688168)

      On the plus side: "Netflix will use the savings to expand its stock of the studio's DVDs and triple the number of Warner catalog titles it provides through its online streaming option."

      In other words, you won't have to wait for the DVD so much -- you'll be able to watch it on your computer. Certainly, the newest releases won't be available that way, but still... anything that expands the (legal) streaming movies options is a good thing.

      • by AthanasiusKircher ( 1333179 ) on Thursday January 07, 2010 @06:22PM (#30688470)
        Mod parent up. This is an important caveat.

        I'm not that happy with the precedent this sets, but I get many of my movies through Netflix streaming these days, which is improving all the time. There are still hundreds of great classic movies I want to see, and I'd prefer an emphasis on those (which tend to be what is showing up on Netflix streaming) rather than getting the most recent crap out of Hollywood as fast as possible.

        If you really want to see the damn movie a couple weeks sooner, buy the DVD... or better yet, go to the theatre when it's playing.

        There are various trade-offs here, but there are lots of customers who don't use Netflix only as a replacement for the "latest releases" section of Blockbuster.
    • That's not at all what's going on, they are adding a 28 day period from when the movie is released on DVD till when it is available on Netflix
      This being /. I don't expect you to read the article but did you even read the title?

    • by Hatta ( 162192 )

      They'll love making their way down to walgreens/mcdonalds/grocery store to rent it out of a vending machine instead.

      • No they won't.

        Warner Bros. already imposes a 28-day window on $1-a-night kiosk firm Redbox.

        • by Ceiynt ( 993620 )
          IIRC, a lot of Redbox machines are owned and operated by individuals, who go can, if they want to, go to Wal-Mart and buy X number of said video, and stock the machine if they want.
    • You seem to have confused renting with buying, or perhaps you didn't finish reading the summary. The entire purpose is to push the overly eager to buy the product rather than rent it. Renters don't help their bottom line nearly as much as buyers.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rastilin ( 752802 )
      Who was it that said "The first rule of business is never make it harder for people to give you their money."?
    • This is talking about renting, not buying. Did I miss something?
    • doesn't matter (Score:3, Insightful)

      by RingDev ( 879105 )

      If you are waiting for the movie to show up on Netflix, it won't matter if it comes out 1 day after the theatrical release, 6 months after, or 6 months +28 days.

      I'm perfectly fine living 6+ months in the past for movies, so long as those AAA movies are still making it into my queue eventually.


    • by Simonetta ( 207550 ) on Thursday January 07, 2010 @07:21PM (#30689098)

      But "28 Days Later" wasn't that good.

          If there's a 'must-see' then we don't know about it until it's out of the first-run theaters. How else are you going to know that the film is good? People that go to first run movies, spend $10 each for tickets, $25 for babysitter, $5 for popcorn, and $4 for popcorn aren't going to tell you that the movie wasn't anything but good. And the second week people are always going to say the film is good to prove that they can wait for quality.

          No, you gotta wait until the movie reaches the second-run $3 theaters. If it isn't any good then it won't get to these theaters. The studio will blitz the opening night with deceptive ads for a turkey and then go straight to DVD.

          If it's a real 'must-see' then just watch the previews/trailers until you know the whole movie. Your average Hollywood movie can have its entire look/feel/plot experienced in a three minute preview (Spiderman III, Superman Ten, anyone?).

          Nah, If it's worth seeing, then it's worth waiting for the DVD. And if it's really good, then it will make it to the library shelf where it will be free for a week or more.

          And if it's great, then it's timeless quality. So why not wait a year or two to see it? What difference does it make? Now's the time to go to the library and check out for free all the excellent movies that you decided not to see because you didn't want to spend $10 on an independent or foreign film when it was in the theaters.

          Myself, I always save the best for last. Maybe this week I'll watch this movie called 'Star Wars' that I've been hearing people rave about for so long.

  • by SOOPRcow ( 1279010 ) on Thursday January 07, 2010 @05:51PM (#30688046)
    If I really want the movie on dvd I'm gonna buy it anyway. If I was just gonna rent it when it comes out on dvd what makes you think I'll want to buy it instead of waiting 28 extra days? Or at worse one could always pirate it since I'm sure there will be dvd rips on the net. Anyway, this isn't all bad... more streaming stuff :)
    • by Binestar ( 28861 )
      These are my thoughts exactly. What do I care that I have to wait another 28 days before I can watch $random_WB_movie? I have so much in the queue I couldn't care less when I watch something.

      The real news here is more streaming content. With my TiVo linked to my Netflix account I almost don't care about the DVD's they send me anymore.
    • by bit9 ( 1702770 ) on Thursday January 07, 2010 @06:15PM (#30688384)

      Mod parent up.

      I don't know anybody (myself included) who actually keeps track of DVD release dates, much less counts down in anticipation of a DVD being released. Pretty much every movie that I rent from Netflix is something that I've decided I don't mind waiting for, and apart from the 2-3 movies down at the bottom of my Netflix queue that say "Releases mm/dd/yyyy", I literally never have any idea when a given movie is/was/will be released on DVD.

      Okay, so maybe not everybody is like me in this respect. Maybe there are hordes of people who will now be thinking to themselves "Damn! I just can't wait another month! I guess I'll have to buy that DVD after all." But I just don't see it happening that way. I don't know anybody who thinks that way. I do know a couple DVD junkies who seem to think they just have to own every movie ever made on DVD, but this isn't going to change their habits anyway.

  • by Meshach ( 578918 ) on Thursday January 07, 2010 @05:52PM (#30688054)
    From the FA:

    "This deal uniquely works for Netflix because our subscribers are desensitized to street dates and more interested in being matched to the perfect movie," said Ted Sarandos, Netflix's chief content officer, who handles studio relationships. "Some subscribers will so passionately want to see it in the first 28 days they may go out and buy it, just as some people want to see 'Avatar' so badly they pay to watch it in 3-D."

    This sounds like a risky strategy. Creating more hassles and delays for your customer does not seem to be a "customer first" attitude. But I guess ultimately the market will decide if it is reasonable.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      One could argue that ever deciding that the company should make more money is not a "customer first" attitude.

      "Customer first" is at best a goal of a company. Most companies want to stay afloat first ... which may or may not be directly tied to a "customer first" ideal.

      But to think that companies are actively trying to seek ways to lower their profit in order to put the customer first seems a little idealistic. Sorta like thinking that most customers *won't* choose the cheaper of two products, all other t

    • by MWoody ( 222806 ) on Thursday January 07, 2010 @06:00PM (#30688184)

      How is it a hassle? It IS a delay, but as Netflix is the only place I use to check new releases, it's one I admittedly won't notice. In return, we'll get way more instant-watch movies available, which I don't have to wait for and can watch on my laptop or two of the three consoles in the house.

      It's hardly an anti-customer strategy when they make the same choice I'd have asked them to, given the option. The only thing currently stopping Instant-Watch from being really awesome is its subpar selection. And really, if I cared about seeing the movies from Netflix soon after they came out, I'd have seen them in theaters.

      • by Knara ( 9377 )

        How is it a hassle? It IS a delay, but as Netflix is the only place I use to check new releases, it's one I admittedly won't notice. In return, we'll get way more instant-watch movies available, which I don't have to wait for and can watch on my laptop or two of the three consoles in the house.

        Yeah, I use Netflix almost exclusively to stream movies these days. A delay in new releases is almost unnoticeable to me, since if I wanted to see it, I would have seen it in the theater.

        Plus, Netflix has some awesome indie crap-gems on Instant for those of us who love to watch bad movies with friends.

    • by businessnerd ( 1009815 ) on Thursday January 07, 2010 @06:06PM (#30688286)

      It might be risky, but I think his assessment of the average Netflix customer is fairly accurate. At least is describes me, a Netflix customer, accurately. Typically, when you hear of a movie coming out that you want to see, you add it to the queue. It's not out yet, but once it is sitting at the top of the queue ready once it becomes available. Except that movie is in high demand, so it says "Long wait" next to it. The second movie in the queue comes instead. But you don't really care, because you still want to see that movie. It's not like I'm a seven year old that has to see THAT one NOW! It will come when it's ready. In the mean time, I have a long list of movies that I have already said I want to see that will ship in its place until it is my turn. At a certain point, you stop paying attention to what's next, and you just accept what arrives in the mail. Any movie that I really really want to see, I would have already seen in the theaters. Avatar was a good example. Wanted to see badly and also appreciated the big screen experience.

      The thing that bothers me a little is how Netflix is being prioritized by the studios due to the fact that they are cheap. The article mentions the same with the RedBoxes. Both are far cheaper for the consumer than in-store rentals or on-demand from Cable/Satelite and they get the worst priority. It's as if the studios resent those customers for finding a great bargain and want to take out their anger on them. But again, if seeing that movie right away is that important, you can pay the premium to do so.

  • by future assassin ( 639396 ) on Thursday January 07, 2010 @05:53PM (#30688062) Homepage
    to visit more pawn shops to get my brand new dvd for $3.99 Way to take away a choice for consumers so you can alienate even more of them.
  • Which makes them retarded. Seriously, one of the best ways to combat copying is to make it easier/more attractive to buy. People are lazy, make it worth their while to pay you, and they'll probably do that since it is easier and less risky than downloading. However, be a moron about it, and they'll go to where they can get what they want.

  • by JamJam ( 785046 ) on Thursday January 07, 2010 @05:56PM (#30688116)
    These movie studios are still stuck in their old ways of doing things. They try to DMR content, for the longest time deny online streaming and basically go out of their way to stymie the consumer from what they want. Why are these studios having such a hard time moving to a new delivery model without imposing limits? Surely it's got to be more than just making an extra buck or two. Do they have a sense of entitlement and control over us?
  • if it mattered that much then a site that only rents 28 day old wb movies would show up. I doubt that there is that much demand.

  • But then theres the shipping time. Unless you want to pay extra for overnight or 2 day shipping. If you want free super saver shipping, you can wait 10 days or so. Netflix is 2 days. So its only 20 days difference.

    • by nxtw ( 866177 )

      There are stores that sell movies other than Amazon, like Wal-Mart, Target, and Best Buy in the United States, all of which have thousands of retail locations and sell new media on the release date.

  • by GuerreroDelInterfaz ( 922857 ) <> on Thursday January 07, 2010 @05:59PM (#30688174)


    People only buy movies they really, really like. The others, they rent them.

    Delaying rent will not cause people to buy them bu to download them. Thus "proving" that piracy is really, really bad, evil and unAmerican...

    It looks like they are getting smarter :-/

  • Are they _TRYING_ to increase piracy of their movies? I actually think they are with a long-term view towards "See! Look! Piracy is on the rise! You MUST create new laws that enable us to control the populace's computers and media players!" I cannot imagine anybody not knowing this will increase piracy rates and, thus, I am forced to believe they're doing this with that goal intentionally in mind.
  • I won't spend $30 on a movie just because they make me wait a month. They are only creating resentment and increasing the dissatisfaction customers already have. How long will they ride this wave of arrogance??

  • So I had a choice of using Netflix or some other rental service and getting a movie around the date of availability. Sure I had to wait for a movie to come to DVD, but that generally happens pretty quickly. It wasn't a huge deal. It feels good not to break copyright, and Netflix does compete well with free.

    But now the rules have changed. Today it is a 30 day delay. Tomorrow it might 60 or 90. If one is not willing to buy a DVD, one does not get the movie. Purchase does not compete well with free.

  • Awesome job! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by kellin ( 28417 )

    As everyone has already pointed out, making it HARDER for customers to get YOUR product is only going to DRIVE THEM to find it another way. IE BIT TORRENT or any other piracy trend.

    This is quite clear, in the recent decision by the BBC to broadcast the recent Dr Who two-parter in the US the DAY AFTER it broadcast in the UK. Gee. What were my choices, bit torrent, or wait a WHOLE DAY to DVR it? I chose to DVR, cause it was EASIER and better to watch on my TV.

  • Rogue (Score:2, Informative)

    by pete-classic ( 75983 )

    When Netflix was a rogue outfit that bought DVDs "off the shelf" and thumbed their noses at the studios it was an awesome service.

    Streaming seems to have turned them into a negotiating machine that gives the studios what they want at the expense of the Netflix customer. The result is that it has become a clearinghouse for unpopular content.

    I just tried 'em again for a month, and it has become dismal.


    • Streaming seems to have turned them into a negotiating machine that gives the studios what they want at the expense of the Netflix customer.

      WB must be giving them a massive discount on discs to do this. In theory they can parley that savings into better customer experience in other ways, maybe first-run WB content on streaming.

  • It's a plan (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Looce ( 1062620 ) * on Thursday January 07, 2010 @06:07PM (#30688302) Journal

    It's a plan to make crappier movies and still make money from them.

    Some people rent movies as they come out, before they buy them, to make sure that what they buy is good movies.

    By delaying renting for a month (of February in a non-leap year), the studios are making the more impatient and impulse-buying people buy hyped movies, and you can't back out on that, unless of course you outsmart these guys and wait the month before renting the movie, deciding that it's crap and not buying it.

    Companies prey on impulse buyers. Patience is a virtue.

    • Re:It's a plan (Score:4, Insightful)

      by dreamt ( 14798 ) on Thursday January 07, 2010 @06:26PM (#30688520)

      I agree on the 2nd sentence there -- I won't buy a movie unless I've seen it. There were 1 or 2 overhyped movies that I bought prior to watching them, and never again. If they are delaying my ability to see it first, they are only delaying my ability to purchase it. And if I've waited a month after its come out already, I might as well wait a few more months for it to hit the bargain bin price. So not only have they lost out on me being able to purchase it, they've lost out on my purchasing it anywhere near the "retail" price. Good work. Epic FAIL.

  • by Sloppy ( 14984 ) on Thursday January 07, 2010 @06:11PM (#30688340) Homepage Journal

    The studio is hoping that the four-week window will push consumers interested in watching movies at home to..

    ..check the torrent sites.

  • I really don't need to see "new releases" right away in order to feel like I'm connected in some social sense. Would it be nice? Sure, but it's no more a grand conspiracy against movie consumers than limited-time platform exclusive video game releases are against video game consumers.

    I'm sure someone will find a flaw in my logic.

  • forcing consumers to wait nearly a month if they want to rent popular movies from Netflix

    Well boo fucking hoo. Hey fatass. Get off the couch and do something besides watch TV all day.

  • "It's part of a strategy by several studios to create staggered releases of DVDs so that the most profitable transactions are available first and cheaper rental options take effect further down the road"

    a quite elaborate marketerspeak for "a new way to rape the customer". and then they come complain about piracy ...

  • by Stealth Dave ( 189726 ) on Thursday January 07, 2010 @06:26PM (#30688516) Homepage

    The summary did not mention what Netflix gets out of the deal: more on-demand content. From the article:

    Although Warner's unilateral move against Redbox has led to a court battle, Netflix agreed to the 28-day window in exchange for improved financial terms and more content for its Internet streaming service. (my emphasis)

    As someone who has Netflix Instant Queue available directly on my television (thanks, TiVo), I'm more than happy to wait another month for a latest release if it means I can decide on a Thursday evening that I'd rather watch "Big Movie A" instead of "Big Movie B" without having to wait 2 days (one day to mail back, one day to receive) to see it.

  • by Perp Atuitie ( 919967 ) on Thursday January 07, 2010 @06:33PM (#30688604)
    Amazing. Could it possibly be that a whole bunch of former customers will just forget they were ever interested? Are they going to move back the window for showing on on-demand and premium cable, too? When 95 percent of the product you produce is utter crap, each mostly indistinguishable from all the other pieces of crap, it sure makes sense to make yours harder to get. Of course when the obvious an inevitable effects are felt it will all be the pirates' fault, or some woman videoing a theater party.
  • by joeszilagyi ( 635484 ) on Thursday January 07, 2010 @06:51PM (#30688834)
    It didn't work before, as mentioned elsewhere, with artificial scarcity in the VHS rental days. It won't work now either with the DVD days. Why?

    NOTE: My wife and I have SEVEN full bookshelves of DVD & Blu-Ray. We're movie nuts. We love to watch them. We love to go back and watch ones we particularly like. If they're good, we'll buy multiple editions we want--I've bought two copies of Iron Man, two full sets of Lord of the Rings, and lord knows how many Star Wars. I'll rebuy the latter two on Blu-Ray when they come out. I like to think we're the model of good customers. I don't bit torrent films because unlike some I like the way it looks on the shelf. The same as I like the way my books look on the shelf. Screw E-readers and stacks of ripped discs.

    We also consume Netflix and Comcast OnDemand ravenously, and sometimes the Amazon download rental service or the local actual DVD rental store. Why?

    I don't want to buy EVERY film I see. Some I'm fine with only seeing the once. I don't know if I'll like it. We only go to 10-15 films a year maximum in theaters (probably a lot compared to most). It's one of our main hobbies. Do I buy every film I see in theater on disc? Of course not. Half of them I'll never want to see again because they're either not memorable, not important to me, or total shit. Do I buy films that I've rented? ABSOLUTELY! All of them? Absolutely not! I recently watched GI Joe on a flight. Then we downloaded it on Amazon on a lark. My wife loved it, and she hates that sort of film. Now I want to buy it on Blu-Ray--why? It's fun, and it's a fun film you can watch again and toss on with company over to show off the pretty HDTV and laugh about the heinous execution of our childhood memories of GI Joe. Most importantly, again:

    It's rewatchable.

    Put out consistently quality, engaging films. Aim for every film to be Oscar caliber in some way. That doesn't mean every film has to have an Avatar budget or 99% of the Royal Shakespeare Company in the speaking cast. Pay for a good script. It doesn't have to be a great film--see my GI Joe example above. It's not a great film, but visually? Amazing, and rewatchable for sheer fun with people over. Pay for a good director. Pay for good lighting, decent CGI, good cinematograpy. Make films people will ****WANT**** to see more than once. You many music CDs I've bought in my life for one track that, after I played that track several times, I never listened to that CD ever, ever again? The same thing. Your trailer may be ace--but the film shit. Don't make shit films, and I'll be more likely to buy them. I'm sure the same goes for everyone else too.

    Most importantly, don't piss on your devoted customers that pay your salaries. Rentals drive sales. Quality films drive sales. Crap product to simply have a release will never drive sales.

    You ever notice how each week we get 3-5 new major film releases? You ever notice how 3-4 of them are substandard to the others? I think they're put out as loss leaders. You put out shit like that, and then complain that people don't all buy your annual release catalog on DVD? What did you expect would happen?

    You work at our pleasure. We don't watch your products at yours.

  • by keithpreston ( 865880 ) on Thursday January 07, 2010 @07:01PM (#30688908)

    Redbox sure isn't waiting 28 days on Warner Brother release (or Universal). I saw the Hangover(WB release) just a few days after the December 18th release from a redbox. From a previous post someone said that their brother works for Redbox and basically buys every copy from every walmart in the area at midnight and stock machines. If you don't sell to Redbox, they basically with use the First Sale Doctrine without you.

    Netflix really only has a few reasons for doing this. They know streaming is the future, and they need to reduce costs to be more profitable. Netflix basically don't have much real competition left and have a lot of momentum. So now they are just focusing on profitability rather then growth and competition.

"The one charm of marriage is that it makes a life of deception a neccessity." - Oscar Wilde