Warner Bros. Latest Movie Release Strategy? Confuse The Hell Out Of The Market And Prop Up Blockbuster?

from the at-least-that's-what-it-appears-to-be dept

It’s tough to figure Warner Bros. out these days. It got both Netflix and Redbox to agree to delay renting new release movies for 28 days in an effort to get more people to purchase DVDs. For this, it got hit with a class action lawsuit. But now comes the news that it’s signed a new deal with the financially troubled Blockbuster that has no such restriction. This has lots of people scratching their heads. The obvious answer is that Blockbuster is promising Warner a lot more money…

But there’s a bigger issue here, which goes beyond just commentators scratching their heads: this is going to confuse a lot of customers at a time when that’s the last thing Warner Bros. should be doing. Your average movie renter isn’t paying attention to the silly games that Warner execs are playing, and all they want to know is how come they can’t rent the latest release. If Warner somehow convinced all players not to rent until a certain date, then that would effectively have just shifted the release date further back (a dumb move in an age when windows are shrinking… but that’s Hollywood for you). However, by having the movie available for rental in some places, but not others, it’s now setting itself up for mass customer confusion, where people will hear that a movie is available, but then get pissed off that it’s not available in their preferred rental system.

It’s as if the folks in Hollywood haven’t been paying attention to what happens to companies that aren’t providing what their customers want.

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Companies: blockbuster, netflix, redbox, warner bros.

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Comments on “Warner Bros. Latest Movie Release Strategy? Confuse The Hell Out Of The Market And Prop Up Blockbuster?”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Of course they are helping blockbuster

They see Blockbuster as the new up and coming thing. They reinstated late fees, RETURN TO THE OLD WAYS! Next newspapers will only be selling their paper copies there and disband this crazy internet stuffs. Just you wait and see, hard copies will rise again, DOWN WITH THE DIGITAL AGE!!


Ima Fish (profile) says:

Dear Brothers Warner. I just wanted to let you know that every single movie you’re delaying from Netflix and Redbox was already available for free from bittorrent in high def MKV and DVD quality Xvid formats… before the movies were even released for sale.

Do you really want to make free but high quality bittorrent rips the attractive and rational alternative for consumers? Think about it, please.

Wild about NEW movies says:

It's a business, stupid!

So Netflix and Redbox both agreed to the Warner window, so they could get better pricing and more title depth of OLD movies. Netflix publicly said that over 70% of their demand is for older titles, so what does it matter that they won’t be able to offer Warner movies until 28 days later if they are getting a better deal?

For Blockbuster, they don’t just have stores – so have you not been paying attention??? They have a by-mail subscription service too, kiosks with NCR and a very strong a-la-carte digital rental service where the studios get a piece of the pie. If Warner can get a piece of every rental dollar from Blockbuster (and none from Redbox or Netflix) why wouldn’t they do such a deal to make the most money on their precious new releases???

This is a business, and it’s up to each vendor to make the hard choices to ensure they can actually make money. Blockbuster is a partner to studios with the revenue sharing agreements. Netflix/Redbox are just customers.

The Mad (Patent) Prosecutor says:

Mike sometimes over estimates, sometimes under estimates . . .


Just a somewhat related comment. It seems that sometimes you greatly over estimate the competence of the average consumer, and sometimes greatly under estimate their competence, depending on the point you want to prove.

I know no specifics of this deal. Seems to me, though, if Blockbuster started a campaign “Blockbuster has new releases four weeks before anyone else,” even a so-called “moron in a hurry” would have little confusion that, indeed, Blockbuster has new releases before Netflix, Redbox, etc.

Of course, this (my opinion) is coming from a guy who thinks if his town was covered in speed cameras to the extent that everytime he ever broke the speedlimit, once he got 12 tickets in a ten day period, he’d make darn sure he slowed down. But, since apparently everyone on TechDirt argued that this would do nothing to slow anyone down, I guess it’s (once again) just me.

Danny (user link) says:

Blockbuster Online could have mitigated their downward spiral

with online game rentals. Honestly the only reason I chose Blockbuster over Netflix back with it first started was because I thought they would eventually do online game and movie retals at the same time. But low and behold 6 years later they still haven’t gotten the idea. So they lost out on online movies to Netflix and online games to Gamefly. Damn shame…

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