Warner Bros. Gets Netflix To Delay Movies; You Don't Save Your Business By Pissing Off Your Customers

from the this-is-a-mistake dept

While not a huge surprise, it's worth discussing just how bad an idea it was for Warner Bros. Studios to get Netflix to delay renting DVDs of its movies for 28 days in order to offer up more streaming content. To recap, the very, very, very confused movie studios seem to think that the way to deal with increasing competition is to just add more windows to releases -- and one way to do that is to delay when you can rent a movie. In the studios' incredibly short-sighted thinking, they believe this will make more people buy DVDs -- the one area of the movie business that has been on the decline of late. At the same time, the studios have been pissed off at Netflix for routing around them and getting rights to stream movies from Starz, and as such, have been denying requests to stream more movies.

So, the compromise is getting Netflix to delay the rentals in exchange for more streaming content.

It's hard to express just how bad an idea this is for Warner Bros., and how far out of touch with their customers they must be to think this makes any sense from a business standpoint. What they are saying is that they are not going to give in to customer demand and offer them what they want, but actually make it more difficult, more annoying and more confusing for them to get what they want -- and (at the same time!) screwing up basic marketing plans as well. Now, when movies are released on DVD and the large group of people who prefers renting to buying goes online to their Netflix account to do so, they won't be able to. Four weeks later, they'll be looking for something else. And, for those who simply want to see it right away, they're now more likely to get it in an unauthorized manner.

Under what set of logic would it ever make sense to give the customer less of what they want in an era when increased competition from other sources is causing them to already wonder if they should buy your product?

Filed Under: business models, dvds, hollywood, movies, rentals, sales, streaming, windows
Companies: netflix, warner bros.


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  1. identicon
    Grea Alexander, 17 May 2010 @ 11:13am

    New Releases

    Call me kooky but if I REALLY want to see a movie that badly, I go and watch it at the movie theater on the great big jumbo screen when it first comes out. If for some bizarre reason I am unable to watch it at the "big theater" then I go and watch it at the $1.50 discount theater. In the rare instance that I want to see a new release that is straight to DVD or foreign, I simply put it to the top of my Netflix queue and continuously receive free extra "bonus" DVDs (DVDs on top of my subscription plan allotment) until they can ship it to me. It's pretty win/win for me.

    I LOVE movies but I consider actually going out into the world and engaging in actual activities with real live people, etc. to be more a priority in my life. There is not one single movie out there that I will throw a fit over if I don't get. If you choose not to watch a movie at the movie theater and have the patience to wait for it to come out on Blu-ray/DVD in the first place, you really must NOT want to see it all that badly, and therefore, waiting an extra month will hardly kill you.

    I do, however, have mixed feelings about this deal and the latest one along similiar lines that has been struck, if only on principle. While I do have a home theatre complete with a Netflix streaming blu-ray player and the more interesting content available via streaming for me to watch when I'm tooling around the house for whatever reason, the better, I also(on principle) don't like the idea of movie studios trying to force anyone into buying their DVD or going to Blockbuster. There's just something very un-American (and likewise very American(wink.)) about it all. We are afterall (in theory) a country that believes in competition are we not?

    Still, however, positive or negative this shift is, only time will tell.

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