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
    Jim Johnson, 7 Jan 2010 @ 12:50pm

    Netflix User that isn't mad

    I think this is a win for Netflix. An artificial 28 day window does suck, I will agree with that. But personally, my fiance and I are not so worked up over seeing a new movie that we planned on netflixing that an extra 28 days is going to matter. If we want to see a movie bad enough/it seems worth it we'll hit the theater. Otherwise, we just add it to our queue and wait for it to be available. If this move gets more new releases available for streaming after the 28 day wait period, that's fantastic news to me. I think (hope) Netflix is just using this as a foot-in-the-door scenario. I doubt it'll be difficult for them to show WB how much opportunity they are missing out on by not just making this stuff available immediately.

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