Redbox Caves To Warner Bros., Will Delay New Movie Releases From Kiosks

from the dumber-and-dumber dept

Some of the movie studios (admittedly, not all of them) have been on a braindead fight against Redbox -- despite the fact that Redbox had created a service that people liked and were paying for and that generated revenue for the movie industry. There are still ongoing lawsuits, but today came the news that Redbox caved to Warner Bros., on the most important point: delaying the availability of new release movies until 28 days after the release. Yes, this is the same deal that Warner Bros. convinced Netflix to agree to last month. Basically, Warner Bros. is telling people to either not rent its video or to download them from an unauthorized source.

The whole thing makes no sense at all. Warner Bros. mistakenly thinks that if people can't rent a particular DVD in the first four weeks of release, they're more likely to shell out money to actually buy the DVD. This is Warner Bros. pretending that it can influence customer behavior by denying them what they want. That's a strategy that has never worked well. What this means is that at the moment when Warner Bros. actually puts some marketing effort behind the DVD release, that movie will not be available from the most popular rental options. And, the bizarre reasoning put forth by Netflix that this would benefit customers by improving inventory and availability of movies is not seen in reality. So rather than pissing off some customers because a movie is not available, you're now pissing off all customers by making the movie not be available on purpose, and then effectively massively increasing the amount of time they have to wait to see the movie? Does no one at Warner realize that a lot of those "customers" will simply decide to go see other movies or to download an unauthorized copy instead?

Based on Warner Bros., logic here, why release movies at all?

Filed Under: delays, kiosks, movies, releases, rentals, windows
Companies: netflix, redbox, warner bros.

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  1. icon
    REM(RND) (profile), 16 Feb 2010 @ 8:11pm

    Well, there goes another good thing...

    Now that Redbox is forced into this deal, they are going to lose some more revenue. Here's how. I'm too poor to afford seeing movies in theaters. So, I rely on Redbox to be able to rent them (local video store is both more expensive and has smaller selection). If I rent a movie and I like it, I usually end up buying it. Now, here's where the trouble pops in. When a movie is just released BestBuy and Walmart have the price lowered right away for the first week or two (don't quote me on exact time). NOW when I rent a movie, if I like it and want to buy it it'll be back up to full price since it's a month after the release. Then I'm forced to wait for it to be in the $5.00 bin until I can get it. By then, I doubt I'd even remember the movie exists, let alone want to buy it at that time.

    The movie studios behind deals such as this must be brain-dead to not figure this bit of economic madness out. It's stunts like this that end up causing people to go to file-sharing sites to download the movie. If the movie industry can't do anything smart, they should do nothing at all and leave everything as it is instead of making things worse.

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