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. identicon
    Troy Dyer, 17 Feb 2010 @ 9:14pm

    re

    Being able to rent a movie the day it releases on DVD isn’t a God given right folks. I am surprised(but I shouldn’t be) at the lack of informed responses on this matter. The future will be via streaming. This deal, and ones like it, are a step towards boosting streaming libraries at the cost of a few new releases. Granted this is also a short term, band-aid, fix to get people to buy DVDs but it is also SHORT. How long did you wait last time you wanted a new release on Netflix or Redbox? Do you really want to drive to your local Walgreen’s everyday to check for that new release? I’ve had Hurt Locker on my Netflix queue for over a month and I just got it today. Do some reading and take a minute to think before you respond. This isn’t a perfect model but I’m pretty sure Hollywood is one of the few remaining industries in this country that produces a surplus. Give them some credit for moving things along even if they take a step back to take two forward down the road.

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