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?