WB Forces Netflix To Wait 28 Days Later For New Releases

Published 4 years ago by

Netflix WB Logo WB Forces Netflix To Wait 28 Days Later For New Releases

A while back when I was writing about movie piracy I happened across an article that stated if the studios really want to work with the consumer and help slow down online piracy, they need to make movies available on the same day across multiple platforms. It was an interesting thought.

I’m guessing Warner Bros. was not listening.

Netflix announced a new agreement with Warner Bros. that is going to allow them to have more direct-to-video offerings and streaming titles from Warner Bros., but there’s a massive catch… One that leaves the consumer out in the cold.

This agreement is going to force Netflix to wait 28 days after a movie has been released for sale on DVD/Blu-ray before they can offer it up as a new rental to members.

I’m surprised that Warners would create this kind of agreement. In the consumer market, I speak my opinion with my wallet – but sometimes that’s very difficult if a particular movie is released that totally knocks your socks off and you want to get your hands on it ASAP. Of course, that’s what Warner Bros. is banking on, isn’t it?

Other studios are probably sitting back and waiting to see how this pans out, but we know how it’s going to end up as some folks will indeed buy the DVDs who might have otherwise just rented them during the first month of release. But for those who tend to rent more than buy this is no bargain. Renting is the more economical method to see a movie and if you cannot afford theater tickets or the purchase price of DVDs, you’re going to be punished and made to wait even longer now.

WB says 75% of a DVD title’s sale takes place in the first 4 weeks of its release. So even with rentals being available at the same time as purchased discs, they’re making 75% of their sales in those initial weeks. So why the reason for the wait? To drive that number to 80% or 85%? Is that worth the ire they’re going to raise among movie fans?

Netflix, playing ball with their new arrangement, calls this a win-win situation all around. They call it win-win because they will get more titles and projects from Warner Bros. to offer their customers. But I have to wonder about this “offering more to the customer” bit. In time, won’t we all be able to access this stuff online anyway?  It is the digital age. It is inevitable. It looks like Warner Bros. is jumping the gun on the future to make some additional bucks while they can.

Right now, I have a choice of whom I wish to support: The studio holding out on me with their rentals vs. the other studios. But if other studios follow suit, then heck, I’m not sure what I’ll do.

Regular readers know my usual stance on online movie piracy. Piracy is a big issue in the industry and this kind of bad policy is not going to help their arguments to stop it.

I’m wondering what Screen Rant readers have to say on this issue? Sound off gang! Let your comments tell Warner Bros. what you think of this. (I don’t blame Netflix. They had a business opportunity, weighed the financial pros and cons, and decided to take it.)

Source: Business Insider

39 Comments

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  1. I now declare this post to officially be a screaming match where all the useful information has fallen by the wayside!

    But it is still fun to read.

  2. “I happened across an article that stated if the studios really want to work with the consumer and help slow down online piracy, they need to make movies available on the same day across multiple platforms”

    I mentioned that in a topic about piracy. I admitted to downloading movies even though I enjoy the theater experience. The problem is distance to the theater, gas money, food money, travel and movie time, seating, annoying patrons and plain old time. I’m sure not all parents have the time to pack up their kids and bring them to a movie, let alone keep their kids quiet so that every one else can enjoy the movie. People have other obligations, the need for babysitters, etc.

    So my solution was simple, offer a digital download online via a studio’s website. They could charge the theater price or even a little more and make their money while people could do what you should do when you see a movie….relax! No worrying about spending, the kids, driving to and from, parking, seating, annoying people, etc. Sure some theaters would close but why not? Movies play for a long time in theaters and with a lot of empty seats. People do enjoy the experience of a big screen and the experience of getting out, but those people have time and money. The fact that WB is now making people wait even longer is going to drive even more people to downloading since it is so convenient.

  3. What the hell is Netflix?

  4. realist

    How about you stop assuming what you think you know about me and my movie watching habits. You assume WAY too much. In fact, if you weren’t so reactionary in your posts, you might find that we share some of the same views. I have been playing devil’s advocate and trying to get you to see the bigger picture. Why the system is the way it is. You seem to be content to be bitter over things that you perceive that Hollywood has done to make it difficult for the little guy to go to the movies. I’m not a rich person. So, please, quit assuming that you know something about my income simply from what I’ve written in a handful of paragraphs. I’ll agree to disagree and walk away.

    On a side note: Is there some sort of revisionist history going on here? What do you call “cram cram”, if not name calling? Come on. We’re all adults (presumably) here and it didn’t offend me, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t start the petty name calling.

    Thanks for the debate, realist. You’ve stood your ground, and I can respect that.

  5. And sorry for hijacking the topic. I think it speaks to the ability of ScreenRant’s writers to produce articles that get people talking, though.

    :)

  6. Stonecrusher: Yup. It happens.

    Dennis: Your reasons for online piracy are pretty much the same weak excuses many use (I’m not calling you weak… I’m calling the reasons / excuses as weak.)

    In the classic days, those who could not afford something went without and did not stoop to stealing. (Or appear to stoop to..) Everything else is just a social issue that most folk have developed a healthy social tolerance for.

    Many many commentors on the other piracy posts here on Screen Rant pretty much tossed a whole bucket of excuses why they steal.

    It’s cute, in a modern wild-west internet world where behavior like that will one day cause the internet to change drastically … and we won’t have the freedoms we do today.

    But I’m more of a classic, ethical minded old-school guy. I only see what I can afford… in either time or money.

    Thanks for chiming in everyone, and thanks for staying civil. It’s appreciated ’cause I hate when my articles comment sections get shut down by those who lose it with each other!

    - Bruce E. Simmons

  7. @ Bruce – I didn’t say I couldn’t afford to go see movies, I clearly said that if I was able to have the film streamed or 1 one time download able viewing for the price of or perhaps more than theater cost on the same release day I would gladly pay for the film. I merely gave a reason many families find it difficult to go to movies in theaters and how it would be nice if they could get the film at home.

    I download films for the convenience, it’s out there, it’s accessible, so I do it. I see movies in the theater when I get the chance. No one in this world is 100 percent innocent so quit acting like your so perfect.

  8. @Dennis

    Bruce isn’t acting perfect. If I say “I don’t believe in shoplifting” is that ME acting “perfect?”

    Vic

  9. Dennis, I thought I removed you from the response. You reminded me of what others have said.

    “I’m calling the reasons / excuses as weak”

    “Many many commentors on the other piracy posts here on Screen Rant pretty much tossed a whole bucket of excuses why they steal.”

    Nope, not perfect bud. We’re talking movie piracy. Something I’ve never done.

    Besides, I jaywalked this morning walking to work… and I’ll probably jaywalk again tomorrow when I’m running. (Sorry, my snark rages out of control on Friday.)

  10. @Kant

    Yes and no. ;)
    The movie industry just made their biggest paycheck. Are you saying WB still needs MORE money?

    How can “they” say they need/require more money (by increasing prices/rentals etc.) but having their best time ever?

    As for salaries and stuff… yes back in the day when I knew I would get what I paid for in a movie based on who was in it I would go. (or not)

    However now adays actors/writers/production/producers et al seem to be in it JUST for the money. Sorry I get paid well for my job. I do a damn good job consistently, if I dont well my pay and or stauts reflects that. IT doesnt appear that way in “Hollywood”.

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