backtop


Print 98 comment(s) - last by MrPoletski.. on Jan 14 at 6:15 AM

Arrgghhh this will show those pesky pirates -- we'll cut one of our hottest items!

Netflix revolutionized the movie rental industry when it began offering unlimited movie rentals for a monthly flat rate.  Since 2007, a $16.99 (plus tax) monthly membership fee has granted you access to up to three movies at a time, with unlimited exchanges.  While Blockbuster rushed similarly priced plans to market, it was arguably too little, too late -- Netflix was already a major player and owned many key patents.

Despite that resounding success, all is not rosy for Netflix.  Netflix has been under fire from movie industry, which claims its unlimited deliveries of new rentals is fueling rampant piracy of films.

Under pressure, Netflix just announced that it has incredibly consented to enter a deal with Warner Bros. that will essentially begin to kill its new release program under the premise of fighting piracy.  Under the agreement, Netflix agrees to not offer new releases until 28 days after the DVD/Blu-Ray release goes on sale in stores.

Netflix COO Ted Sarandos appears to have wholeheartedly embraced the idea, which he originally suggested to studios in 2007.  Netflix likely gets a major kick back from the deal, though; if the terms of Mr. Sarandos's original pitch hold true, Warner Bros. will cut its inventory costs with Netflix (the amount it charges the company for its movie stockpile) by 50 percent.

Describes Mr. Sarandos enthusiastically, "Creating a rental window is not a punitive action. It’s a decision that the retailers and studios can make together. If the studios can entice a rentailer to create a rental window, I believe that rentailers, studios and consumers can all benefit from it."

With that attitude and the mutually positive reaction from Warner Bros., it seems likely that other movie studios will follow in suit, signing agreements to cut inventory cost in exchange for no more new rentals.  Netflix is reportedly in advanced talks with Fox and Universal as well.  Other unnamed studios are also discussing similar plans with the rentailer.

For both Netflix and the movie studios the plan is a risky gamble.  Without new rentals, Netflix risks being undercut by Blockbuster.  While the inventory cost cuts ultimately result in a greater monetary gain on paper (as 70 percent of Netflix rentals are from older catalog titles, with approximately 30 percent coming from new releases), whether customers will stomach the change is questionable.

Likewise for movie studios, if customers do accept the deal, but it does not significantly affect buying rates/piracy, the studios stand to lose a great deal of money offering movies to Netflix at greatly reduced rates.  In all likelihood, the biggest loser, though, will be Netflix customers who may soon lose access to the hottest new rentals, which Blockbuster will continue to provide.



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

By phatboye on 1/6/2010 7:43:31 PM , Rating: 2
The real reason why Warner Bros. is pushing this idea is simple; Warner Bros. wants the general public to buy their movies where Warner Bros receives a profit on each copy sold. Warner bros. loses a lot of money to movie rentals and they are willing to do anything they can do to put a stop to it. By requiring the rental industry to delay the rental of movies Warner bros is hoping that more people will opt to by the movie on DVD/BD instead. Unfortunately anyone with half a brain can see that this plan will ultimately not only cause people to resort to obtaining these movies illegally but it probably will not help boost movie sales.
I’m pretty sure that Netflix will be receiving monetary compensation from Warner Bros. in an amount that will more than make up from the losses that they will receive from this decision.




By oab on 1/6/2010 8:16:17 PM , Rating: 2
The article said that Netflix would get 50% reduced costs for warner movies.


By mcnabney on 1/6/2010 10:13:34 PM , Rating: 2
And what percentage of that savings will Netflix pass-on to their customers?

I am guessing 0%, but they may even raise rates.


"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki