Did Paramount Take a Shot at Netflix’s Streaming Service?

Should more movie studios offer direct streams?

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Did Paramount Take a Shot at Netflix’s Streaming Service?
[ Technology]

As many Netflix users are already well aware of, the company has something of an issue with new movies released to the home consumer. In fact, one of the biggest complaints about the Netflix streaming service is the abject lack of this new material, something Netflix doesn’t consider an issue, regardless of what their customers say.

Granted, it’s easy to understand why Netflix would try to spin their services in a positive, but the fact remains, it comes off like they don’t care about their members. Perhaps those who are minding the Netflix corporate offices would be better served laying the blame at the feet of the companies that deserve instead of responding to the issue with mere lip service reactions. The companies in question who deserve the blame for this lack of new movie releases (for the home, or course) are the movie studios themselves.

It’s really not Netflix’s fault Warner Brothers would rather a flaying Blockbuster and On Demand services get their new releases first, although, perhaps Netflix could’ve pushed back a little stronger.

As with most things having to do with access in regards to entertainment content, it comes down to money.

With that in mind, is Paramount’s latest marketing move for the home release of Transformers: Dark of the Moon a shot at Netflix or the entire middle man industry that makes up home movie distribution? The reason for query has to do with the fact that, if you are so inclined, you can rent the third installment in the Transformers series directly from Paramount via their video on demand service.

The rental, which costs $4.99 for high-def and $3.99 for standard, can only be seen — this soon — at Paramount’s VOD site. Previously, Paramount partnered with Facebook to show Jackass, but apparently, the buzz fizzled on that arrangement, and so, Paramount circumvented every middle man out there and decided to offer the stream on their own property.

Is this strategy a direct shot at Netflix? Is this the wave of the future in regards to home movie rentals/purchases? If so, why did Paramount (and others) wait so long to offer their own content, nixing out companies like Amazon and, of course, Netflix? Or does removing potential revenue streams — just HBO did with Netflix — about as misguided of business decision as one can make?

Or is this a case of these studios asking too much for their prime content, and so, services like Netflix and others simply decline the opportunity to participate? After reading about the Starz/Netflix break up, which, again, was all about money, Netflix not wanting to be held hostage by these distribution companies makes sense.

Unfortunately, however, such territorial pissings only hurt the consumer.

All things considered, it’s honestly surprising studios like Paramount haven’t said “screw the middle man” much sooner than they have, especially now that technology clearly supports the streaming of content, even content as large as high definition movies. Is Dark of the Moon the first step in an inevitable trend or is this simply a marketing ploy on Paramount’s behalf?

Let us know what you think.

Did Paramount Take a Shot at Netflix’s Streaming Service?
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  • RED777

    it just sounds like you really dont have a clue what you are talking about. NFLX is positioned as an on-demand deep library streaming business and it has never participated in the PPV window — otherwise it would compete with its distribution partners such as Apple for example. The players who are in the PPV VOD window are 1)Apple iTunes, 2) Blockbuster Streaming, 3) Walmart, 4) Amazon, 5)the cable and satellite operators, and 6)studio direct — in other words, everyone and their grandmother as well.

    NFLX only participates in the recent release films during the DVD window via its DVD rental business which is totally different then its library streaming business. The reason that studios dont want to offer new films to what is typically the exclusive unlimited use broadcast window (HBO/Showtime/Starz etc. and now NFLX with its Dreamworks Animation production output deal) which always follows the DVD window is because the studios want to manage their yields at various distribution windows. The relevant comparison is that NFLX is becoming competitor to what used to be known as the premium cable channels (HBO etc) for studio output deals and new original TV programming. Do you see HBO, Movie Channel, Cinemax streaming or broadcasting the new Transformer – answer is No, that’s not their exhibition window. The pecking order is: theatrical exhibition, then PPV, then DVD, then premium channel, then TV syndication. NFLX streaming plays in those last two slots as opposed to its physical Qwickster DVD by mail business that plays in the physical DVD window (with a negotiated delay), and thereafter since DVD is permanent archival for repeated re-use after that.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/ Chris Richardson

      So wait, you’re saying I don’t know what I’m talking about in relation to Netflix offering new releases? LOL, what? Apparently, you’ve been drinking that red envelope Kool-Aid. Furthermore, you’re trying to justify a service that specializes in video rentals but not new releases, and that’s just pathetic.

      As for TV, no HBO doesn’t have Transformers YET, BUT it is available on demand. So yeah, so much for that. And somehow, we’re supposed to believe this is a good thing for Netflix? Apparently, you don’t have any idea of how movie rentals worked before Netflix came into our lives. Or back when Netflix had the new releases as soon as they were available in stores.

      Maybe you should try again, because your defense of Netflix fails and falls apart under the slightest bit of scrutiny. Thanks for commenting, though.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/ Chris Richardson

      ” then PPV, then DVD, then premium channel, then TV syndication”

      Wow, another misrepresentation. PPV and DVD are available at the same time, and if you don’t believe me, why is it I can go to the store and BUY Transformers 3 the same day it’s available on demand, but yet, I can’t rent it?

  • lca

    I don’t understand how this is a shot at Netflix. You would think that if an agreement with facebook, one of the largest possible audiences, didn’t work as great vehicle for moviehouses to rent their own films, why would netflix care about this particular experiment.

    Apple rents current releases. Amazon current releases. And, yet, they haven’t blown Netflix out of the water. Clearly there’s demand for the all you can eat approach, but it’s clearly too expensive to do all you can eat with new releases. Plus, HBO and others like them seem to feel that participating in all you can eat diminishes their brand and content value.

    I think if everyone had the Brand recognition of HBO, then maybe something like this would work. For any given film, I can’t rattle off who made it and then find the appropriate website. It just makes tv watching harder not easier. If there were a channel guide for all streaming rentals and I could pick my move and watch it and didn’t have to navigate to a specific site, then maybe. And, I’d want this capability on my TV.

    The middleman is always going to exist as long as the middleman has deep pockets. I think it’s funny Starz turned down 300 million dollars. I guess they haven’t noticed that DVD and bluray sales aren’t hot and that digital sales aren’t so hot either. But, maybe they think that streaming is a temporary fad, and cable will win out.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/ Chris Richardson

      The shot is this: Hey Netflix, sorry about the non-streaming of new releases at your site, but look at what we’re doing. If production companies streaming their own content is not a direct threat to Netflix’s business, I don’t know what to say.

  • Rick Vaughn

    Lack of new content is clearly an issue and the reason I ended up leaving, so I never ended up cancelling my Blockbuster account. I mean, the prices were reasonable, and never had an issue with late fees because I’m an adult and had no problem returning a borrowed item by the promised time. And even working for DISH Network I know their new Blockbuster Movie Pass is great, streaming and rentals via mail. I’m very much content with them once again.

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