In what could be one of the more misguided business decisions since home entertainment became a much more viable thing, thanks in large part to consumers being allowed to rent movies. Specifically, new releases for the home entertainment market.
Recently, thanks in large part to declining purchases of the tangible content — DVD purchases — Warner Brothers announced they would be doubling their 28-day delay to 56 days, which means rental services like Red Box and Netflix wouldn’t be allowed to offer any Warner Brothers new releases until they’ve been on the market for almost two months.
From Warner Brothers’ perspective, such a drastic and perhaps foolhardy move — cutting off one revenue stream to kick-start another one — would improve the potential for home movie purchases, reinvigorating the DVD market, one that sees consumers largely relying on rentals instead of physical purchases.
Over at Variety, they have Warner Brothers’ misguided approach to the home movie market summed up perfectly with the following quote of hot air nonsense:
“The consumer is best served by a windowing and pricing structure that ensures a healthy film business continuing to deliver quality movies. We hope to continue discussions with Redbox and reach a mutually agreed upon solution to this situation, but we fully intend to do what is best for our business, our consumers and the industry as a whole.” [Emphasis added]
If someone can actually get Warner Brothers to expand on that ridiculous “The consumer is best served by windowing,” with some tangible data, instead of relying on unsubstantiated hyperbole, it would be an amazing day. No, Warner Brothers’ true intentions are revealed in the final sentence that says “we fully intend to do what’s best for our business…”
Warner Brothers does not care about the consumer, they only care about their bottom line. Thankfully, however, one company in particular has taken a stand against Warner Brothers’ inane 56-day window. Red Box, the movie rental kiosk kings, is no longer going to abide by the WB’s delay. Instead, they are going to look for alternate means of supplying their customers with the titles they want. From Slash Film’s perspective, this can only mean one thing:
Red Box, instead of relying on Warner Brothers to supply them with new releases, will turn to the world of retail to acquire the content, which will be made available the same day it is released to the public.
In the world of spineless capitulation to these studios — I’m looking directly at you, Netflix — it’s nice to see Red Box take a stand against the studios, favoring the desires of their customers over Warner Brothers’ bottom line. Granted, their means of content acquisition may result in increased new release rental rates (speculation on my part), but the fact is, they are committed to bringing their customers the content they want, even as Warner Brothers hides behind “we know what’s best for the consumer” edicts.