Netflix Signs Agreement to Delay New Releases – More Studios are sure to follow

Published Thursday, January 21, 2010 3:18 PM


Netflix the biggest internet rental service and has signed an agreement with Warner to delay the release dates of all Warners movies by 28 days. Movie studios are trying to drive movie sales by preventing movie rental services from renting them on the actual release date. They are hoping that people will go out and buy the movie when it comes out rather than just renting it. The question is will this work and what makes them so sure consumers won't go elsewhere to rent their movies. Since Netflix seems to be open to the idea other studios are sure to follow suit. This means that pretty soon Netflix will be 28 days behind in most if not all new movie releases.

This is the same thing that Redbox, a movie rental kiosk company, was going to court with 20th Century Fox to fight. While one company is going to the mattresses (Godfather reference seemed appropriate) and fighting for the right to rent movies on the actual release date, Netflix is taking it lying down and is signing agreements with them.

The Studios are going to have to sign everyone up to delay movie releases because most people have enough options in the rental market to find someone who has the movie on the release date. Everyone including Apple's iTunes Store, Blockbuster stores and online, other brick and mortar video rental places, RedBox, Xbox live Marketplace, Amazon video, and others. With my current location and devices in my house I could rent a movie from any of those services. So if I really wanted to rent a movie that was delayed by Netflix I would just go somewhere else. They are also assuming people will not pirate the movie. I guarantee you that movie piracy will go up if they start delaying movie releases everywhere. It's a simple fact whenever the movie industry pushes the piracy community pushes back.

I think Netflix did a dumb thing, but I frankly don't care. I can wait till the movies comes out on Netflix. I am in no real hurry to get any movie to watch it right when it comes out, and if I am I'll just use my Apple TV or Xbox or Blockbuster or Amazon. I guess I'll just be a month behind everyone but I think I can handle that. I have never really been concerned when movies are released so I perhaps won't even know it's been out for a month. 
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