Barely Legally

Confessions of a Moot Court Bailiff

28 Days Laterer

Oh, come on guys. From Reuters:

For the past year, studios have been flirting with stretching out the delays on when Netflix, Redbox and Blockbuster can rent new releases, but it looks like Warner Bros. is going to be the first to take the plunge. The studio plans to make the home entertainment companies wait 56 days from when new releases go on sale to offer DVDs and Blu-rays, according to a report from AllThingsD.

The move is seen as part of an ongoing effort by the industry to prop up a DVD market that has struggled to keep pace with plunging disc sales and a shift among many consumers to digital streaming.

I find it hard to believe that anyone at Warner Brothers thinks that an extra month’s wait is going to be the tipping point here. If making me wait for a few weeks didn’t work, and I haven’t purchased the DVD, how many more weeks do you think will make me buy the DVD? Months? Years?

Actually, here’s a fun story. I went back home to visit my friends and family between Christmas and New Year’s. During that time, we all watched a lot of Netflix together. Here’s a summary of our conversation after finding out that a movie we were looking for wasn’t on Netflix yet:

Me: “Oh, man, it’s not on Netflix yet.” John: “Yeah, I think it’s only been on DVD for a couple weeks.” Me: “Well, let’s watch something else.” John: “Cool.”

Do you notice how, at no point, either of us suggested that we put on our jackets, go out to the cars, drive to the store, and buy the movie? We were in no danger of doing any of that. I know sales of DVDs are way down, but keeping your movies off Netflix isn’t going to help. That article from All Things D has some fun statistics:

Spending on rentals, primarily via Netflix and Redbox, is up 10.9 percent. But that’s not enough to counter a 17.2 percent drop in movie and TV show purchases.

Market demand has shifted from a historically profitable sector to a new one. Do you attempt to sandbag the new market, or do you come up with a new product to meet consumer demand? You don’t have to choose one or the other, but Netflix and Redbox have been around for a long time. What have you guys been doing since then?

Don’t give me that Ultraviolet stuff. When I buy a movie, it comes with a voucher that I can redeem to watch the movie? Awesome! You know what else in the box lets me watch the movie? The damn movie. That I bought. How do you guys look at Netflix and think the killer feature is streaming, and not the “watch frillions of hours of TV and movies” for $8 a month?