Warner Bros. must have thought that CES
was a good week to bury bad news, but unfortunately most people pay attention when you pull a move like this. Netflix has confirmed the rumor
that if you wanna rent movies from the aforementioned studio, you'll have to wait 56 days, twice as long as the previous window. In the press-release (available after the break), the studio states it's doubling the window to maximize potential of its new releases. It also heavily implies that the studio was threatening to withdraw access to its library unless the rental service complied. We're keeping our ear to the ground to hear if similar announcements are forthcoming from Redbox and Blockbuster. Nothing like a little heavy-handed action to convince you that ownership truly is better than renting when it comes to DVD blockbusters, eh? Update:
Redbox got back to us with an official statement:
The current agreement Coinstar has with Warner Bros. is to receive movie titles 28-days after their release. No revised agreements are in place.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment to Make New Release DVD and Blu-ray Titles Available for Rental Only After 56-Day Sales-Only Window
LAS VEGAS, Jan. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group and Netflix, Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) today announced a new agreement that will extend the current 28-day sales-only window to 56 days for Theatrical New Release and made-for-video titles on DVD and Blu-ray Disc.
"Since we implemented a 28-day window for subscription and kiosk, we have seen very positive results with regard to our sell-through business," said Mark Horak, president, Warner Home Video North America. "One of the key initiatives for Warner Bros. is to improve the value of ownership for the consumer and the extension of the rental window – along with our support of UltraViolet – is an important piece of that strategy."
Warner Bros. is balancing its home entertainment revenue streams by creating different times at which a product is available at different prices. A staggered schedule allows the Studio to maximize the sales potential of its theatrical new release titles and VOD offerings.
"Netflix wants to ensure members have continued secure access to Warner Bros. DVDs and Blu-ray discs and, as such, is accepting the 56 day holdback," said Netflix Vice President of Content Anna Lee.
The new agreement was announced at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nev. in conjunction with an annual event held by the Digital Entertainment Group.