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Digital distribution is the real winner of Warner/Netflix deal

Ben Drawbaugh

We just love when analysts make obvious statements, it makes us wonder why we aren't professional analysts -- Ralph Schackart, digital media analyst with William Blair & Co. states that companies who rent movies digitally have the most to gain from the recent Warner/Netflix deal. If this doesn't seem obvious to you then consider this. Right now the only (legal) way to rent a new release without leaving the house in the first thirty days is via Netflix. If Netflix strikes similar deals with the other studios, it'll really level the playing field between physical media and digital distribution rental services. It is obvious now that studios want to find a way to roll back the 2009 trend of renting instead of buying, but we're not so sure this new window will have the intended effect. Netflix said that most customers won't notice the new window and in our own personal experience, a 30 day window isn't going to make us buy anything we weren't going to buy already. Assuming we are right, the sooner Hollywood figures this out, the sooner we won't have to wait the extra 30 days, no matter what our preferred distribution channel is.

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