Netflix Will Screw You For The Right Price

Hollywood studios are sick of you renting their DVDs and want you to start buying them again. The way to trick you into this, they figure, is to withhold the discs from rental companies for a month, forcing you to get all antsy and run out and buy them.

What’s frightening for customers is Netflix is willing to go along with this thick-headed plan, PaidContent reports, as long as the company gets its DVDs for half off.

If the deal goes through it will no doubt hurt both parties. Trashing the value of its service, Netflix will lose subscribers, and the studios won’t see the sales bump they’re hoping for since a chunk of otherwise honest would-be renters will either opt for piracy or just sit out the 30 days to rent the movies.

Netflix customers, will you be more likely to buy a DVD or Blu-ray if you’re not allowed to rent it until a month after it’s released? Will you stick with Netflix even if it stops offering new releases in a timely manner?

Netflix Wants 50 Percent Discount Under Release Delay Scenario [PaidContent via TechCrunch]
(Photo: Great Beyond)

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  1. halcyondays says:

    Are we becoming so much like children that we have to something NOW? Jeez, wait the 30 days and read a book.

    • cameronl says:

      @halcyondays: I concur. Anyone who HAS TO HAVE the movie NOW, is probably going to buy it anyway.

    • barb95 says:

      @halcyondays: Yup. I’ll wait. They usually have long waits on new releases anyways and by the time I actually get the time to sit down and watch it, it has been one or two months.

    • Xay says:

      @halcyondays: My Netflix queue has over 200 DVDs on it – I can find something to watch while I wait for the new release.

    • Cyberxion101 says:

      @halcyondays: Not to mention that I generally don’t get new releases from Netflix until months after they hit DVD anyway, so this doesn’t really effect me at all. I won’t be any more likely to run out and buy a DVD than I already am, which isn’t very.

      And hey JonThomasDesigns, way to add to the discussion there, buddy. :P

    • lukesdad says:

      @halcyondays: I know, seriously.

      Do the studios really think that most people want to buy the 95% crap they put out every year?

      To me, most movies are “renters” and — very occasionally — I’ll buy something I really like. Even then, I’ll go to Amazon to see if I can buy it as a download first.

      In other words, if most people are like me (and why wouldn’t they be!?), this would have no effect whatsoever on their decision to buy a movie vs. rent. It would, however, have the effect of strengthening our collective hatred of the major movie studios, no?

      • The Cynical Librarian says:

        @lukesdad: Buy how else will watch generic romantic comedy starring JuliaRoberts/KatherineHeigl/SandraBullock? I have to know if they’ll end up together!

        Maybe if Hollywood stopped serving us turd sandwiches in place of real movies. We might be interested in purchasing it. More often than not with most movies I’ll watch once and I’m done with it forever.

    • Sunshine1970 says:

      @halcyondays: I can wait, too. I have a ton on my Netflix list, and our local library also is a good resource for DVD’s. So, we have plenty to watch, if we choose…or go outside and enjoy the day (lol)

      At any rate, husband and I made a deal that we could not buy any DVD’s for a year (Deal ends July 1st 2010) and so far, we have found we haven’t missed out on anything, nor is there anything we want to buy.

      I think in the end, the movie companies may find this 30-day wait on rentals may bite them in the butt.

      Some will buy, most will wait, but then there are those few who will find ‘other ways’ to get the movie they really want.

    • anduin1 says:

      @halcyondays:
      I think the article still has a valid point, if you’re getting antsy then piracy becomes a very alluring prospect instead of waiting 30 days. Now this doesn’t apply to me because I’m not really a big movie nut anyway and usually watch my movies in spurts (3 in a day once a month type of deal) so really neither change affects me deeply.

    • Newvox says:

      @halcyondays: Yes, I can wait or procure through other means.

      It still bothers me that a vendor will try to force, not entice or convince, a desired action from customers. I hope their number keep on dropping.

      And I know this happens all the time. That also bothers me. But this is just one instance we’re talking about.

      • dragonfire81 says:

        @Newvox: I agree businesses try to force their customers to do things all the time. Just the other day I was commenting how some companies are obsessed with adapting their customers to their business instead of the other way around (as it should be).

        Unfortunately it’s the studios that are being dicks about this, not Netflix. Netflix would prefer to have new releases available on day 1, but they are at the mercy of the studios because without studio agreements, Netflix has no tangible product to offer. Therefore the studios abuse this power and effectively blackmail Netflix into a policy change.

    • narq says:

      @halcyondays: If you have to have something RIGHT NOW! Doesn’t that usually mean you go buy it? I mean do you really want to wait 4 days and hope that you get the movie? I’m looking to get netflix and I really don’t care if I have to wait for new releases.

      This reminds me of this old guy who was complaining that he had to wait 5 minutes to get seated and 15 minutes to get his food at a restaurant. What is wrong with people? You can wait. If your life revolves around seeing a movie the minute it’s out you need something else to do or you should just BUY THE MOVIE.

      It’s not like people only have 2 movies on their netflix list anyway. Watch something else while you wait or maybe go outside.

    • PhiTauBill says:

      @halcyondays: I don’t have an issue with the idea as long as Netflix is going to pass on savings to customers or enhance other features of its service. This would seem to open up the door for a competing service offering no wait, but higher prices (READ: Yo Blockbuster, here is something that might actually make sense as a business model).

    • korybing says:

      @halcyondays: Honestly. If you really can’t wait to see the movie again chances are you’re gonna buy it anyway because waiting a day or two for Netflix to send it will be too excruciating a wait.

      My only problem with Netflix is their tendency to offer half a show on Instant Watch and the other half through DVD only (and the DVD-Only ones are in the middle of a batch of Instant Watch ones, naturally). I don’t care about them getting new releases a little late.

    • thisistobehelpful says:

      @halcyondays: Um… that’s the entire philosophy behind our economy.

    • ShadowFalls says:

      @halcyondays:

      It isn’t about waiting the time, it is about waiting for no other reason than some executives who think this idea is going to so brilliantly roll in a large sum of money.

    • FaustianSlip says:

      @halcyondays: I don’t think I have a single new release on my Netflix queue, at least not at the moment. I use Netflix primarily for older movies, documentaries and TV series. Any new movie that I absolutely have to see right this second I’ll either see in the theater or buy (though nine times out of ten, if I’m buying the movie, I’ve already seen it in the theater).

      I wouldn’t cancel my Netflix subscription or anything over this, but I won’t be buying any more DVDs than I would have already, either. Sorry, film industry.

    • stlbud says:

      @halcyondays: Agreed. It is just as much fun later as it would be NOW!

  2. Falcon5768 says:

    I never fell over myself to pick up new movies anyway. 99% of them where not only crap in the theaters, but crap not even worthy of a rental.

    So for the few decent ones out of the bunch who cares.

    • kaceetheconsumer says:

      @Falcon5768: Exactly. Anyone who desperately wants to see a new release of a DVD probably saw the movie in the theatres and is probably going to buy it anyway because they’re after the extras and they’ll want those around long-term.

      Most other people will be willing to wait 30 days.

      And those of us who are very frugal are used to waiting in the long library queue anyway. So if they make libraries wait to buy, whatever, I’ll just watch something else in the meantime. Anything where I’d be sad enough to have to wait is something I would have bought the day it was released.

    • shepd says:

      @Falcon5768:

      If anything, this plan will cause fewer sales.

      Think about it: You get 1 month more of reviews on the DVD itself and the movie, too. That means 1 more month to decide if the movie is worth it, and that means fewer sales for bad movies and bad transfers, of which there’s a lot.

    • Trick says:

      @Falcon5768:

      I already have a backlog of NetFlix movies that I have not watched yet. I only get one at a time and I copy it to my media center PC… once I watch it I delete it but I average one NetFlix movie viewing a week these days…

      I don’t care if a movie comes after another 30 days, chances are I am not watching it until 60-90 days with my backlog.

    • iammoses says:

      @Falcon5768:
      I agree, most movies are not worth the 8-9 dollar ticket prices anymore. The last movie I feel over myself to pick up was LoTR 1-2-3 and the LoTR Directors Cut of 1-2-3. I love it.

    • zlionsfan says:

      @Falcon5768: Amen. I doubt I’d even notice if they were doing this right now.

    • krunk4ever says:

      @Falcon5768: Plus you’ve already waited who knows how many months since it was released in theaters, what’s 30 more days?

  3. derivativemandan says:

    Yes, I’ll keep using Netflix. My queue is so long that it’ll be years before I see last year’s new releases.

    • searonson says:

      @derivativemandan: Agreed. If I just can’t wait to see something, I see it in theaters when it comes out. Waiting for the DVD won’t bother me. And, if Netflix can get its DVDs cheaper, then that leaves them more money to improve other services like their instant streaming. Buying DVDs is just a waste of space and money.

      • pegr says:

        @searonson:

        Wow, it looks like NetFlix made the right call from a business perspective. No, I don’t like them caving to the studios, but based on the general tone of NetFlix customers here, NetFlix gets the benefit of preferred pricing, which of course is reflected in their price.

        While The Consumerist rightly calls out NetFlix for submitting to the demands of an abusive content industry, let us not forget that keeping prices reasonable is in the customer’s best interest as well.

    • meadandale says:

      @derivativemandan:

      Exactly…Apparently the desire to have movies immediately wasn’t THAT strong because that was BlockBuster’s bread and butter and where are they now?

  4. h3llc4t, breaker of office dress codes says:

    I mostly forget when movies are released until they’ve been out for a few weeks, anyway. For some people this will severely devalue the Netflix service but for us memory-impaired renters it might not be a big deal.

    • zacox says:

      @h3llc4t, breaker of office dress codes: Nah. But I will tell you one thing the studios are not banking on.

      Studios that withhold their titles run the risk of people downloading them when they are released rather than waiting to rent them when available. So, what will have happened is that they lose both the buyers’ money and the Netflix money beacuse there won’t be as much Netflix demand.

      • floraposte says:

        @zacox: I was wondering about this. I know British television DVDs are starting to come out immediately after the broadcast of the final episode, and the perception is that it’s an anti-torrenting measure.

    • elleeldritch says:

      @h3llc4t, breaker of office dress codes: Same here! I’ll stay with netflix even if they decide to wait. My memory is so bad that I’ve got to the point where I immediately add a movie to my queue if I know I won’t pay to see it in theaters. That way I don’t have to remember the title in a couple of months time and it’ll automatically add to my queue when it’s available!

  5. GeorgeO says:

    Gee let me see, I have 75 movies in my Watch Now queue…maybe I could watch something else while I wait the 30 days?

    Netflix can do no wrong by me. I’m paying $10 a month, and I’ll be a customer till I die.

    • xnihilx says:

      @GeorgeO: I agree. There’s plenty to “Watch Now.” Besides, I mostly signed up for Netflix to watch movies I CAN’T rent ANYWHERE else. Honestly, I really don’t care about the new movies. My queue is so long that, like the other commenter, it’ll take years. I think I’ll have absolutely no problem with waiting. Besides, I almost never buy a new to video movie if I’ve not seen it in a theater. Rarely, do I run right out and buy something. I have to really be in love with it to do so. My personal rule is if I’m going to rent it more then twice then buy it.

      • RevancheRM says:

        @xnihilx: Same column for me. Thirty days will go by in a blast for me. In the rare event something is worth buying (Dark Knight, Serenity, The Unit), I’ll buy it whether or not its 30 days-late.

    • larkknot says:

      @GeorgeO: I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Netflix – they even let you suspend your service (i.e. billing for it) for up to 3 months without any kind of penalty. While it’s true that the selection of MOVIES on the Instant Watch is a bit lacking, the selection of TV shows that I like to watch is not. And, for example, just to watch the first 6 seasons of SVU, which I have done over the past 3 months on Instant Watch, it would have cost me roughly $150 at Blockbuster to rent the physical DVDs, or around $200 to buy them. Netflix has only cost me about $50 over the same time period, and I’ve watched so many other things as well, both instantly and by renting.

  6. bornonbord says:

    I will have no problem waiting. There are plenty of movies I haven’t seen in the back catalog that are on my queue.

    Being on the cutting edge of film releases isn’t what it once was for me. Good movies will still be good later, and people are more than willing to talk about them well after the release.

    • P=mv says:

      @bornonbord: I usually wait the 3 or 4 months till the DVD price goes down if I’m going to buy anyways. So, the wait for rental won’t affect me much at all. I also have a backlog for my list on Netflix about 40 items long. With only one disc coming in at a time, I am in no hurry to see the new stuff right away.

  7. chris_l says:

    I used to pirate movies, watch them, and if I enjoyed them I’d buy them. Since I was so picky about what I watched, I bought about 80% of the stuff I previewed that way.

    Then I got Netflix. Same thing; if I saw it in theaters and loved it, or rented it and loved it, I’d buy it. But since I made a few rules (not buying any non-episodic TV except in extremely rare circumstances, Blu-Ray only for movies, etc), I’ve been buying significantly less.

    This has worked out from me. I am no longer being burnt buying a movie sight unseen because it sounds cool but in actuality it sucks ass. I no longer buy TV shows that I’ll never rewatch (have you ever actually said “you know what I really want to see right now? The Sopranos, season 5 episode 12″?) either. If they do this, I’ll simply either wait longer to rent and by proxy, then buy, or the movies I don’t care much about will fall totally off my radar and I won’t buy it OR rent it.

    • randombob says:

      @chris_l: @chris_l: My thoughts EXACTLY. I follow the same exact pattern of usage & buying habits, too. I’ve had that same thought about TV shows as well.

      Sitcoms? OK, they’re rarely following a necessary story arc, but Lost? Sopranos? BSG? Yeah, you can’t just pop in a disc and a random episode, you really need to watch it all beginning-to-end.

    • Ben_Q2 says:

      @chris_l:

      Close to the same. I will buy a TV show only when it ends, and the ending is good. If not, remember TSCC it ending with a CH.

      • redkamel says:

        @Ben_Q2: I stopped buying movies since most of them suck; I only buy the old classics, or stuff thats hard to find (for example, I doubt the Logan’s Run will be in print forever). I also only buy TV shows if they are documentary series, like Blue Planet or NOVA. I like educational/documentaryl TV, and todays educational TV is mostly “cool footage”. The old educational stuff was actually educational. Its really stunning. Go watch NOVA or Life of Bugs then check out anything on Discovery Channel. Its all statistics about dinosaurs.

  8. Pibbs says:

    I’ll stick with Netflix, thanks. Between my xbox and the movies coming in, I’ll wait to watch something 30 days later. It’s the same reason I don’t go to the theater anymore. Too expensive, and I can wait.

    Patience is a virtue.

    • NICU says:

      @Pibbs: I’d be even happier if 30 days after the DVD release everything was streamed…

    • zandar says:

      @Pibbs: Agreed with you, Pibbs.

      My last twenty movies were watched online; the last two were Zontar: Thing From Venus and One Crazy Summer. Am I going to get my boxer briefs in a bunch about new movies arriving 30 days later? Not even a little bit.

  9. robdew2 says:

    I could care less if I wait another month for movies I’ve already waited months for.
    I say we encourage netflix to do this to cut their costs and teach the studios a lesson.

  10. MeOhMy says:

    Why would anyone NOT wait the 30 days? Have you run out of discs in your Netflix queue or something?

    Do studio execs really think this will get anyone with a brain to go out and buy a DVD that they otherwise were planning on watching via Netflix? There’s two kinds of DVDs: those I want to own, and those I do not want to own. It has nothing to do with whether or not I can watch it on Netflix on any given day.

    • lmarconi says:

      @MeOhMy: Agreed. If I so desperately need to see something in the first 30 days, I’ll buy it because it’s a rare occurance.
      Otherwise, I’m still working on releases from this time last year in my Netflix queue. I’d rather Netflix keep their prices where they’re at and make deals.

  11. JRock says:

    No, I won’t go buy movies while I still have my Netflix subscription. I have plenty of other movies in my queue that I could wait a few weeks before seeing the newest releases.

    Besides, the only movie I really want to buy right now is the LoTR Extended Edition on Blu-Ray (which, as far as I know, has no current release date :( )

  12. revmatty says:

    I think I’m pretty atypical in that I tend to watch a movie years after it comes out on DVD. I feel no compelling need to watch [movie x] AS SOON as it comes out. There’s probably 500 movies I haven’t seen that I know I want to see, and tens of thousands of others that I’d want to see if I knew about them. 30 day delay has zero impact on me.

    Also moot for me in that I very very very rarely buy movies anyway. There’s not a lot of movies I’m going to want to watch more than once or twice, and I hate physical media so if I do buy one it’s going to be an HD digital delivery movie anyway.

  13. Khidr9 says:

    This would never get me to buy a DVD/BR. Aside from the fact that it’s just silly, there are usually about 20 movies on my list at any given point. Add to that TV that I’m rarely caught up on, books I want to read, and going out and spending time with my family and friends.

    I subscribe to Netflix because it is what I’m willing to spend to watch movies.

    I honestly can’t blame netflix for going along with it. They buy a lot of movies, and not getting a 50% discount for them on the volume they buy would just be bad business.

  14. toddkravos says:

    i barely watch new releases anyway.
    i’ll wait thank you very much

  15. PillowTalk says:

    Yeah, I don’t see this as a big deal. I don’t really rent new releases, though, so it’s not something that really affects me. I don’t see any problem with Netflix agreeing to it for cheaper prices – the cut in cost will allow them to offer more services, better customer service, etc. I mean hell, they are a business, they do have to make money somehow. Having to wait 30 days for new releases doesn’t make it some big meanie corporation out to screw us, especially when we’re paying such cheap prices for such a useful service.

    Also, if I desperately need my new releases RIGHT NOW OMG!, I have a Hollywood Video in my neighborhood that is pretty cheap. This isn’t going to force me into buying DVDs at all.

  16. wenhaver says:

    I don’t have cable anymore, and have both a disc queue and an instant queue a mile long. Once in a great while I’ll buy my kids a movie, but the last time I bought a new release for those over 5 in my household? Years. I can wait the 30 days.

    Then again, I also think that the studios need to chill. There’s street dates and PPV dates and things like that already, and it makes the whole system messy. Give consumers a better incentive to buy, and they probably will. But if you’re just slapping the movie on a disc, eh, we’ll wait.

    • ichiban1081 says:

      @halcyondays: I can wait the 30 days. Also, I really hate it when studios rush out a movie on DVD/Blu-ray only to release a directors cut or extended cut a month or so later with new footage and/or better video quality. Waiting 30 days won’t be a big deal for a lot of people.

  17. INTPLibrarian says:

    Same as most everyone else has said. I have no problem waiting 30 days, so I won’t be leaving Netflix, nor will this make me go out and buy DVDs.

    *shrug*

  18. InsertPithyNicknameHere says:

    I have a Netflix account so that I can rent older / obscure movies, not so I can see the latest new releases. So, this change wouldn’t affect my Netflix experience at all.
    And, since I don’t buy movies sight-unseen, the only thing it’s likely to do is make me wait before I decide whether or not to buy.

  19. microcars says:

    How is NetFlix wrong here? If the studios won’t provide them with rental DVDs until 30 days after they go on sale, what is NetFlix supposed to do? Screw up their business plan and buy the DVDs for RETAIL PRICE so us consumers can get them for a $1?

    I don’t buy DVDs. I rent them. When they become available on NetFlix is when they become available for me. 30 extra days is nothing. And if it means that NetFlix can get their stock for 50% off, great! That means less operating costs for NetFlix and more chances that it will stay in business longer for me to use their service.

    Consumers are not entitled to get rental DVDs the same day a Studio releases it to the public. If RedBox or DVDplay wants to go out and pay retail for those movies and put them in their kiosks they are welcome to do so. I think this is a smart move on the part of NetFlix.

    • Dyscord says:

      @microcars: True. We should be blaming the movie studios, not Netflix.

      This will hurt the studios more than netflix anyway. Especially if they do this for other services like Blockbuster and Redbox

    • billy says:

      @microcars: I agree. Netflix could try to sue, but that’s expensive and it probably won’t be successful anyway (and it would piss off their vendors, the studios). Netflix could buy the discs at retail or through unorthodox channels, but it will end up costing more money and there would probably still be a delay in getting the discs to customers (and it would drive the price of the service up). OR, Netflix could try to squeeze some value out of this deal and get their discs for half off.

      The third option keeps their vendors happy and keeps prices low.

      This article makes it seem like Netflix is deliberately going out of its way to screw its customers.

  20. White Speed Receiver says:

    Oh no! Now I’ll have to wait another 30 days to watch the next movie in my queue. That means that I won’t get to see….Captain Blood right away. Wait, crap. Next in line is…Apocolypse Now? Is there anything in this list that’s newer than 15 years old? Nope? Ok, good.

    I just use Netflix to watch old movies and re-watch ones that I haven’t gotten around to buying yet. This won’t affect me at all.

  21. Nakko says:

    The vast majority of stuff I would want to rent is way older than a month anyway. There’s so much DVD content you could pick any favorite genre and never catch up. I wish Netflix weren’t going along with this, but then again, maybe it won’t be so bad. Maybe it will show Hollywood that their little idea won’t work.

  22. larrymac thinks testing should have occurred says:

    I’m not likely to buy any DVD. I used to buy a lot of them. Then one day I looked at the IKEA Benno full of discs, some of which still had shrinkwrap on them, and realized that I just don’t need to buy DVDs.

  23. Aesteval says:

    If the studios want people to buy more movies, then they should get Blu Ray costs a little more competitive. I’m only buying on Blu Ray now and it’s only movies that I really want.

    As for Netflix and having to wait a month before it can be rented? Meh. If it’s something that I really wanted I wouldn’t want for Netflix to have it on the first day anyway, I’d want to get it myself. If Netflix can leverage that studios pointless whinings for something that would likely make little difference to put themself in a better position? Then why not do it.

    Of course this is coming from someone that has 250+ DVDs in their queue and 400+ in their streaming queue.

  24. bigd7387 says:

    How does this effect on demand? Couldn’t this somehow be illegal to still offer on demand through cable but withhold it to others who rent. What about on demand Netflix?

  25. sirwired says:

    Hey, if Netflix wants to keep their costs (and therefore my subscription fee) down by getting the movies a little later in return for them being half off, so be it. I don’t see the harm in waiting a few extra weeks to rent the disc.

  26. bitplayer says:

    The netflix experience is great. I have the movies come out when they come out on Netflix.

  27. Hobz says:

    The motion picture industry is shooting themselves in the foot on this.

    I will never buy a movie again. I just don’t see the need to own something that I don’t watch but once anyway. I absolutely love the Netflix view on demand solution and wish they COULD expand on it further to include new releases.

    If there is a movie I really want to see, I’ll see it in the theater because of the experience the theater offers (high prices, the smell and over extended bass). Otherwise I’ll wait for it to come out on rental.

    When will they start to embrace technology?!?!?!

    • flugennock says:

      @Hobz: Call me old-fashioned, but I like having actual physical copies of old movies and old TV shows and record albums. Like old books, even though you may not re-view/read/hear them, it’s something tangible, something you can share — something that Sony or DreamWorks or Amazon can’t reach out and snatch back from you over the ‘Net.

      I still plan on keeping my physical copies of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, and On The Road, and A Night At The Opera, and 2001, and American Beauty, and Dark Side Of The Moon, and Abbey Road because while I may not re-read/re-watch/re-hear any of them right away, they’re all important and tangible things worth keeping and treasuring.

  28. Mitch says:

    Most of the films I watch are foreign/indie and the major studios ‘lockdown’ won’t matter one bit. If they started making movies that didn’t suck as much as an Oreck convention, this wouldn’t be such a problem.

  29. semanticantics says:

    The nerve of NetFlix increasing profit margins for their stockholders!

  30. JollyRogargh says:

    I have a feeling Netflix realizes this won’t hurt their subscriber base, hence the agreement. Most people have a queue… and I would vneutre to say most people probably don’t get netflix to watch brand new releases.

    I signed up to watch older movies that places don’t carry anymore – as well as the dirt cheap price compared to most other rental programs.

    • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

      @JollyRogargh: When a new release comes out that I want to see, I make it number one on the queue before it’s realeased, then time my return to get the new release the first day in the mail. I’m sure I’m not the only one.

      This makes me sad : /

  31. Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

    Stupid stupid stupid. I don’t see how they even remotely think that this is a good idea. When they are “struggling” to keep people watching DVD’s legally, why would they make more of an incentive to pirate by making legitimate people wait even longer to get a rental?

    They should embrace Netflix as a way to keep people paying for their content.

    I’ll stay with Netflix. But I will also admit that this doesn’t make me a happy customer and if something better comes along I will be more likely to switch.

    And I won’t be buying any more DVDs than I normally would. Which is NOT many.

  32. LMacConn says:

    I used to wait years for DVDs to drop to a reasonable price, so I am used to being a few years behind. I can easily wait 30 days for Netflix, while going through other movies in my queue.

    I think this is particularly shrewd on Netflix’s part, they negotiate to get the same DVDs at a significantly lower cost, and the public outcry will be directed at the big studios, who may be forced to sell DVDs to Netflix at the normal time anyway – but still for the lower price.

  33. tlvsnjunkie says:

    Who cares. My netflix queue is years long and I’m just now getting moves that came out in 2007. The studios release movies to DVD so fast these days that there’s a good chance I already saw the movie in the theater just a few months prior. Who really needs to see a movie the day it is released?

  34. jedipunk says:

    Let netflix have the savings. If they pass a little on to me great, but I would rather them beef up their online title and improve the streaming. They do that then I can reap the savings by dropping a disc off my out-limit.

  35. Sarah of Get Cooking says:

    It put movies on my queue months (or even years) before they come out just so I don’t have to remember when they come out. When they do, they are added to my queue, and if I’m in a rush, I bump them up. I don’t worry about movies until they are available. I have plenty to watch until then. This policy will make no difference to me.

  36. sljepi says:

    They don’t get it; who needs physical DVD media anymore?

  37. Cameraman says:

    I came in here to say this. Looking at my queue, the next movie to be mailed out will be Get Smart, which wiki tells me was released November 4, 2008. That’ll ship as soon as Netflix gets back my copy of Downfall, from 2004. I don’t see this as a big deal. Anyone who needs it *now* will just downlaod a torrent and not wait till it’s officially released on DVD.

    If Netflix frees up some capital to improve service and/or lower prices, all the better for consumers.

    • dadelus says:

      @Cameraman: I wouldn’t put it past Netflix to have done a quick database query to see what percentage of their subscribers actually get new releases within the first month of the release and saw that it was a very small percentage. Then, while holding back their smug laughter, offered the studios said deal.

      • theothered says:

        @dadelus:

        Well, they would have done a pretty poor job of due diligence if the didn’t use their database to support a business decision, wouldn’t they?

        Regarding my own preference, if it helps hold down the Netflix subscription prices, I’m fine with it. As others have mentioned, if I had to see it NOW, I would have seen it in the theater.

  38. c_c says:

    If I really care about a movie I’ll see it in theaters. That happens a few times a year. Otherwise a month doesn’t make a difference to me rental wise. Movies come out on DVD sooner that they used to anyway.

  39. full.tang.halo says:

    I’ve already down graded to a unlimited 1 dvd out at a time with blu-ray, this would be the tipping point to get me to give Netflix the boot. I’m still waiting for the HD.net model of simultaneous release via theaters/rentals/physical media to win. I’d be willing to pay 1st gen Blu ray prices, $35, for the ability to buy a movie the day it gets released, but it’s gotta be a physical disk. I despise the theaters and would pay said premium to never have to set foot in one again.

  40. lehrdude says:

    I don’t know, and could care less what the “studio release date” is for any movie…All I care about is the date that Netflix releases the movie.

    The only way I MIGHT be concerned is if the studios go an a 30-day ‘release freeze’ in order to implement their evil plan…

  41. silver-spork says:

    This just proves that Hollywood studios are stuck in the past. I’ve got so much on my DVR and Netflix instant-watch queue that I won’t get to the “new” releases in my Netflix queue until well after the 30-day timeframe.

  42. adamcz says:

    I don’t think I’ll even know that this is happening. When a movie comes out that I want to see, I put it on my Netflix cue and get it when it comes out. Because I don’t shop much, I don’t think I’ll even be aware if stores are selling the movie for a month prior to me receiving it from Netflix. And I don’t really care. Either way, I’ll be getting a steady stream of movies to watch.

  43. DovS says:

    The ironic thing here is that, back in the early days of video rental, it was exactly the other way around. They would realease a rental-only VHS tape of a new movie, costing the rental shop around $100 per tape, and the $20 version for your home library wouldn’t come out until months later.

    • wasabipeas says:

      @DovS: I remember that — I would see video reviews in magazines and the price would be listed as $80+ (and this was back in the 80s and early 90s). Not to mention that it took, on average, about a year for a movie to show up in your video rental store. Nowadays movies are released on DVD before the dollar theaters are done showing them.

  44. Mary says:

    First, this won’t change my buying habits in the slightest so it’s stupid.

    Second, what do we REALLY expect Netflix to do? The studios could easily withhold rentals without Netflix’s cooperation, so if Netflix goes along so that they can continue their prices and service to their customers in some way?

    Yes, let’s please continue to look as hard as we can for a reason to hate Netflix when the problem here is idiotic movie studio execs. Can we please put the blame where it really lies?

  45. Garbanzo says:

    Considering that we haven’t even signed up for Netflix yet because we have unwatched shows on our TiVo going back two years…I can wait an extra 30 days.

  46. a5un says:

    I swore off Netflix when their DVD shattered to piece in my dvd player (a couple of years back…thank goodness I wasn’t using the PS3) and they refused to pay for the damage. Obviously, this is outlined in the end-user agreement…but still…it would’ve been nice and I would still be a subscriber.

  47. linedpaper says:

    If I really wanted a movie on the release date, I would probably buy it anyway. I’ll still be waiting the 30 days with the rare exception of the few movies I actually buy. They’re not going to make an extra dime off of me!

  48. TheMonkeyKing says:

    My life is not built around watching Hollywood movies lately. I have too many things to do and see, especially since I have access to a couple of art houses to watch foreign and small market movies.

    I know I am not speaking for middle America, but I think the majority goes out and sees the movie at the theater. And because it was crap to begin with, people are not going to be fooled into buying or renting the DVD.

  49. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Could Netflix actually be shooting itself in the shoot and give Blockbuster a huge comeback?!

  50. BklynHotniss says:

    I waited 2 yrs for the release of “Rabid” on Netflix. I don’t buy movies. Netflix never had it but I was able to “save” it. Honestly I had given up. Then there was a red mark on my queue “coming Nov 10″ I pumped it to the top of my list and it will come tomm. Impulse purchases are so passe.

  51. Coelacanth says:

    I don’t get it. If the movie wasn’t so fantastic that they didn’t rush out to the theatres when it was released, then what’s an extra month going to matter? I don’t ever recall waiting on pins and needles for a movie to be released for rental.

    Furthermore, I’m amazed at how quickly DVDs and Blu-Rays have been sent down the product pipeline.

    I doubt the change in Netflix’s business model will have much of a negative impact.

  52. MostlyHarmless says:

    Yeah… if I am waiting long enough for that thing to come out on DVD before I watch it, I really would not mind a 30 day delay before I watch that thing.

    If I really really really want it RIGHT THE DAY IT RELEASES, then it probably is something I would want to own anyway.

  53. dasunst3r says:

    I’m waiting too. Hollywood seems SO adept at shooting themselves in the foot.

  54. Baxterjones says:

    What!? You mean I have to wait 30 days to rent such Hollywood classics as “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” and “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”?

    Well, Netflix, you’re on my sh*t list now.

  55. golfer2004nh says:

    I agree with the others about being a netflix subscriber for life. I maybe only get 2-4 movies a month (one a week is about the norm, watch a movie on a fri/sat then send it back the following week to repeat). At this rate I would not be able to keep up with the new releases anyway. Add-on the instant watch (I love the TV shows available), and it is the most rewarding $10 I spend a month on entertainment.

    I am also one that loves buying movies, but I am currently torn. I have 500+ DVD’s, and started on blu-rays early on, then stopped around 60. I realized I am spending far to much on them, and with HD instant streaming becoming more and more a reality I think that money is no longer well spent. If the studio’s start selling blu-rays on release day for 19.99 (and lowering prices on older releases) and I don’t have to jump through hoops (like buy this one and this one save $10, or the other dumb promotions they keep offering), I would probably be back at the store buying them. Not because I want to watch them then, but if I want to watch a certain movie I have it and can go grab it….

  56. Aeroracere says:

    If I feel I need to see a movie, I’ll see it in the theater. If that isn’t an option and I *just can’t wait*, I’ll get it on-demand.

    I’ll stick with Netflix and get them as they become available per usual.

  57. nybiker says:

    Will us Netflix customers see any increase in “the experience”? For example, more choices for the watch instantly feature? Why was last season’s showing of the new CSI episodes not done this year? Money? It was a tease?
    Will our subscription price go down by a few pennnies?
    Will they buy more physical copies of a given release so that less of us see “Very Long Wait” for the movie? Granted, as a 3-year customer, I don’t get the latest movies made available to me right away (they go to the new customers, so that _they_ are happy). But maybe the VLW becomes just “Long Wait.”
    Any of these choices would be a nice return for the 30-day wait.
    But I don’t buy DVDs and as others have mentioned, I have a long enough queue to keep me busy otherwise.

  58. microcars says:

    “Consumerist will Screw You For the Page Hits”

    Phil Villarreal = Desperate Sensationalist Tripe = Ignore

    Nobody here agrees with you Phil. Take your FUD elsewhere.
    thanks for screwing up Consumerist.com for us.

  59. justsomeotherguy says:

    Seems I am in agreement with others… I dont really see how this is netflix screwing over the consumer. Netflix is tking advantage of hollywood’s stupidity, and I am all for that. I suspect that this isnt going to increase long term sales in the least. I also dont suspect that people are going to be up in arms and leave netflix; a company that has shown time and time again to do the right thing. I mean, they suffer some delay we would never know about and they REFUND YOUR MONEY!!!

    I think consumers now buy movies they have already seen and liked. $24 impulse buys on a stinker… fear.

  60. gafpromise says:

    I can’t think of a movie that I absolutely had to have the day it was released. Especially not if I’m just renting it. I doubt I’ll notice any difference in Netflix’s service or offerings.

  61. lifestar says:

    When I had netflix, the hottest movies and tv shows were always queued up and I had to wait at least 2 weeks to get the discs since other people reserved them ahead of me.

    Netflix died to me once they started to amp up their “blu-ray” service charge. I could tolerate it only so much and I realized that I’ve gotten too busy to be paying 12.95 for a service that I use 2-3 times a month. If I wanted to rent a movie real bad, I usually can find it on amazon’s service through my tivo and pay 2.99 -> 3.99 a pop and that’s like once a month or so.

  62. DH405 says:

    So I suppose they don’t plan on letting any of their newfound savings trickle down to their customers?

  63. davebg5 says:

    This goes beyond WHEN content owners make their wares available, but HOW MUCH of it they make available.

    As anyone with a Gamefly account can tell you, it can sometimes be rather difficult to get certain high-demand games within the first few months of release. The knee-jerk reaction is for customers to tell Gamefly to buy more copies. There’s one problem with that.

    Gamefly is restricted by the publishers, who only allow them to purchase a certain number of copies of a game.

    Sure, waiting another 30 days to see a movie after it comes out on DVD/BluRay isn’t a big deal. What if in addition to that, the studios limited how many copies Netflix could buy and you didn’t get the movie until 60 or 90 days after it comes out at retail?

    At what point do we allow the content owners to set all of the terms of the relationship that they have with their customers?

    • microcars says:

      @davebg5: “What if in addition to that, the studios limited how many copies Netflix could buy and you didn’t get the movie until 60 or 90 days after it comes out at retail?”

      and then what if in addition to THAT, monkeys start flying out of my ass? THEN WHAT? We’re screwed man! Screwed!

    • ScarletsWalk says:

      @davebg5: I agree with you. I don’t subscribe to Netflix or comparable and really, I normally wouldn’t care about waiting 30 days for a dvd of something I couldn’t be bothered to see in theaters.

      But I do not like further interference by the industry.

      I do believe it’s a slippery slope, like with the story yesterday about shutting off peripheral ports. I don’t like to be told how and when I can watch stuff I purchase legally.

  64. mrbucket says:

    I’ve had Netflix for nearly 2 years now, and generally have a queue fat enough that when the new releases finally end up in my mailbox it’s generally several months after they were actually offered for rental.

    DVDs and Blu-Ray, even used, are horribly overpriced. The industry needs to being prices down to a level that can compete with rentals if they hope to compete, anything else is fail.

  65. processfive says:

    Is this even a question? Netflix is making a choice that will help them keep costs low. Given the choice between a rate hike so that Netflix can get new movies immediately, and having to wait an extra month (boo hoo) for new movies, I’ll take the latter every time.

    After all, most Netflix users have a pretty hefty lineup of movies in their queue — mine has never dipped below 100 movies — so it’s not like I’ll be without something to watch while I wait.

    If anything, this will hurt the film industry. Most people I know only buy a DVD after they’ve already seen the film, which means either seeing it in the theater or renting it first. If a movie is out for purchase on DVD/Blu-ray, but not available for rental, the people who want to rent it but can’t will just grab it from BitTorrent instead.

  66. Dacker says:

    I have no problem waiting a month; you have to sometimes wait a while for some of the most popular movies anyway.

    And no, it will not prod me to buy a movie instead.

    I am NOT all about instant gratification or have an, “I want it — NOW” personality. YMMV….

  67. Citizen Kang says:

    Here’s what I’d do: I’d lower my Netflix from the current 3-at-a-time Blu-Ray package (which happens to be almost $24 a month) to the dirt cheapest they have which is something like $6 a month. That’s a 75% drop in revenue from me. I’d then go and spend that money at Blockbuster and hope it has enough copies of what I want. I might lose a bit of money in the process, but if that’s what it takes to get a message across, then so be it. That’s a lose-lose for everyone except Blockbuster which stands to greatly benefit. You hear that Netflix? Imagine a million people doing that and see what that does to your bottom line.

  68. Jabberkaty says:

    If I buy a DVD it’s because I already saw the movie and really liked it.

    I’m not going to buy a movie I haven’t seen (ever again). I subscribe to Netflix mostly to catch up on my list of shame and see genres I don’t go to see in theaters. If I’m going to the movies it’s because they’s going to be explosions.

    I will rent cerebral movies, cause the floor is much less sticky in my home. Most of the time.

  69. valthun says:

    I only buy the movies I want to actually own. I use netflix and its streaming service for movies I haven’t seen yet, old tv shows, and whatever. So this will only really delay a rental for a movie I didn’t really want to see in the theater but wanted to see anyway.

  70. MedicallyNeedy says:

    Netflix doesn’t even put new releases at the top of it’s Browse page.
    I go to IMDB then search Netflix to get the newest releases to the top of my que.

  71. hamburglar says:

    In the eternal words of David Lee Roth, I’ll wait.

  72. Goatweed says:

    99% of new movies hit the internet weeks or months before the shelves and/or retail stores and at this point, even people who don;t know how to turn on a PC know someone who does and/or knows their way around a torrent site.

    Point is, if people really want something, they’ll find it – no manner of scheduling will stop them from getting it. The more they try to control the content, the more it will be controlled by the people.

    • morlo says:

      @Goatweed: Sales are down, so their solution is to reduce rentals too. Next strategy is to kick people off the internet for piracy, so internet subscribers and HD sales tank

  73. Geekmom says:

    pft! I don’t even watch 99% of new movies a year after they are released on DvD anyway! Most of the time friends have to pester me to watch them. They’re just going to lose money for that 30 days. People are not parting with their money as easily as they once did. I’d rather have 18-20 dollars worth of food then a movie.

  74. chuckv says:

    I rarely watch recently released movies, and have rented maybe one movie within it’s first 30 days out over my 2 years with Netflix. If they think that they can cut prices by getting their DVDs half off, I’m happy to wait a month.

  75. Anonymous says:

    I waited however long it took for the movie to come from the theater to DVD w/o seeing it. I can wait another month.

    Between the Tivo, other mailed DVD/Blu-Ray discs, Play Instantly, On Demand, 700+ digital cable channels and Hulu I can find something to watch.

    I probably wouldn’t have even noticed this w/o you telling me.

  76. lannister80 says:

    That’s stupid. Netflix should just order like 100,000 copies of the movie through retail channels. They studios have to right to dictate what’s done with the discs after they’re purchased.

  77. milrtime83 says:

    I’m guessing the chances are pretty low that they would pass on that savings to the customer too.

  78. VeritasNoir says:

    You can’t actually be saying Netflix will “screw you”. This is a company I have frequented over the past few years. EVERY interaction with their customer service has been met with overwhelming success.

    This delayed release practice affects me in no way. If I am impatient to get a DVD, it would not be a rental. If there is a movie I am salivating over, I see it in theater. If the movie is rushed to DVD, I’ll buy it (or download it on iTunes). I see no fault on Netflix here.

  79. vitajex says:

    I guarantee that I am not alone in saying that there is NO WAY in HELL that I will pay $20 to buy a DVD of a movie I’ve never seen. I don’t care what critics said, what my friends said, what ANYONE said about that movie- until I see it, I’m not plunking down ANY signicant chunk of change.

    • morlo says:

      @vitajex: Even if you like the film, how likely are you watch it more than 20 times? And even then there will be a director’s cut or new format anyway. I have such a backlog, I have many “favorite” films that I’ve only watched once or twice.

  80. MikeVx says:

    In the 2.5 years I’ve been a Netflix customer, I’ve rented maybe 5 things that actually saw the inside of a theater. I am an Anime junkie and Netflix allows for overdosing massively. As for recent releases, I think the only thing I’ve rented that was less than a year from date of release was the Cowboy Bebop Remix.

    Overall effect on me if Hollywood puts in a one month delay: zilch. About 10% of what I rent is from Hollywood, and most of that is TV shows.

  81. JeepyJayhawk says:

    If I can wait to see a movie until it comes out on DVD, what’s another month. I have plenty to do in the meanwhile.

  82. scrooks says:

    I don’t give a shit when something comes out. There’s plenty to watch out there. I am totally oblivious to release dates.

  83. Eldritch says:

    It doesn’t matter, the newest releases on Netflix always have a “long wait”, so you end up waiting anyway.

  84. menty666 says:

    I have so much in my queue that it takes about 14 months before the stuff I add now makes it to the top (unless I bump it). No rush :)

  85. chimpski says:

    I don’t think the content of the post in any way reflects the title. It’s pretty harsh when a lot of readers just browse through headlines. Not what I come to expect from the consumerist.

    Commenting on the actual content:
    I will keep using Netflix, I don’t buy DVD’s, I’ve had the same disc for about 3 months. I just use the Instant watch on my Xbox, PC, and PS3 now. I very rarely buy a movie. I’ve bought 2 in the past year and they were blu-rays and it was because they were must haves for me. Watchmen and Coraline.
    Like many other commenters have said, I don’t care about 30 days, my queue is too big to handle anyway.

    Related: I’ve also stopped going to the movie theater, I feel like I get ripped off and the experience is not that great with crying babies and DBs on their cellphones. The quality at home on my 50+ inch LCD and my PS3 are better, imo, than the movie theater. I get to eat what I want, sit where I want, pause if I need to.

  86. TJ says:

    As if new releases weren’t unattractive enough.

  87. rhys1882 says:

    I don’t see this hurting Netflix. People will just wait the extra month. The benefits of Netflix far far outweigh the alternatives, even factoring this in. The studios are pretty stupid though. No one is going to go out and buy a DVD they were just going to rent, just to see it a month early. They already waited 6+ months for it to come out on DVD in the first place.

  88. trujunglist says:

    does anyone really buy dvds anymore anyway unless it’s like your favorite movie of all time? even my favorites rarely get watched unless company comes over that hasn’t seen it and is interested. there are too many unwatched movies out there and other media to consume to get caught up with 1 movie.

  89. Saboth says:

    I just don’t buy disks…hardly ever. A movie has to pretty much make it into my top 100 for me to consider buying it. Once I’ve seen something, I’ve seen it. I don’t want to watch it repeatedly. I usually only rent movies even once unless they are remarkable. So no…this plan will not get me to buy more movies.

  90. tailstoo says:

    This greed is disgusting. Businesses that do stupid things (the Studios) to protect an outdated business model always fail in time. This will only push more people to get movies illegally.

    If there’s a movie that I really liked coming out, then I’ll buy it. The date Netflix gets the movie has no bearing on my buying decision.

  91. krispykrink says:

    “withhold the discs from rental companies for a month”

    To me that translates to “Please go download our unavailable movie from you’re favorite BitTorrent site.”

    Thanks for the green light guys!

  92. WelcomeToMyWorld says:

    The only time I’ll buy a DVD is for a gift for someone else.

    For myself, I’ll rent DVDs from Netflix or borrow from the Library for FREE! The Hollywood studios probably hate people like me. I will not be the one who pays for their Bentleys and McMansions.

  93. ModernTenshi04 says:

    Would I be a bit upset? Maybe.

    Would I cancel Netflix? Nope.

    Netflix is likely looking at it this way: agree to it now and hope our customers will stick with us and still rent, or fight it and possibly not be allowed to buy discs from the studios, thus making our service completely useless.

    I grew up in the days of VHS, when waiting for a movie to come out on home video could take the better part of a year, with NO special features. I think I can wait 1 extra month to get it through Netflix.

  94. ecwis says:

    Are they trying to encourage people to just download the movies through torrents? Gosh these people are dumb.

  95. soundreasoning says:

    I smell an antitrust suit.

  96. superberg says:

    I didn’t subscribe to Netflix for the latest and greatest. I subscribed so I could stop saying “I keep meaning to see ‘x,’ but never got around to it.” One movie at a time, I am getting past that. I’ll finally see “The Godfather.”

    If I’m going to buy a movie, and I do that often enough, it’s going to be in the first week of its release, when it is on sale all over the place, or months after its release on Amazon. This change will not affect my rental or purchase habits in any way.

    But hey, the movie industry is actually all about pissing off current customers, not getting new ones. That’s why they’re also rallying against Component Video — a decade-old standard that has been largely supplanted by HDMI.

  97. flugennock says:

    I suppose that on general principle, this sucks.

    Still, my wife and I are not the type who are into your latest, greatest, newest, hyped-to-death Hollywood bilge anyway — and certainly not within a month of its theatrical release (come to think of it, we can’t remember the last time we’ve actually gone out to see a movie, unless it’s to the local indie/art-house joint), so this wouldn’t affect us that much. We aren’t exactly the Origin Of The Return Of Spider-Man IV types.

    Pretty much everything in our queue is foreign/indie/art-house stuff, or older films — and I mean old, like before 1970 — that we enjoyed first time around and want to see again, or extra-old classic films.

    Then, of course, there are copies of films that we actually own – in the form of a bookshelf or three or four of stuff we taped off of Turner Classic Channel on our VHS.

  98. srh says:

    This seems like a total nop to me. The last thing I got from netflix was a 2-3 year old movie. I add new movies that I want to see to my queue, and they show up when they show up. If I *have* to see a movie *right now*, I’ll go to a theater.

  99. fourclover says:

    My DVD queue is so long anyways that when I add a newer movie it’s a couple months before it actually shows up on the top of my list. The only exception is Ponyo because I added it when it was still in theaters so I’d get it when it came out.

    I’ll only buy it if there are real subtitles and not dubtitles so I want to check it out first. They’re actually delaying my purchase considerably.

  100. coren says:

    I think that the studios have missed the mark here. Netflix viewers seem to be less inclined on the whole to be buying DVDs – and certainly not in that 30 day window they’re making themselves here.

    What they need to be doing is figuring out how to entice the people who *do* buy DVDs to buy them sooner, and not out of the bargain bin at Walmart or wherever. Lower cost, more content, maybe package it with reduced price tickets to something in theaters – these sorts of things should be the focus, and could potentially cost less than giving Netflix a discount and helping their bottom line.

    That said the piracy comments miss the mark too – these are movies people would otherwise be watching on Netflix, which doesn’t correlate to whether they’d be buying them – nor does pirating translate to a non sale. If anything it’s taking business away from Netflix, imo.

  101. Ronin-Democrat says:

    ha ha movie studio = us car companies.

    short their stocks now.

    must own gi joe movie
    must own mall cop movie
    must own ugly truth movie
    must acquire more worthless junk
    must eat poor nutritional foodstuffs
    must die of clogged arteries and weakened heart due to immobile lifestyle.

    god bless rush/beck/fox america

  102. crimebll says:

    If this were something the studios did unilaterally, then it would be unfair to blame Netflix — but if Netflix is a party to it, why should anybody give them a free pass? If they’re getting 50% off the cost of the disks, wouldn’t it be fair to cut their membership prices 25% across the board (because of course they have costs other than the price of the DVDs)?

  103. Wang_Chung_Tonight says:

    buy it? heck no.
    95% of the movies I watch through netflix are old anyways. I’ll stick with netflix and those movie companies ain’t gettin a penny outta me until they release a quality movie without all the garbage.

  104. BenjaminCachimbear says:

    For me, stuff “comes out” when I get it in from Netflix. And most of my queue is old B movies and anime anyway, and the wife’s romcoms(so if they take an extra month to come in that’s a bonus!!). So I’m cool with it.

  105. Kyin says:

    So Netflix gets their movies half off in return for them not being available for 30 days? I fail to see a problem with this. Who really has new movies so high up on their priorities list that they can’t wait? I would think those would be the same people who would buy the movies anyway.

    So in effect, it will not boost the sales of movies at all. All this will accomplish is getting a deal for Netflix. Hey, maybe they’ll pass the savings on to us.

  106. Brad says:

    If Netflix really wanted to bend ‘em over on this one, they should have required that all movies be available on instant watch 90 days after rental disc purchase (by Netflix). I think it would be a fair agreement, studios would still sell the DVDs at retail and then rental rates, and I’d get Instant Watch full of movies that aren’t terrible.

    In reality, this is all about injecting another release window. Since studios know “We make $X million in the first release window (theaters), and then 30% less in each subsequent window, inserting a new one will net us $Y hundred thousand more!”. Because they’re doing financial projections with Excel, it makes perfect sense to them to insert another window. In reality though, they’re just spreading the same amount of money around.

  107. katia802 says:

    I keep my Netflix list at about 60 movies. Perhaps 2 of those will be in their “released in the last 6 months” category. Not an issue to me, like most here, I have Netflix so I can watch obscure Japanese horror movies with my son. I run through about 3 a week, so the list rolls over fairly quickly. Last time I bought a new release was when True Blood season one came out.

  108. dijo10 says:

    Uhhh, if i didn’t watch it at the cineplex while it was there for 3 months, I don’t think making me wait another 30 days is going to entice me to make that oh so important purchase.

  109. AdvocatesDevil says:

    If this is the best dirt The Consumerist can dig up to try to make me stop loving NetFlix, you should know it’s a big old FAIL. I will never turn on them. Never. :)

  110. zombie_batch says:

    Were this a question about Gamefly rather than Netflix, yeah, I can see it being a problem for many people. A game isn’t in a arcade or something first then premieres on disc that you can rent/buy. Movies though, you may have already seen in the theater, and if not, these ‘windows’ for release are so ridiculously long anyway, whats an extra month? Its not like I was anticipating it anyway; I didn’t even know when it would be out to begin with.
    I think most people, based on the comments, don’t have lives that revolve around seeing the latest movie on DVD as quickly as possible every single time. Sure, sometimes this will be inconvenient, like when you’ve been anticipating a DVDs release, but that’s why Blockbuster still exists.

  111. Donathius says:

    There are only certain movies that I would go out and buy. Half the time my wife and I show any interest in a movie we see advertised on TV we just say “Eh, we’ll wait for Netflix.” Movies that I thought were exceptional or that I just really enjoyed I usually buy the first day they’re out. For example I will be picking up a copy of Star Trek next Tuesday. Otherwise, I can wait.

  112. AI says:

    If only there was a way to conveniently download movies from an international series of tubes we wouldn’t have to deal with this BS from Hollywood monopolies.

  113. kmw2 says:

    This is unbelievably lame, but to be honest if I want to see a film OMGRIGHTNAO when it’s released, I’ve already pre-ordered a copy from Amazon anyhow. Netflix is for things I want to see once, things that are difficult to get, or their TV seasons on streaming video, not new releases.

  114. gggtur says:

    Right!!!! Like I’m going to fork over and buy the movies directly…nothing of value has come out for years. I’ll just wait the extra month and watch classics that were actually good in the meantime.

  115. micmuk says:

    Get off Netflix’s case! It’s, without a doubt, the best value on the Net today.

    All the Movies, free streaming videos and TV shows(Nova,etc)you can possibly watch for $10 bucks a month.

  116. melloncollie128 says:

    I use Netflix as a streaming service. In fact, I wish there was a way I could remove the DVD part of my subscription. So this doesn’t affect me at all.

  117. b612markt says:

    The latest DVD releases are available as DVDRip Torrents days or weeks before they get to Netflix. It seems like the studios are operating without this knowledge, eliminating more ways for consumers to legally pay to see movies in a timely manner.

  118. alienshards says:

    I would probably stick with netflix. But the only reason I have netflix is to make DVD rips myself, so I don’t think it’s quite a victory for the MPAA.

  119. 108Reliant says:

    Netflix is behaving like a child anymore. You give the kid candy and it wants more, more and more. I’m beginning to think that Netflix wants to control it’s customers rather than serving it’s customers. This won’t shrug me off from using their service, but I’m thinking that it won’t be around much longer if Netflix keeps up this sort of crappy service.

  120. halcyondays says:

    What’s Netflix? I’m waiting to rent movies from a Blockbuster SD Card Kiosk. It’s DivX for the 21st century.

  121. amcfarla says:

    Do the Movie Studios execs have two brain cells that they can rub together to create an intelligent thought. Do they think holding off new releases for 30 days is going to help purchases, do they realize that a quality DVD rip of a new movie is usually available(via bittorrent or other ways) before the release date. This stupid idea will just get more people to pirate the movie, since most people will not watch a movie more than once(would you watch ‘The Love Guru’ more than once, since once was probably too much). So to be able to see it in the first 30 days will require the purchase of the movie. I am just hoping one day that the movie studios and music studios will get a clue and figure out their business models from yesteryear….DON’T WORK ANYMORE, and customers want their product a different way(digital download or some other way). Completely Ridiculous.

  122. savdavid says:

    Yes, I am NO genius. Sometimes it takes twice learn my lesson. I became a member of Netflex for a “Free” month. Well, after a month, I canceled and they charged my credit card for $25.00 saying “they never got back one of the discs”. Well, I thought “I sent it back maybe the mail lost it. I will write the good people at Netflix and tell them”. Their reply “We have no record of receiving it so the charge stands”. I didn’t know about challenging through my VISA at that time.
    Well, a year later, here I go again. Thinking that was just a real slip-up on USPS’s part I signed up with Netflix again for a “trial” month. Duh! Guess what? Yep, they did the exact same thing to me again down to the same form letter email.
    It is a sleazy outfit and I was not educated enough on my protections and was too busy working at my job to worry about it. However, I learned my lesson. I wonder how many people they did this to and got away with it?
    …and, no, I don’t think it was a coincidence.

  123. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    I don’t have Netflix. But I do buy movies.. after they’ve been released on DVD for a year and they’re selling for $5 in the bargain bin at Best Buy. LOL.

  124. microcars says:

    OK, I’ll bite. How is NetFlix “screwing” us?

    Their main supplier of inventory wants to change when they get that inventory and so NetFlix is screwing us?

    If NetFlix started this conversation by approaching the Studios and asking for a discount on DVDs in exchange for waiting to rent them for 30 days after they were released to the general public to purchase, I might concede the point.

    But that is not what is going on here. It is the OTHER WAY AROUND.
    The studios are ones TELLING NetFlix that they are not going to get ANYTHING unti after 30 days. NetFlix’s reply to them is that this alters the “value” of the rental product ENOUGH that they should get a discount on the purchase of the DVDs since they MAY see a decrease in rentals if people BUY the DVDs. Whether this is true or not is immaterial, it is just negotiation.

    I certainly don’t see how you get off thinking NetFlix is screwing consumers by this. If the studios hold back the movies by 30 days no matter WHAT, how is this NetFlix screwing the consumer? Who cares how much NetFlix pays for their inventory? I couldn’t care less if they got it for free. In this rapid-changing world I would like to see them survive as long as possible FOR MY OWN BENEFIT.
    Any savings they get from purchasing inventory will hopefully be applied to keeping the company going and improving their service FOR MY BENEFIT.
    I am not a Shareholder of the company.
    Why do people think that all consumers are somehow part of a profit-sharing plan with companies.

    and could you elaborate on “their past business practices”?
    You imply they are some sort of shady outfit.
    pretty much everyone in thread seems to LOVE NetFlix and their customer service.
    Mailing prices have gone up the last 2 years, my NetFlix account price has not changed. They have ABSORBED the price increase and not only that, they DROPPED the price of my monthly by $1.

  125. bwcbwc says:

    I love this actually. Netflix is aiming to get a concession from the MPAA for something that will probably not help DVD sales at all. I bet they look at their rental data and say “So they want to delay rental release? Lets see what we can get for that.”

  126. dumblonde says:

    I’d be happy if they passed on some of the savings to the customers. But that might be a lot to ask.

  127. BytheSea says:

    I’m a librarian. They do this with books too. We have new releases sitting on our processing shelves with post-it notes and scary warnings via publishers saying we can’t put them out for loan for a month after we buy the book. And no, libraries don’t get the special secret early edition.

    Considering I put holds on movies with Netflix when they’re still in the theater, I can wait a month longer. I usually forget about it until I get it so it’s like a surprise.

  128. VouxCroux says:

    Way to be unnecessarily alarmist.

    1) I have no problem waiting
    2) If Netflix were to pass at least SOME of the savings on to the consumer, or use the savings to research new streaming techs (subtitles and special features would be awesome) or subsidize the Roku player to make it even more affordable, then I don’t have any problem.

  129. Mp3dog says:

    Hello, Redbox

  130. JulesNoctambule says:

    Considering that the last DVDs my husband and I viewed on Netflix were of British sitcoms older than we are, I think we’ll be fine. If Netflix can benefit from another company making a stupid business move, more power to ‘em.

  131. TheClap says:

    Considering my Netflix queue is like 250 dvds long, I dont think having to wait an extra 30 days is going to matter.

  132. Aquasol says:

    “What’s frightening for customers is Netflix is willing to go along with this thick-headed plan, PaidContent reports, as long as the company gets its DVDs for half off.”

    What matters is that the trade to the 30-day wait is Netflix having less of a reason to increase subscription costs any.

  133. Interrupt19 says:

    I’d only agree with this if there is a subscription discount or current new releases were still available via streaming only.

  134. Xerloq says:

    This is getting lost waaaaaaaaaay down on page 7, but I bought a movie today (UP) because I saw it on Netflix yesterday.

    The smart studio will get Netflix to include coupons toward movies you watch.

  135. ChimmyChai says:

    Red Box is for new releases. Netflix is for the older stuff. So I still won’t buy the DVDs, no matter how long the wait is.

  136. kadriendra says:

    Netflix isn’t in the wrong, as far as I can see, for this, but I will say that this is a specifically targetted greed measure on the part of hollywood’s studios.

    What I can also say is that this sort of thing is what makes piracy thrive, and what gives people even more reason to commit such acts.

    Hollywood, that taste you’re gagging at right now? That’s your foot.

  137. starcrossedlady says:

    honestly? There haven’t been that many movies that I get all excited over seeing in the theaters, so why would I sit and freak over a wait in my DVD rental? Plus my queue is large enough that even if there was a 30 day wait on the release… I have a ton to watch without feeling deprived or whatever.

  138. LeChiffre says:

    So really the article headline should read, “Hollywood Will Screw You For The Right Price. Hardly think Netflix has any control in this as Hulu or any other service would be in the same boat also. As for whether I will begin buying again? No way. Not interested in having a stack of dust-gathering plastic sleeves littering my rooms. I went through this era with video cassette tapes and I ended up throwing them out with the trash nine years ago.

  139. shiftless says:

    With Netflix you don’t care about the dates. My queue has been full for the past 8 years and have ignored nearly every single release date except for the very, very few movies I actually buy.

  140. xamarshahx says:

    i still would not buy it, if I could wait 6 months, I can wait 7 months for the movie. Just shows how retarded the MPAA really is. I am also disappointed in Netflix for caving. Go Redbox!! lol

  141. Darkneuro says:

    It’s rare when I buy a movie to begin with, and it’s even more rare when I don’t wait for it to go on sale or show up at the local used media store.
    I do think it’s kinda funny though… Back in the day of beginning to rent VHS, I seem to remember not being able to buy a movie before it came out for rental, and if by some twist of fate you WERE able to do so (buy as/before it was rentable), you were charged about $150 for the privilege to do so.

  142. crazydavythe1st says:

    This is Netflix we’re talking about. More then any company, I don’t think there out to screw us. They’ll probably compensate us somehow – hopefully we’ll get more new releases in the instant viewing area.

  143. chocogray says:

    Netflix should sign the deal, they are a good company and deserve to increase their profit margins. The idiots that can’t wait the extra 30 days to see transformers 14 will just go get ripped off at bestbuy. In the meantime i will easily occupy the 30 days with a few of the other 1,000′s of stellar viewing options on netflix.

  144. matttt says:

    If they’re getting DVDs for half off, shouldn’t a drop in membership price reflect this savings?
    /not a netflix customer

  145. notlupus says:

    it’s okay I have 499 other movies on my list which need to be rented first, I also have something like 5,000 that I can stream. It’s not like I am going to miss anything anyways, all “new” releases which are on my list are always short wait the day they come out, I’d rather sit back and watch a season of something than getting angry about missing GI JOE 2: THIS TIME MARLAN WAYNES DIES

  146. JeffroHoHo says:

    This is what I sent Netflix cncerning this issue, doubt they would care ut im serious:

    It is my understanding that Netflix has made a deal with Hollywood studios concerning the delay of new releases to end users of 30 days in exchange for purchasing those films at a discount. Giving retailers a customer-purchase advantage over renting. This is a complete slap in the face to the Netflix renting customer, and you certainly will not be passing this cost savings to us, instead you have down graded our service to a point that makes using your service for the speedy delivery of new releases utterly impossible and therefore no longer needed. If this actually comes to fruition, not only will I cancel my subscription but also get rid of all shares and abandon this organization as I am 100% positive a large percentage of your customers will end their subscriptions once they notice these huge delays. This decision to screw your customer base to save a buck will cost you more than your going to save I assure you.

  147. duckfat says:

    This is the kind of BS that happens when a company becomes a de-facto monopoly. They forget the customers and do everything to maximize profits. I thought Netflix was different but they are just tools.

  148. Alessar says:

    If I’m going to buy a movie I’ll do it the moment it comes out when it’s on sale everywhere. If I am not going to buy it, I’ll just throw it onto my 100+ title Netflix queue and get it when I get it. It’s not like you’re guaranteed a new release from Netflix anyway, those titles can be pretty high demand.

    For the most part, I simply don’t need or want to buy DVDs anymore. I don’t watch any movie a dozen times.

  149. nstonep says:

    I used to be that guy. But usually (now) I only buy a dvd if it’s A)on sale and B)I can’t rent it (alternatively C)It’s one of the tv shows I need to own).

    I finally picked up season 12 of the simpsons (and the newest season of family guy) when target had them for 13 bucks a pop. Good deal to me as I generally use the seasons as background “music” for work.

    But still, the only thing that affects me is REDBOX because I only rent from them…and they don’t really have a good stock of new non-hollywood releases (recent notables include: mutant chronicles and trick r treat) which means I have to goto ebay or retail. Usually I can get away with buying dvds at blockbuster for the 4 for 20 deal which isn’t too bad if it’s something I’m going to watch. Can’t live without Harold and Kumar: Escape from Guantanamo.

  150. Brunette Bookworm says:

    If it’s not a movie I was going to buy anyway, I can wait the 30 days for it to come to Netflix. Sorry studies, if I don’t care enough to see it to buy it when it comes out, forcing me to wait to rent it won’t change my mind. I have a long enough queue on Netflix I won’t have a shortage of stuff to watch until then…especially now that I have my PS3 streaming disc.

  151. radiochief says:

    This really won’t affect me personally.

    There are very few movies that I want to ‘see’ immediately when they come out on DVD… And those that I do, are usually ones that I want to buy to begin with!

    Everything else, I can wait. And my queue has 95 or so discs…

  152. wenhaver says:

    It doesn’t really have anything to do with the first sale doctrine. Most of the time, video stores had their release date, and then retail stores could sell them, and then maybe PPV would release them. It was all very regimented, and studios could get away with charging Blockbuster, et al, $100 a pop for each new release video. After the consumer/retail street date had been hit the price for video stores went down as well, but before that date it was super-duper expensive to purchase a copy. That’s why video rental places had high late fees back then.

  153. adamwade says:

    Is it annoying? Yes. Does it really matter? Not really.

    Look, at this point theatrical films are coming out on discs like 3 months after initial release. I can hold off another month – if I really, really NEEDED to watch the movie, I’d have gone to the theater.

    So if I have a choice in the matter, sure, I’d want Netflix to have it day and date, but if not – oh well, I’ll get it when they do. No way I am going to go spend more than my monthly Netflix fee to buy a single film unless I really, really wanted it anyway, in which case the 30 day Netflix window is moot because I would have purchased it either way.

  154. wasabipeas says:

    I’m pleased to see that most of the comments are along the lines of “Don’t care, will still use Netflix and not buy more DVDs.” I think the movie industry is a little deluded about the cause for decreased sales. For sure, people will buy certain titles so they can own a copy to watch repeatedly and take time to plow through the special features, but I imagine the average person only feels that way about a set number of movies — the rest they’re content to just rent.

    Aside from not needing to see most movies more than once ever, my primary reason for not spending money on DVDs is that I don’t want to end up like my parents or friends’ parents who bought movies on VHS (at around $20-25 a pop in 1990s money) and now can’t pay someone to take them.

  155. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    I don’t use Netflix but I’d think that anyone who both wants to see a movie right away and only wants to rent it would choose to wait rather than buy the movie.

    People rent to save money on movies they only want to see once or because they haven’t seen it at all and don’t know if it’s worth buying. I don’t think anyone who feels that way about a movie is going to buy it, even if they had wanted to see it immediately. No one is going to pay an extra $10-$15 for a movie they may never watch again for the sake of instant gratification. It just isn’t worth it.

  156. MIAMIFROST says:

    I WILL JUST DOWNLOAD FOR FREE AND GET THEM A WEEK BEFORE THEY COME OUT!

    a.b.dvd

  157. billy says:

    EXACTLY!

    If Netflix went along with the studios’ plan, their/our cost would go up. Then Netflix would *really* be screwing us.

    Netflix plan demonstrates that it is going out of its way to get some value for its customers in light of the studios’ plan.

  158. loueloui says:

    The only way I would agree with this is if my Netflix subscription rate also dropped by 50%.

  159. kapow! says:

    Netflix does not “screw me” just because I have to wait another month for new releases. I rarely watch new releases and am busy with this other thing called “reality” to really give a s**t. My membership fee pays for itself several times over during the month, and if that is what Netflix has to do to order to keep it that way, fine by me. The one attempting to do the “screwing” here is the the Hollywood pigs who feel they are not generating enough revenue. Screw them.

  160. synergy says:

    If I’ve waited for it to come out on DVD, I can wait another 30 days. I had been watching t.v. shows I was catching up on through Netflix until I realized how easy it is to watch them online without waiting for the mail.

  161. Hillbilly says:

    I’ll just wait. I have other ways of occupying my time like petting the coon dogs.

  162. MostlyHarmless says:

    @subtlefrog: That last paragraph is pretty much what I said before I forgot to hit the submit button. Now that comment is on the third page :P

    I dont think Consumerist is encouraging people to actually buy DVDs, but they however are overestimating the effect that it would have on the Netflix business.

  163. coren says:

    @anduin1: Although they do have the potential to expand their library some.

  164. VagrantRadio says:

    Um, Netflix has a shitty selection of watch it now movies.@coren: Some? The watch it now selection is horrible and very limited on a quality perspective. Want a new release? dvd only.

  165. lmarconi says:

    @Hooray4Zoidberg: Possibly, but I think that a lot of people who really need to see that movie within the first 30 days it’s released on DVD aren’t renting that it, if they like it that much or they’re that hardcore about their movie watching they’re most likely walking into Walmart and buying it for $15. So this wouldn’t really drive much traffic to Blockbuster, since for $10 more that person who needs to have that movie now can just go out and buy it.

  166. Hooray4Zoidberg says:

    @lmarconi: I’m not so sure I agree. I mean I haven’t set foot inside a Blockbuster in 5 years so things may have changed. But last time I went all 25 copies of popular new releases for the week were all rented out early Friday night. If you wanted it for the weekend you had to go Thursday night or get there early enough Friday.

    I’d assume there is a still a market of people who want to both watch a movie right when it comes out and not purchase it for full price. If blockbuster is renting these day 1 and netflix is not renting them till day 30 many people might consider making the switch back since blockbuster still has their online service as well and provides free in store rentals with their plans. It could be the difference maker for a lot of people.

  167. madog says:

    @BytheSea: They can chose to buy retail if they want and rent em out all they want. If they go by a contract, chances are they get better pricing but have restrictions like this.

    Back in the VHS days (before the first sale doctrine?) movies for rent would cost $100+ when purchased by a renal store. That’s not the case anymore from what I understand.