Warner Bros. Considering Longer Delay For New Releases On Netflix

Earlier this year, Warner Bros. was one of the first home video companies to make a deal with Netflix that would delay the availability of new releases by 28 days in exchange for greater access to Warner’s catalog. Now the company says it is mulling over the possibility of making that delay even longer.

Says Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes:

“So far the 28-day window has clearly been a success versus no delay… The question of whether we ought to go longer is very much under scrutiny. It may well be a good idea.

Bewkes says Warner won’t seek to make any changes to its current agreement with Netflix until that deal expires in 2011.

Question is: Which is more important to Netflix subscribers — Having the newest movies or a larger selection of movies to stream online?

Time Warner May Consider Longer Delay for Netflix, Redbox [BusinessWeek]


Edit Your Comment

  1. evilpete says:

    maybe they are trying to get more $$ out of netflix ?

    • benjitek says:

      No, they want people to purchase the discs, or pay per-stream to see them. Netflix rents on such a large scale, they want to maximize their profits which doesn’t involve more $$ from Netflix.

  2. ssaoi says:

    larger selection online. By far.

  3. Grogey says:

    Larger streaming pot!

    • ThaKoolAidKid says:

      You know what pisses me off? When you add season 1 of a show and go to stream it and they don’t include episode 1 or 5, so you need to get the DVDs. Wtf is that?!

    • sleze69 says:


      If I am excited about something coming out on BR or DVD (like director’s cut of Avatar), I will buy it regardless if Netflix has it at the same time or not. I would gladly wait another month if there was a substantial increase in older movies being included in the library.

    • Doubts42 says:

      sadly California voted down prop 19 so they can’t stream you your pot just yet.

  4. mbd says:

    Newest Movies. Period.

  5. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    I would like a larger selection to stream. If I want to own a movie or TV show, I’ll pay attention to when it’s released, but otherwise? I long ago stopped keeping track or noticing when things were released on DVD. I really enjoy Netflix streaming and I’ve watched an entire season of TV in less time than it would take to receive the equivalent through the mail.

    Warner Brothers might think it has the upper hand here, but there are plenty of people like me who have lives, and those lives don’t entail keeping track of when Warner Brothers releases a movie. It comes out when it comes out.

    • vastrightwing says:

      This is why I find all of this talk so amusing. Go ahead FOX and CableVision, go at each other. Sure, WB, make your window bigger. It’s all good to me. I don’t care. My true entertainment is hearing about all their whining and knowing how irrelevant they’ll be very soon… or already.

  6. comatose says:

    Jesus. And now that Red Box and Netflix are pretty much the market leaders, no one will get to rent their favorites until 1-2 months from release. So competition has not worked out, at least in this aspect. There’s always Bittorrent anyway.

    • comatose says:

      BTW, I’m also in the boat of “I don’t care when it’s released”, but family and others I know have serious issues with this. I would really enjoy having more of a Netflix streaming catalog.

    • Julia789 says:

      I saw a Blockbuster ad yesterday that said “We have movies 28 days before Netflix or Red Box!”

      Personally I don’t mind waiting 28 days. I like the streaming videos – old series, etc.

      If a new movie is so amazing that I can’t wait 28 days, well I would have seen it in the theater.

      • buzz86us says:

        I seen that sign once and was excited sadly when I actually went to the store it appeared empty and abandoned. (he said ironically)
        Blockbuster Online used to be great when there were actually stores in my area now its just netflix neutered by a lack of streaming, back in the day I really liked Blockbuster online with the unlimited in store rental exchanges I could get tv shows online then new releases in store. Then the price for that same level of service nearly doubled, my local store became a mattress store and I BAILED.

      • StoicLion says:

        I co-sign your comment. And I go to the movies maybe once or twice a year.

    • d0x360 says:

      torrent? hah! torrents are sketchy, you can easily get caught, get a virus or download a bs file. They are also slow. If you want to pirate something you get on newsgroups…usenet wasnt invented for piracy but it works for it and it will download as fast as your connection will allow without the risk of being caught.

      Im not promoting piracy here but im sick of botnets being run by pc’s that have been infected by people downloading torrents.

      • ktetch says:

        Sorry but no.
        “torrent? hah! torrents are sketchy, you can easily get caught, get a virus or download a bs file.”

        easily get caught is a myth. your probability is low. Get avirus – again, very rare, just doesn’t happen these days. A BS file, can happen, but again, you look at the uploader, and the comments.

        These are actually areas I’ve spent time researching and quantifying (comes with the job of Researcher for Torrentfreak.com)

        • ZekeDMS says:

          I got caught once downloading “Without a Paddle.” So it can happen.

          Then again, I didn’t actually download or have any interest in Without a Paddle to begin with, and when I told BayTSP to present the evidence, they suddenly backed down. Funny how that works.

    • comatose says:

      There are plenty of torrent filtering/proxy services for real cheap out there. But no, video files don’t ever have viruses that I’ve seen. Now, if you download a rar or zip, then it can happen – but again, don’t be stupid and run the file if it’s not a video file.

  7. HighontheHill says:

    Larger library, clearly, I have no compulsion to see movies immediately and have the theaters for that; I prefer more choice.

  8. ThaKoolAidKid says:

    I don’t know about the rest of you, but I haven’t bought a DVD/BD in about 10 years. Netflix, Redbox, hell even Blockbuster at one point, was enough for me. I’m not one to watch a movie over and over, it’s usually one and done. So buying movies doesn’t make sense to me. And paying $4 per iTunes or Amazon digital ‘rental’ is retarded in my book.

  9. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:


    If we cared that much about “now” we’ve be buying DVDs instead of getting them from Netflix.

  10. sqlrob says:

    Larger selection. Most of the stuff I tend to watch is older by the time I get to it anyway.

  11. dustindmw says:

    For me I’d rather have a larger selection of streaming movies so if I have to choose between the two that’s where I would lean. However, I don’t like really like where this seems to be headed. As a consumer I just hope it doesn’t get to the point where I have to wait 2 months after a new dvd comes out to watch it on netflix.

  12. wbeem says:

    In other words, Warner Brothers thinks the path to success involves screwing the ultimate consumer of its product.

  13. Droford says:

    One of the advantages that Blockbuster’s by mail service has over Netflix is that they aren’t bound by these same 28 day windows so I can get movies in the mail or use my in store returns to get them as well even if they’re restricted from Netfix/Redbox.

    Ive been using their service for 5 years now I just hope Blockbuster can keep the service up and running but Im not going to hold my breath with the way everything else about the company is going..

    • Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

      You’re kidding, right?

      • Droford says:

        No..not kidding.

        I really do like the blockbuster online deal as grandfathered in at the price it was back when I signed up. I get 3 movies (and/or games now which is even better) out at a time for $20 with no upcharge for Blu Rays and instore returns for weekends or holidays when the post office is closed. Netflix’s only major selling point that Blockbuster doesnt have is streaming but Im on 3G EVDO internet thats capped at 5 GB (with no other “high speed” option available) and 1 movie would probably blow through most of that and stick me with ridiculous overage charges, so its not worth it for me.

  14. JasonR says:

    When you make it difficult or impossible for would-be customers to legitimately purchase your product, what do you expect they’ll do in a world where stealing your product is so trivial?

    • Gulliver says:

      Actually they make it easy for you to buy their product. Go to Amazon, or walk into any Target and you can find the item for sale. They just don;t allow it for online rental companies.

      • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

        Seems fair to me. What incentive would anyone have to buy a movie if they can immediately stream it for free, over and over. I’m cool with that deal.

      • d0x360 says:

        Yea they make it so you can buy it easily sure but not everyone wants to spend $20-$30 on a new movie only to find they dont like it. I own over 700 dvd’s and a many blurays. I love buying movies, I love watching movies again and again. What I dont like it buying a movie and finding out its crap so I rent them first. Chances are ill just end up forgetting about the movie and they are losing a sale because they didnt want to let me rent it.

        The industry is full of people who moronic ideas who dont seem to get why piracy is such a big thing. Pirates will pirate no matter what you do. The only people this effects is the average consumer.

  15. Talisker says:

    Larger selection. I don’t need to see new movies right away. I’d rather have access to Warner’s library than being able to see the latest release.

  16. FreshPorcupineSalad says:

    My decision to buy a movie is not based on the rental date. If I’m not going to buy it, I’m not going to buy it.

  17. aloria says:

    Earth to Time Warner: delaying a movie’s release on Netflix is not going to make me run out and buy it. If I was really nuts about getting to see a movie, I would have caught it in theaters, anyway.

    I’d rather have a bigger selection of streaming than the newest movies, anyway. During the week I’m mostly in the mood for something older that I’ve seen before to have in the background while I knit or work on computer stuff. New releases are generally saved for the weekend when I’m more in the mood to devote my full attention to a flick.

  18. eatyourchildren says:

    larger selection, no question.

  19. KCDebi says:

    Bigger selection all the way, especially if they focus on increasing the streaming library.

    If I wanted to see the movie sooner, I’d have seen it in the theater when it was released. If I liked it so much I want to see it again, I’ll buy it. If I have a vague interest in seeing it but won’t trouble myself to watch it on the big screen, then the wait is no big deal.

  20. George4478 says:

    What new movies came out on DVD a month ago that are only just now available in my Netflix queue? Hmmm, no idea.

    Larger selection.

  21. Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

    I really don’t care when it’s released. It’ll be new to me regardless if it’s 30 days or 6 months old.

    It wasn’t all that long ago that it took an incredibly long time for a movie to come out on VHS.

  22. Remmy75 says:

    Let me translate, 28 day delay hasnt made Waner Bros as much as they thoght. So now Warner Bros thinks if they can delay new releases to Netflix longer then 28 days, us impatient consumers will run out and spend the 30 bucks to buy thier new movies on Blueray increasing thier profits.

    I would wait 6 months if it means I get more stuff streaming. I have 3 disks sitting at home collecting dust cause I spend all my time watching streaming content.

    • Weighted Companion Cube says:

      I think this helps Time Warner Cable’s Movies On Demand bottom line, the fees they get from DirecTV Dish TV, Comcast etc… for every time they show a new movie from Warner Bros more than wanting people to go out and buy a DVD.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        Are there really a lot of people who buy movies through their pay per view service? I don’t think we’ve ever bought anything through pay per view.

        • jvanbrecht says:

          My neighbours do all the time, but its mostly kids stuff for their 8 year old (or maybe 9, I forget). It’s also usually impromptu purchases, like we are at someones house eating dinner, or having drinks, and decide we want to see a movie, they will generally buy a ppv movie if there is no free one we want to watch.

        • d0x360 says:

          In the 5+ years ive had comcast I rented 1 movie via OnDemand. I rent alot of stuff from Xbox Live though cause the instant on 1080p streaming is quite impressive. Mainly I use my netflix for the streaming and I wish a cheap streaming only account was an option but it isnt yet so I stick with 1 dvd at a time and use it to rent random crap.

  23. TheGreySpectre says:

    I don’t care how long your delay is Warner bros, I’m not buying the movies. I would prefer to have them in the netflix catalogue though for rental as I hate streaming (the sound is terrible) If they move up to being able to stream full quality dvds and blu rays including subtitles and uncomprressed audio then I might switch, but for right now I stick to physical media.

    • Rose says:

      They do have subtitles, on the Wii, at least.

      • The hand that feeds, now with more bacon says:

        English language subtitles for movies in English?

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          Just because the characters speak English doesn’t mean they don’t have hard-to-comprehend accents.

          • Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

            Subtitles also come in handy for people who can’t hear. Sometimes I use subtitles when the sound just plain sucks, or the characters mumble. I tried to watch ‘Extras’ and I couldn’t understand a damn thing Ricky Gervais was saying — a combination of the accent and his fricken mumbling.

          • aloria says:

            Or they’re one of those actors who thinks being broody means mumbling every word.

  24. Brian Cooks says:

    Larger selection of streaming please. I’m about to cancel my netflix because I’ve watched everything I want to watch on streaming.

  25. Mom says:

    I’m not sure I’ve ever bought a DVD. I’m also not sure I’ve even seen a single movie that was released in 2009 or 2010 yet. Avatar is still somewhere about 2/3 of the way down my queue. So, apparently I don’t care much about how long the wait is. But more Netflix streaming choices? Yeah, I’m all for that.

    • 3skr1mad0r says:

      One of the great things that brought me to Netflix in the first place is their selection of older movies, being able to find more obscure titles, and anime. They even have instructional DVDs.
      I am streaming the Robotech Macross Saga right now which you couldn’t even find at Blockbuster.
      Warner Bros. can suck it.

  26. Macgyver says:

    As long as they get more streaming content.
    I haven’t rented a DVD in about 2 years, all I do is stream, so I really don’t care. And almost of all movies made today kinda sucks anyway.

  27. catskyfire says:

    I’d be happier with better streaming. It’s not easy to rewind, compared to a DVD. I do that a lot, sometimes because a shot is interesting, and I want to see it in slow motion, or because I missed what they said.

    Having not tried it yet, how well do subtitles work in streaming? (I use those on DVDs when I can’t understand the dialog well)

  28. progrocktv says:

    Just wait, when the cable/internet companies start imposing ridiculous bandwidth caps and overage fees to make up for all of the cord cutters, which will ending up costing about the same to buy the movie as it will to stream it, renting the disc by mail suddenly will become appealing.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      We stream nearly every day for hours and it isn’t a problem at all. Sometimes we both stream at the same time (one of us on the TV and the other on the computer) and it’s not a problem.

      • Droford says:

        I think the point that was trying to be made was if the internet companies cap users at low GB levels per month and then charge like $10 a GB over the limit. I’ve seen estimates that Netflix in HD quality uses 1 GB per hour, so if you were to go over your limit while watching a movie it could end up costing you a lot of money in overage charges, and it wouldnt be hard to exceed the limit just watching a couple HD movies on netflix without doing any other internet usage at all.

  29. Rose says:

    Dude, who cares? I want more streaming!

  30. evilpete says:

    I do not find that many appealing movies on NetFlix streaming, most are moves I saw a decade (or more) ago

  31. MaximusMMIV says:

    I enjoy a mix of watching the latest movies on disc as well as old classics and lesser-known movies on both disc and streaming. I’m happy with the way that the 28 day delay turned out, and I think it would be in Netflix’s best interest to try to hold the line where it is.

  32. jvanbrecht says:

    I would have to go with a larger selection online.. In all honesty, I rarely get to watching the DVD’s for a few weeks after I receive them. I have had my current 2 for about a month… eventually I will get around to them :)

    I have netflix streaming on my tivo, xbox and ps3.. which I would rather use then dealing with the DVD which just sits around, so waiting longer for new releases, but having say, their entire collection available for streaming would make me happier.

  33. BurtReynolds says:

    Well this isn’t going to get me to buy anymore of their movies. I’ll just wait for Netflix. If anything, I might be less inclined to buy a blu-ray from them now.

  34. Arcaeris says:

    Larger library. My GF has had control of the remote lately, and she’s been streaming classic films from 50 years ago. We haven’t even watched one recent movie in a long time.

  35. salviati says:

    From the text above, it didn’t sound like Warner was offering any more streaming content than they are now, just a longer delay. While I prefer to watch most of my movies via streaming, I’m afraid the content providers are trying too hard to protect their current DVD sales levels rather than create a comprehensive distribution system that incorporates streaming. I would be fine with a slightly longer delay on the disk rentals as long as the movie is available for streaming simultaneously.

  36. smbizowner says:

    larger on line selection hands down.

    IMO new movie releases have been: vampire/actionhero/crap. Haven’t had any interest in any new releases since LOTR> then I bought those.

  37. billybob9280 says:

    Larger streaming selection. Release dates mean nothing when you have 150+ movies/tv series waiting in your queue to be watched.

  38. sk1d says:

    With BitTorrent, it’s usually out at least week before the DVD is released.

  39. Primarylupine says:

    How about Warner takes a healthy dose of “GFY” and just up the release delay to “never”.

  40. smirkette says:

    Ditto on what most people are saying here: more selection. If I want fast viewing, I’ll go see it in the theater.

  41. popsnicker says:

    Let me guess, they found that DVD sales didn’t increase the first time they tried delaying the Netflix release, so the solution is to delay it more.

  42. dolemite says:

    “Wow sales went up 2% from delaying…I wonder if we delayed it 12 months would it go up ….2000%???”

    Sorry, I don’t buy movies. You can delay release 2 years and I won’t buy them.

  43. HogwartsProfessor says:

    Larger selection to stream. I’ve been watching on the laptop a lot more (and hopefully someday soon, a Roku box, now that the price has dropped) and there is still less good stuff on streaming. Hurry up Netflix!

  44. lifeat24fps says:

    Go ahead, Warners. Your “new releases” from 2006 are still working their way up my queue. Netflix doesn’t work the way you think it does.

  45. mister_roboto says:

    Selection of streaming movies- instead of saying “saw it on TV” I say “saw it on NetFlix” (since canceling my cable).

    That said- 80% of new releases are garbage anyway.

  46. SunnyLea says:

    This isn’t even something I have to think about — more streaming.

    If I could wait for through the theater release and for the DVD release, and then another four weeks… well, I can wait. If I’d wanted to see it, I’d have done it.

  47. dulcinea47 says:

    How about this, I don’t care how long you wait to release to Netflix, there’s still no way I’m going to buy any new release DVDs.

  48. Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

    Larger selection, definitely. Newer movies mostly suck.

    So to WB I say this: you want to delay your new releases? Fine. I’ll delay buying them on DVD. Like…never. How’s that work for ya?

  49. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    Larger selection, hands down.

  50. Kevin says:

    If Netflix takes too long to get a movie, I’m just going to download it. Fuck these shenanigans!

  51. Sandstar says:

    This is why you never give in to bullies. Cause they keep coming back, once they’ve found out you’ll cave, and give into what they want.

  52. d0x360 says:

    Aside from this being a stupid idea all I can say as someone who owns over 700 DVD’s and about 30 blurays, I still wont buy a new release movie without renting it first unless I know without a doubt I will enjoy watching it more than once.

    In fact just to vote with my wallet I wont buy any Warner movies at all until well past the release window and after a nice fat price cut. I also wont pay to rent them on Xbox Live anymore.

    Deals like this hurt the legit consumer. I could easily pirate any movie in perfect dvd or bluray quality weeks before it hits retail but I dont. If i can wait the span from theatres to dvd i can also wait till their little no rent contract window expires.

  53. ConsumerDollars says:

    Bigger Streaming library, I’d rather buy the movies that I must have, few but memorable and hold up their watch ability (Kids Flix, Inception, Avatar, etc.) But what I want to see is if they move it to 2 months after the DVD release, I want that new movie open to stream not just the physical disk!

  54. MFfan310 says:

    Anyone want to bet that Warner’s sudden love for Blockbuster is behind this, and that they wat to prop up Blockbuster’s current business model?

  55. d0x360 says:

    with newsgroups its out 3 weeks before it hits torrents, it downloads in about an hour, and there is no risk of being caught. torrents are crap.

  56. nrylanb says:

    Has anyone explained why it has to be an either/or? Why can’t we get movies on Disc and a bigger streaming library? Why does there have to be a delay?

  57. humbajoe says:

    Having a larger selection to stream should be the main priority right now (and should be a priority until almost every movie is streamable) – but it’s also very important to have new releases regularly showing up as well. I’m getting pretty tired of booting up Netflix and having nothing but old, terrible Asylum and Troma films flooding everything out. Hell, it took them until the release of Paranormal Activity 2 to put the first one on the streaming service – after trying to bait and switch us with Asylum’s cash grab “Paranormal Entity”, which has been on the “horror” queue of the program for over a freaking year.


    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Um, I believe Paranormal Entity was streaming a long, long time ago. I remember because my friends brought over the DVD and then I checked Netflix and realized it was streaming.

  58. Starfury says:

    I rent movies that I didn’t feel were good enough to buy but good enough to watch again at home. I figure about 80% of my “library” is watched once and then put on the shelf forever.

  59. ClaudeKabobbing says:

    waiting longer is not going to force me to go to the overpriced movies nor will it prompt me to purchase the DVD.

  60. LordTwinkie says:

    why can’t we have both damn it

  61. framitz says:

    I’ll choose larger selection. There is so much content available that I don’t mind waiting a little longer for new releases.

  62. coren says:

    I prefer Netflix, 28 Days Later or 28 Weeks Later

  63. benjitek says:

    While it will never happen, I’d like to see Netflix protest by just pull Warner Bros. from their library. It’s ridiculous — what if public libraries weren’t allowed to offer new books until a month after publication — we’d see a lot more action and protest for something like that…

  64. rodan1967 says:

    Hello Bittorrent.

  65. Goatweed says:

    The longer the delay access to new movies, the more – and faster – will ripped pre-release DVDs and BluRays become available. Do they really think that delaying “Grown Ups” longer would actually increase disc sales?

  66. crunchberries says:

    I want both. Streaming is fine for things I’ve missed seeing over the years, but sometimes I want to treat myself to the latest release I missed out on when it was in theaters.

  67. kathyl says:

    When Bewkes said that it had “clearly been a success”, are we to assume from this that their DVD launch week/launch month sales have gone up? Maybe I’m not current on the story, but I have no idea if they’ve backed that up with an announcement of sales increases.

    Like several of the previous commenters, a delay from Netflix will not affect my decision to buy a DVD in any way. If I don’t want to own it for the long term, I won’t buy it. I’ll wait. If the delay is ridiculous, I’ll probably just forget and I won’t see their movie at all. That’s kind of a killer in this day and age where related media, such as selling MP3s off of the movie soundtrack and selling related memorabilia, is a large portion of the profit from many movies. Not to mention, a complete killer to any movie studio trying to keep interest up in a movie they hope to turn into a franchise.

  68. LADude says:

    If they extend it again, I’m out of Netflix (after 7 years). Movies show up faster and in MUCH better quality on pay channels now anyway. The “HD” streaming is a joke…. They simply don’t have the bandwidth to compete in picture quality. It might be ok if I have a little 42″ tv, but I don’t… So Warner Bros. loses twice!

  69. sparkypinball says:

    I think it’s better to get rid of the stupid rental disks, and give us the whole movie!

  70. JamesBE says:

    Back in “the day” video stores survived off of their catalog of titles, not new releases. Netflix is just the same.

  71. DoktorH says:

    more streaming.

  72. brianisthegreatest says:

    It’s hard to tell what progress was made from the last delay deal, but it didn’t seem to me that much more was added.

    I still haven’t been affected by the 28 day delay, so if it needs to be longer I guess I probably won’t notice it still. However, I’d hope they’d offer many more movies for this. It’s getting kind of ridiculous.

    Obviously they’re feeling the burn of these services–maybe they’re even having trouble moving units of new releases, but this is something the entertainment industry has always struggled with. They want to be in control and keep these old business models in place… Killing me!

  73. DJ Nihil says:

    Netflix sucks just as much as Warner Bros. for giving into their demands in the first place. Their streaming selections are a joke.

    For the movies I miss in theatres, I’m glad I have a local movie rental chain cheaper than Blockbuster nearby when I want to watch something new I’m not going to buy. And for the times I’m broke, I can always download the DVD rips.

  74. jtrain says:

    Like almost everyone is saying, a larger streaming library. Currently, I have about 80 movies in my instant queue and about 10 in my actual movie queue and I am sure most people here have more instant than regular. As much as I want to see new releases faster, I can go to the theater, or download them on a bit torrent site if i need to see them that badly. I don’t care if Netflix delays all new releases for 3 months…..as long as we can have complete access to all movies and shows the studios have on instant (which it were Netflix will be sooner or later and then rid themselves of discs all together).