Along with several other major movie studios, Warner Bros. restricts Netflix and Redbox from offering its movies for rent until 28 days after they go on sale. For months, Blockbuster has been immune to such restrictions, trumpeting early access to films as one of the few reasons to still bother visiting a rental store. But now Warner has taken that meager advantage away.
Redbox rental kiosks apparently aren’t as appealing when its “new releases” are no longer so new. Thanks in part to an agreement not to stock new discs from major studios until 28 days after release, Redbox sales are down despite kiosk traffic remaining consistent.
While bankrupt video chain Blockbuster Video is spending millions on TV ads to trumpet its immediate access to new releases, the folks behind the Blockbuster Express rental kiosks have made a deal with Warner Bros. and other studios to delay renting new titles by 28 days.
Yesterday, Netflix continued to demonstrate its focus on expanding the company’s online streaming library — at the risk of losing business on new release DVD rentals — by announcing a deal with Sony that would delay rentals of the studio’s new titles by 28 days. In exchange, Netflix receives access to streaming licenses for more Sony titles.
Is anyone really surprised it came to this? A Netflix subscriber isn’t happy about having to wait 28 days for Warner Home Video movies to be made available on the video delivery service, so she’s filed a class action lawsuit.