Friday, January 29, 2010

It's a Win/Win

Or, more accurately a Win/Win/Lose. Guess which category you and I fit into?

"We have been discussing new approaches with Warner Bros. for some time now and believe we've come up with a creative solution that is a 'win-win' all around," said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos, who handles studio relations.

Warner Bros. first said it wanted to change its relationship with Netflix in August, at the same time that it imposed the 28-day window on Redbox and its smaller kiosk competitors.

Other studios have privately expressed similar concerns recently about Netflix, which has more than 11 million subscribers. It's likely that some or all will follow Warner Bros.' lead and strike similar agreements soon. 20th Century Fox and Universal Pictures are the most likely candidates, as they have imposed windows on Redbox.

The new deal means that for the first four weeks after Warner Bros. movies are released on DVD, consumers will be able to only purchase them, download them them through Internet or cable video-on-demand services, or rent them at retail stores like Blockbuster. Video-on-demand and retail rentals are more profitable for studios than Netflix and Redbox, though it remains to be seen whether Warner will look to impose a window on Blockbuster Inc. and its competitors as well.

Put out a horrible product that the public isn't willing to waste it's money on? The solution is to limit our options.

Look, Warner Brothers, if I wasn't willing to buy your DVDs before, I'm even less wiling to do so now.