Netflix sells out

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netflix_mailerNetflix agreed Wednesday to delay fulfilling customers’ requests for DVD and Blu-ray titles from Warner Bros. for their first 28 days on the market, bowing to studio pressure to give preference to those would would purchase the discs.

The move, reports The Associated Press, is a first for the rental company, which has 11 million subscribers. More such deals are expected with other studios this year.

The reason is simple: Warner Bros. is feeling the pinch as consumers who once had the disposable income to buy new movies as soon as they came out switch to services like Netflix and Blockbuster Online.

In return, Warner Bros. reportedly is giving Netflix a discount on their discs and allowing more titles to be viewed online by Netflix subscribers.

In an age when media piracy is already rampant, this move is bound to stir even more anger against the big studios, and Warner Bros. in particular as the trailblazer. I suspect it won’t be long before many Netflix subscribers say “That’s All, Folks!” and either turn to alternative services or, unfortunately, hoist the Jolly Roger.

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Jayson Peters

Digital, social and print media pro. Nerdvana's founder, curator and editor.

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  • This is definitely a frustrating move by the studios and I’m surprised it’s Warner Bros. and not Fox pulling this stunt. As Princess Leia would say, “The more you tighten your grip, [studios], the more [money] will slip through your fingers…” If people are cutting back on DVD purchases, I don’t see this move doing anything for DVD sales…it will just piss of customers, who will wait the extra month to rent…or hoist the Jolly Roger indeed.

  • This is definitely a frustrating move by the studios and I’m surprised it’s Warner Bros. and not Fox pulling this stunt. As Princess Leia would say, “The more you tighten your grip, [studios], the more [money] will slip through your fingers…” If people are cutting back on DVD purchases, I don’t see this move doing anything for DVD sales…it will just piss of customers, who will wait the extra month to rent…or hoist the Jolly Roger indeed.

  • While this is just my opinion, I’m alright with this move. It may be just my own viewing preferences, but if I REALLY wanted to see a movie, I saw it in the theater. I’ll gladly wait a bit longer for new releases provided it comes along with an increased number of streaming movies. As long as there’s a decent uptick in the number of Warner Bros. movies that I can watch instantly, I think it’s a fair trade-off.

    I just looked at my Netflix que and in my top 30, I have one movie (The Hurt Locker, hitting shelves Jan. 12) that’s a new release. Other than that I mostly watch things that have been out for a while.

    I think it really depends on how you use Netflix and what your movie-watching philosophy is as to how angry this change will make you.

  • While this is just my opinion, I’m alright with this move. It may be just my own viewing preferences, but if I REALLY wanted to see a movie, I saw it in the theater. I’ll gladly wait a bit longer for new releases provided it comes along with an increased number of streaming movies. As long as there’s a decent uptick in the number of Warner Bros. movies that I can watch instantly, I think it’s a fair trade-off.

    I just looked at my Netflix que and in my top 30, I have one movie (The Hurt Locker, hitting shelves Jan. 12) that’s a new release. Other than that I mostly watch things that have been out for a while.

    I think it really depends on how you use Netflix and what your movie-watching philosophy is as to how angry this change will make you.

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