The Wisdom Behind the Rental Delay

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By now most are familiar with the deal struck between Warner Bros. and Netflix to put a 28 day delay on new releases.  We have a great community discussion ongoing at Project: Shadow that has looked at the deal, the hopes and it’s real effect.

The Deal

Warner Bros. is making Netflix renters wait 28 days to get new releases through Netflix.

Warner Bros. hopes this delay will give them a chance to sell more DVD's to consumers, believing they will not be able to wait to see the studio's latest release.

Netflix got more movies and TV shows for their streaming program.

First Reaction

(by Eric)

Consumer Habits

It shocks me that Warner Bros. failed to be aware of consumer habits.  The average consumer does not track a movie's DVD release date nor do they really care about it with the exception for a few really big titles. If they are going to buy it's because they saw it on a shelf or was reminded in some other manner. Renters have the same habit.

A delay won’t make people buy movies

If someone is so excited to watch a movie they will do so in the theater. That is why there is so much pressure and hype around theater releases.  A delay in renting only serves to anger the fans at best.  John The Rogue Demon Hunter put it best with “Didnt I already decide to avoid the film in the theatre? If I just have to see your movie, I would go to the multiplex.”

By the time of the DVD release the pressure to see the movie immediately is spent.  The only value in getting it right away is if the movie was of such quality to have a lot of rewatchability.


John The Rogue Demon Hunter asks “Why would anyone purchase a movie designed for a big opening weekend?  The consumer buys a movie because they want to rewatch the film.”  This won’t be impacted by a delay in renting because in the cases of new releases with rewatchability most will just go out and buy it skipping the renting process.  Take the Harry Potter movies for example.

Because of this behavior a delay will not increase DVD sales couple that with consumers renting habits and most would not even notice the delay.

Netflix Wins

Netflix will get more streaming content.  This is a big win for me as a subscriber.  I love their streaming program and watch many videos and shows through it.

What does Warner get out of it?

Warner gets a lot of anger and disgust from the delay.  This whole thing was just politically stupid for Warner Bros. They upset a lot of people for no return.

"If they don't want me to see their movie, then I have to say to hell with them." - Eric

American films used to be art to me and waiting another 28 days to watch fast food movies doesn't really effect me anymore.   by John The Rogue Demon Hunter

For me the delay is yet another sign from studios that they do not respect the consumer. I'm getting to the point where I can no longer support those who have such great disrespect for their consumers.

Warner Bros. you should not only love our money but show us the fans and consumers some respect too.  If you continue on your path then we will have to cry out.

  • We are not a thief.

  • We are not their cattle.

  • We will not support you.

  • We will not buy your products.

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