I mentioned last week that Warner Bros. was forcing Netflix to implement a longer delay on availability before shipping DVDs to customers of 56 days for new releases. Warner had also forced a delay of 28 days before allowing customers to add its movies to their Netflix queue. Warner tried to force the same 56-day delay on rental kiosk Redbox. Redbox held out and refused to sign the deal eventually letting the agreement with Warner expire.
That expired deal means that Redbox can no longer buy DVDs directly from Warner Bros. at discounted rate, and will instead have to buy DVDs and Blu-ray’s in bulk from retailers such as Walmart. That will cost Redbox more money in the long run and may possibly lead to higher rental prices. The good news for customers is that this means an end to the 28-day delay and proposed 56-day delay before Warner Bros. movies find their way into Redbox kiosks. Warner notes it is still holding out hopes it can come to an agreement with Redbox.
Warner is pushing for the longer delays in hopes that consumers will either buy the movies at retail or rent them via pay-per-view where Warner makes more money. I hope Redbox doesn’t cave, as long as prices for rentals through Redbox don’t increase significantly; this is the way to force movie studios like Warner Bros. to understand that consumers and companies shouldn’t have to wait for movies.
[via LA Times]