Early 2010, Warner Brothers studios pressured Redbox and Netflix into delaying rental releases by 28 days in hopes of people deciding they needed the movies as fast as they could get them, getting them then to purchase the movies from the store rather than renting. Apparently they succeeded, or at least they say they succeeded siting a 15% increase in packaged media sales since the 28 day decree. Now WB may be increasing the delay to see if sales increase even more.
As Mike Masnick from TechDirt says, “Making it more difficult to let people watch movies the way they want to isn’t a solution that will work long term,” especially when it comes to a format like DVD (that will eventually go the way of the dodo like the VHS.) Time Warner Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bewkes said today on conference call with Bloomberg “So far the 28-day window has clearly been a success versus no delay … The question of whether we ought to go longer is very much under scrutiny. It may well be a good idea.” This is just like when they release Harry Potter in hardcover before the cheaper, more reasonably sized softcover. I just get so frazzled just thinking about it! Really, this is a real first-world problem.