Today AllThingsD is carrying a story that Warner Bros has announced a deal whereby they are further delaying delivery of new releases to Netflix and Redbox up to 56 days after release! The reasoning is simple: help bolster DVD sales.
A new deal between Time Warner’s movie studio and Netflix, Redbox and Blockbuster will double the “window” for new releases. That means the services will now have to wait 56 days after the discs first go on sale to offer them to their customers, instead of 28 days.
However, I cannot help but wonder if this strategy is the definition of insanity: doing the same thing and expecting different results?
In 2010, DVD sales dropped 16% as overall media consumption dropped 3%. That year Warner Brothers and others forced a 28 day ‘window’, i.e. waiting period. How were they rewarded? Look at the image above – sales are now down 23%!
In other words, while trying to improve sales, they actually HURT them! Of course, I have no inside knowledge of their tracking statistics, so they might have evidence that things would have been worse without the delay.
Doug and I have had a series of rants that center on a single theme: making things difficult to get legally doesn’t tend to stop people from getting them … just slightly less convenient.
Personally, I have little desire to own movies – and as I mentioned last week we rarely go to theaters. So rentals through Amazon, iTunes or Redbox are the ways we use to check out movies.
If a movie is either going to require me to buy it or wait, it is not an incentive for me to buy. What about you? Do you think this 56 day delay will help Warner Bros. sell more DVDs?