The video rental landscape is continuing to change even more with the announcement that Netflix has struck deals with two more movie studios that will see the rent-by-mail service delay the availability of new release DVDs to its customers.
Several of the movie studios have been striking deals with Redbox to keep new release DVDs from the kiosk vendor for 28-days in an effort to stem off the drop in sales the companies have been seeing at the retail level. After those deals were made, the video companies also approached Netflix to see if they would also do it, but in exchange Netflix wanted better pricing on copies and the opportunity to add even more back catalog titles to its Watch Instantly streaming service.
Warner Brothers was the first company to make this deal back in January. The agreement sees Netflix keeping the newest releases out of their system for four weeks, and the streaming service got to add more content.
Now Netflix has announced that it has struck similar deals with both Twentieth Century Fox and Universal Studios Home Video. Avatar will be the first DVD from Twentieth Century Fox to fall under the deal, and It’s Complicated will be the first film from Universal Studios Home Video.
Under the Twentieth Century Fox deal, Netflix will be able to add both movies and numerous television properties from the studio to its Watch Instantly service. The deal with Universal Studios includes a large selection of films that will make their first appearance on the service.
While some people have been very critical of these deal, and some customers have even gone so far as to sue the company over them, it makes perfect business sense for the company. The company has said it has no plans to drop the physical DVD portion of its business, but it has stated numerous times that the streaming portion costs it significantly less to operate. With the software to stream the content being added to every device under the sun such as TVs, Blu-ray player and now even the iPad, beefing up the Watch Instantly service is more important than ever.
As for the physical DVDs, the lower costs it has negotiated will help with the bottom line of the company, and also allow for greater copy depth so there will be fewer delays in receiving the films after the 28-day embargo is over.
While these new deals are not a perfect solution for consumers, they aren’t exactly the end of the world some people have made them out to be either.
What do you think? Are these 28-day delays really that much of an inconvenience to you?