Giant media company Warner Brothers might be taking further steps to ensure that its updated distribution strategy for newly released DVD movies has the maximum effect — regardless of how petty the company may seem as a result.
Earlier this month, Warner Brothers decided to delay all new DVD movie releases from becoming available through video rental services, like Blockbuster and Netflix. This means the rental services must wait 56 days after a new Warner Brothers DVD hits retail store shelves before it’s able to begin renting it out to customers. Of course, the video rental companies do have the option of buying the new DVD releases at full retail price, but this would raise over all operating costs for the rental service and ultimately dip into its profits.
As if that wasn’t enough, Warner Brothers is now imposing additional stipulations for its DVD movie new releases. Starting Feb. 1, the company has decided to restrict Netflix users from adding any new DVD releases to their queue until 28 days after the DVD goes on sale in retail stores, according to an LA Times report.
While Netflix is unable to offer new DVD movies for rent during the 56-day delay window, the company currently allows subscribers to add the titles to their rental queue. This is particularly useful for Netflix subscribers because the new DVDs automatically ship out once the 56-day delay period ends.
We reached out to Warner Brothers to find out more information about the new queue restrictions, but the company decline to comment. Netflix responded to our inquiries by stating that the DVD queue functionality hasn’t changed, but didn’t mention what would happen next month.
The delays and queue restrictions are part of an overall effort by Warner Brothers to boost its ailing DVD sales. The company thinks that by lengthening the time it takes for a movie to reach other platforms, it will increase demand for the DVD, and in turn make more money. Once a move reaches rental services and streaming video platforms, Warner Brothers stands to make far less revenue.
Not allowing Netflix users to conveniently wait out the delayed availability of new DVDs fits within Warner Brothers new strategy. The company clearly wants consumers to feel the inconvenience and discomfort of not being able to watch these newly released movies immediately because it makes the option of buying the DVD much more attractive.
However, I don’t think making Netflix subscribers wait a month before being allowed to add new movies to their queue will do much to improve sales of Warner Brothers’ DVDs. It’s far more likely that people will just forget about the movies, rather than drastically change their behavior and spend more money.