As part of Hollywood studios’ efforts to support DVD sales, Time Warner’s Warner Bros. is doubling the window for rental providers Netflix, Redbox and Dish Network-owned Blockbuster to get access to new DVD releases to 56 days. The change is part of Warner's and other Hollywood studios' continuing effort to support profitable DVD sales, which have been weakening.
As reported by AllThingsD, this is the second time that Warner has been able to get the rental services to wait before distributing its movies. Under a 2010 deal, Warner discs became available for rental providers 28 days after DVDs first went on sale. Other studios have also used the 28-day window.
Two years ago, Netflix was able to argue that by delaying access to DVDs, it was able to get its hands on more streaming content, and lower prices for the discs it did buy. This time around however, Warner won’t be granting any additional digital rights to the studios. It will simply be offering them the ability to buy discs in bulk, at a significant discount to retail pricing, like they already do.
Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.