Sliding Windows: The Changing Landscape of Home Video

28dayslatercoverMany of you may have noticed the recent agreement struck between Netflix and Warner Bros. to postpone the availability of new releases on Netflix DVD-by-mail service for 28 days following their release on DVD/Blu-ray (you can read an interesting analysis of it here).  This means that when a new movie, say The Informant, hits the shelves in DVD and Blu-ray, Netflix customers won’t be able to get it until at least a month later.  It is widely assumed that this agreement will serve as a template for Netflix’s relationships with the other major studios going forward. which would mean that pretty much all new releases wouldn’t be available on Netflix until a month after release (and they wouldn’t show up on streaming for at least another year.)

At VUDU, things work differently.  Almost all of our movies are available the same day the come out on DVD and Blu-ray.  And because we’re all digital, our customers don’t have to suffer through the rationing of physical inventory or the headaches of getting scratched discs that are unwatchable.  All new new releases are available to everyone with the best viewing experience possible, in 1080p HD quality and Dolby Digital Plus surround sound.  Our customers have told us they love the value we deliver to them.  And as it turns out, our commitment to delivering you the earliest, best movie experience possible is something that Hollywood loves as well.   So rather than seeing us curtailing what we offer our customers, you’ll see us moving in the opposite direction – more movies earlier.

We’d love to hear what you think on this topic.

1 Comment

  • Aaron

    February 6, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    You’d like to “here” what I think, or you’d like to hear what I think?

    Sorry to sound snotty, but I had to get Netflix to send me “Extract” a couple of weeks ago because I really wanted to see it, and VUDU wasn’t going to have it available for rental until just this week. Same deal with “Moon” and “Zombieland” (still both not available for rental on VUDU) and the last two movies I tried to watch before that.

    You might have most of your movies “available” the same day as DVD, but if they’re only available for purchase and not rental, that’s irrelevant to me. Seriously, half of the wish list that I have on my VUDU box are movies that are only for purchase. Netflix will happily send me those movies; VUDU will only sell them to me. This says nothing of all the movies that I can’t even add to the wish list because VUDU doesn’t have them at all, or the movies that I have added to the wish list but have disappeared from VUDU by the time I go to watch them.

    Yes, yes, you’re constrained by the studios as far as availability, etc. That doesn’t change the fact that you don’t have anywhere near the selection of Netflix. Even if Netflix agrees to a 1 month delay with every studio, they’ll still have the movies after that 1 month, unlike VUDU where there seems to be a 90% chance that whatever movie I want to see won’t be available anymore because it’s now airing on HBO/Showtime/Starz/ESPN/etc.

    The article you linked to doesn’t support your assertion that streaming movies would be delayed by another year under this new agreement. Netflix is actually saying that agreeing to delay the new releases is being done in exchange for bringing more movies into the streaming library. Those two things could both be true, and Netflix is just going to be bringing more older catalog titles into the streaming library. Still, that’s more chances for me to turn to Netflix instead of VUDU if they’ve got the movie for streaming and I don’t want to wait.

    I see Netflix and VUDU as rather complementary: Netflix has the insane selection, and VUDU has instant gratification. I’m glad I have both. So, it seems strange to me that you’re attempting to talk up this rental delay window as some sort of disadvantage that Netflix has, when it’s the exact same problem on the VUDU side that has been increasingly pushing me to choose Netflix when I could otherwise be giving VUDU money.