Am I missing something in this Netflix deal with Warner Brothers, or am I the calm one for once?
Netflix has struck a deal with Warner Home Video to delay renting the studios latest releases for 28 days after initial release. This is due to the fact that DVD sales fell 13% in 2008 while rental revenues increased thanks to companies like Redbox. The deal includes the benefits for Netflix of purchasing copies of the films at a lower price so the company can stock newer films in greater depth, and Warners also agreed to allow more of its library to be streamed over the company’s Watch Instantly streaming movie service.
Netflix has made many comments over how it plans to focus more heavily on its streaming service as the company spends over $600 million a year in postage as opposed to a streaming film costing them only $.05 in bandwidth costs. Netflix CEO Reid Hastings has also stated that new releases from all suppliers only account for 30% of the company’s mail-order rental volume at any given time.
Well, leave it to the Internet to get all up in arms over this deal. MG Siegler wrote a story over at TechCrunch entitled Netflix Stabs Us In The Heart So Hollywood Can Drink Our Blood which makes me wonder if he is a card carrying drama queen. While Mr. Siegler is but one man, many people on blogs and Twitter have expressed their outrage over this deal, with many of them even claiming they would cancel their subscriptions with the company.
Okay, what is wrong with the world when I’m the one saying this is not a big deal?
I have been known to rant about the silliest of subjects, but I don’t get the uproar about this at all. You aren’t going to be forced to go and buy these movies just because you can’t rent them the day they come out, you can just wait four weeks and rent them then. If the movie was that important for you to see, why didn’t you see it in the theater? How will waiting four more weeks to see a movie on DVD really impact your life in any meaningful way? It won’t. So you wait four weeks … big freakin’ whoop.
Instead of getting to rent a movie on Nov. 2nd, you rent it on Nov. 30th and you still don’t buy a copy. Are you saying that you are that impatient to see a movie (that was already in theaters) that this four week rental delay will cause you to run out and buy a copy? Are you dying? Will you not be alive those 28 days later? (well, yeah, okay, there was that horror movie 28 Days Later, but what are the odds of that happening?)
The only salient point Mr. Siegler makes in his 1400+ word opus on the matter (I put it into a word counter as I couldn’t believe the length) is that there may be an uptick in online piracy. However, somehow I don’t see that many new people learning how to run a BitTorrent client just because the newest movie has been delayed again by a measly four weeks. Do you realize how many people don’t even know, or care, what the release date of a DVD is? The vast majority of people won’t even notice this, and if they see a movie on the sale rack at Best Buy, then try to add it to the Netflix queue, it will still be added, they just won’t get it right away and they still won’t notice the difference!
Mr. Siegler keeps saying how this is a bad deal for the Netflix customers. How? A company that he professes love for just cut its costs meaning it can have a healthier bottom line, you get more selection of films on its streaming service and they increase their copy depth when they do eventually get the movie meaning less chance of you having to wait in line. Again, how is this a bad deal for the customer?
Oh yeah, you have to wait four weeks to see it. Boo-freakin’-hoo.
Again, I fully admit that I have ranted about some pretty silly things in my life, but waiting four weeks to rent a DVD is so astronomically low on my priority list that it doesn’t even register. And you could do something really crazy if you just have to see that movie right when it comes out … go to a local mom-&-pop video store (they still exist) and support them. I know, there I go again talking crazy.
(not counting these words, this post was 758 words … I am almost 50% more sane than MG Siegler)