Netflix and Redbox will be out in the cold
With all of the troubles that Blockbuster has been having it is a surprise that some good news is actually coming their way. It would appear that Blockbuster has been able to secure an exclusive 28-day rental window for Warner Bros. titles. This means that Warner Bros. will be waiting 28 days before shipping titles to competitors Netflix and Redbox; this gives Blockbuster a new and considerable advantage that will certainly help bring customers back into the store when they find out that they can only get the title when it is released to video at Blockbuster if they don’t want to wait.
A couple of things that that we are not sure of about this deal: the first is that the information that we are getting only seems to talk about DVD releases, which makes us wonder if Netflix and Redbox could buy these title on release day from Warner Bros. on Blu-ray for rental if they choose to do so? The next question that does not seem to be answered is exactly how long this deal runs and whether or not it extends to any other formats. In other words, would or could Warner Bros. offer these titles during this 28-day exclusive Blockbuster window to pay-per-view providers or streaming content providers?
While we don’t claim to have all of the answers on this one, what we do know is that this could be a real shot in the arm for Blockbuster and turning things around at the remaining units that they have open. What we don’t know are the exact terms of the deal, but we have to guess that despite Warner Bros. claim of enjoying a very successful relationship with Blockbuster for more than 25 years, there has to be something in it for them. From the whispers we hear, it could be that in order to snag this exclusive deal, Blockbuster has agreed to purchase the movies at a higher price; but if this is the case, we have to wonder how long this strategy could last.
Don’t be surprised if you hear a lot of complaining from the Netflix and Redbox camps over this development. We suspect that they will have something to say on the subject in the upcoming days, but we don’t really know if it will make a difference, as the deal is done. Let’s just see if it turns out to be a good move to save Blockbuster.
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