Nearly 2 years have passed since Redbox and many others had to deal with Warner Bros. Studio policy to delay new releases titles being rented for 28 days. Warner had a deal in place with Redbox where they would delay the release of their films for 28 days in exchange for lower acquisition costs and a steady flow of Blu-ray discs, but the rental company decided to draw the line when Warner wanted them to wait 56 days. Warner is clearly making this move to help bolster new release sales that are on decline when compared to rental figures. Warner maintains that longer delay windows will “encourage” more people to purchase discs and store them in UltraViolet’s cloud-based digital lockers or rent them on VOD. Redbox will now have to purchase movies at regular retail cost with no current reliable stream of supply and that could spell future price increases on their service. On the bright side, consumers will now be able to rent movies from Redbox when those titles go on sale without any delay, except for stock availability.
Redbox may have to change its stance once their proposed streaming service comes into play, but for now enjoy those rentals. After Redbox released it statement Warner said the following:
“The consumer is best served by a windowing and pricing structure that ensures a healthy film business continuing to deliver quality movies. We hope to continue discussions with Redbox and reach a mutually agreed upon solution to this situation, but we fully intend to do what is best for our business, our consumers and the industry as a whole.”
Redbox faces an April expiration to their terms with Universal Studios, and they better have more leverage by then when negotiating with Universal. If Redbox or Netflix had to raise prices to make new release available at start for streaming services, than we would be supportive of that, but we are not to fond of physical disc media.
[spoiler]January 31, 2012
“The Redbox contract with Warner Brothers to acquire movies directly expires today (January 31, 2012). Redbox will continue to provide our consumers with affordable access to new release movies from all major studios including Warner Brothers at our more than 28,000 locations nationwide. We will work to provide Warner Brothers’ movies through alternative means. Redbox maintains direct working relationships with every other major studio,” said Gary Cohen, senior vice president of marketing and customer experience at Redbox.[/spoiler]