“May you live in interesting times,” goes an apocryphal Chinese saying. And for the video rental industry, interesting times these are. The latest in a flurry of recent deals between Hollywood studios and rental companies came today in the form of an agreement between Netflix and studios Fox and Universal.
Like the deal Netflix signed with Warner in January, this newest agreement imposes a 28-day waiting period on Netflix customers for new releases from Fox and Universal. In exchange, Netflix will receive more units from the studios at reduced cost, as well as wider access to the studios’ catalogs for its streaming service. In addition, Netflix will be able to stream some or all seasons of such Fox television series as Lie to Me, Bones, 24, King of the Hill, Prison Break and Arrested Development.
Who is the winner in this deal, Insiders? Netflix? Hollywood? Consumers? Will a similar agreement (at least the delay window part) be following shortly for Redbox, as it did with after the Netflix/Warner deal?