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Beginning to sound like a broken record, Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes has reiterated his unflattering comments against Netflix and other subscription-based VOD services.

In recent comments, Bewkes spoke out against “all you can eat” subscription video-on-demand services such as Netflix and newcomer Amazon, saying that such services don’t provide enough revenue to produce the content they use—at least not newer releases. According to Bewkes:

“If you look at what [subscription fees] can pay for, it is probably content that does not have a higher use in an earlier higher-value window . . . I think the place for that much exposure of the product is in another time period.”

By “other time period”, Bewkes of course means a delayed window. In his ideal hierarchy, Bewkes places Netflix- and Amazon-type services at the back of the line, along with Redbox. Says Bewkes:

“If you are selling movies for $14 a DVD and renting them for $3 or $4 a night, you don’t do the same thing for a buck a night, or all you can eat in the same window . . . You move that window back. I think that is the place for subscription VOD.”

Will Bewkes and other Hollywood biwigs get their way and make consumers pay more for earlier access to “the good stuff”? Or will consumers vote with their wallets and force the studios to alter their preferred business model?

(via Home Media Magazine)


28 Responses to “Warner CEO: Subscription VOD Should Join Redbox at the Back of the Line”

  1. Member [Join Now]

    What good stuff. all they have been making here lately is more crap movies then good ones

  2. Member [Join Now]
    ChadCronin [chadcronin]

    Of course Warner wants to always hate on everything that doesn’t pay them top dollar. Tell me when they have something useful to say

  3. Visitor [Join Now]
    Ryan [visitor]

    Well I think most people will be willing to wait if that means a big price differance. why pay top dollar when you can wait 28 days and see it for $1 same thing for VOD

  4. Visitor [Join Now]
    firstlawofnature [visitor]

    Instead of talking all the time why doesn’t Bewkes just take more decisive action? It’s as if he can’t actually do anything to change the trends he doesn’t like so in frustration he mouths off instead.

  5. Visitor [Join Now]
    Video Store Owner [visitor]

    You will see change. You will see the windows move back as soon as the terms currently in place expire. Redbox and Netflix do not care how the content is made or how much it cost. They just want to pump their stock price.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      firstlawofnature [visitor]

      And vid store owners really care about content costs right? LOL.

      Good luck on moving windows back. There were pretty intense negotiations a year ago and I’m not sure the needle has moved enough for one party to have a tremendous advantage over the other today.

      • Visitor [Join Now]
        Anton [visitor]

        The difference is “Video Store Owners” are paying top dollar for the content, about $20 per DVD. RB and Netflix can only afford $7 DVD’s with thier current pricing plans. They refuse to pay full wholesale price, yet want new content on release date. RB and Netflix low prices are artificial, and can only happen if they don’t pay full price for content.
        The studios felt the sting of all the small video stores closing due to the price they were paying for DVD’s, that’s why studios are now hitting hard the cause of it all: RB and Netflix. DirecTV and Dishnetwork also pay top dollar, if not the “toppest-is that a word?”, and they are on excellent terms with the studios and make profits for both parties.

        • Visitor [Join Now]
          firstlawofnature [visitor]

          Leave the hype behind and you’ll note that both redbox and netflix are authorized distributors of product from all the studios. If they have the ability to buy more cheaply than others because of their scale then so be it. Studios aren’t forced to sell to either of them.

          No different then when home depot became huge at the expense of the small mom and pop hardware stores. The less efficient operators got weeded out. Home depot got huge (yes problems came later) and the surviving hardware stores were all best of breed. This is how capitalism works.

          • Visitor [Join Now]
            Anton [visitor]

            They are forced to sell to them, but at a price the studios set. If they don’t sell to them RB will sue on anti trust, and we all know how that turned out. Not selling too and not being able to afford were viewed as two different things by the courts.

            Just like your Home Depot story, RB’s problems are in full swing now.

          • Visitor [Join Now]
            Firstlawofnature [visitor]

            You are incorrect. Studios are not forced to sell to either redbox or netflix. If they don’t redbox can fall back on first sale doctrine and buy from walmart etc but there is not a mechanism to force the studios to sell.

  6. Visitor [Join Now]
    Video Store Owner [visitor]

    I care about devaluing the product that I am selling or renting. That is exactly what these Wall street chains do. The studios control the content thus they control the chains.

    • Member [Join Now]

      Is it devaluing the product or setting an appropriate value? Paying 20 wholesale for a DVD that people get for 14 new isn’t appreciating value. To be fair you didn’t give the 20 price point but I’ve seen it elsewhere. Anyway I trust the market to determine value of something. People are telling the studios that the crap they are churning out isn’t worth buying and no matter what they do they won’t change our minds on it. Delay windows won’t work.

      Bottom line you have two real issues
      – First Sale Doctrine continues to piss them off so they are going to punish the digital world since there’s nothing they can do about it
      – Amazon can hurt the consumer because they will fragment the audience and cause bidding wars over content which will end up costing the consumer. The studios are postitioning themselves to create a “digital blockbuster.”
      Think of Netflix like a union. It’s power was in collective bargaining. Hulu and Netflix can still pull it off. If they can convince someone, anyone, to be a high cost standard like BB was then they will start pulling more and more content from the frugal sources.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      firstlawofnature [visitor]

      No one is forcing the product manufacturers to sell in a manner that devalues their output.

  7. Member [Join Now]

    “If you are selling movies for $14 a DVD and renting them for $3 or $4 a night, you don’t do the same thing for a buck a night.”

    What an idiot! Hollywood Video and Blockbuster charged $3 or $4 a night, and consumers have voted them out of business! Get a clue, old man, and live in the now. As long as the first sale doctrine isn’t undermined by corrupt laws and judges, the old business model is dead. And good riddance!

  8. Visitor [Join Now]
    tinybrat [visitor]

    Kind of an odd statement for the Warner CEO to make, on the same day they announce they are doing streaming with Facebook. As a CEO, you can’t talk crap about a type of media delivery, and then profit from it. Well… I guess you can. He is becoming even richer by the day thanks to Netflix and Redbox.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      Anton [visitor]

      Oops, responded to the wrong post. So here it is again.

      He’s happy with the Facebook streaming. You rent them for $3 a day. Not $1 a day and definetly not free. By the way, that’s $3 for catalog titles. Now you see why he detests RB and Netflix? Streaming will not come cheap, and Netflix knows it.

  9. Visitor [Join Now]
    John [visitor]

    Im not buying $14 DVDs or paying box office prices either. Like Texas Hold-em, Im all in on Netflix and Redbox. Im honored to be considered as conservative as a spender in the depression as the picture might indicate, but as a previous poster said–why bag on streaming and then offer a streaming service? If you are scared of Redbox…say you’re scared.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      Anton [visitor]

      He’s happy with the Facebook streaming. You rent them for $3 a day. Not $1 a day and definetly not free. By the way, that’s $3 for catalog titles. Now you see why he detests RB and Netflix? Streaming will not come cheap, and Netflix knows it.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      Not Blockbuster [visitor]

      I see the prices of DVD’s in the big box stores and I just walk right buy. I get my movies at Redbox and Netflix. If I want to own a movie, I buy it used for a few dollars. Hollywood is going to be forced to learn to make do with less.

  10. Visitor [Join Now]
    Not Blockbuster [visitor]

    This is just like the music industry. Free enterprise and competition work. The movie industry will have to learn to make movies for a lower cost. Maybe the huge amounts paid to actors will go down.

  11. Visitor [Join Now]
    Brian [visitor]

    All you can eat subscription VOD doesn’t provide enough revenue to produce the content they use? Since when did the responsibility of providing enough revenue to produce films shift from studios and production companies to subscription VOD providers?

    If by this ineloquent misstatement he meant to say that studios are unable to recoup all of the revenue spent producing content through subscription VOD, why isn’t he complaining about how retail sales and the box office are unable to recoup all of the revenue spent producing content? Perhaps the problem is actually out of control budgeting and excessive studio overhead, in the form of exorbitant executive salaries?

    Seriously, if Redbox disappeared tomorrow, what other scapegoat would he use to explain away industry-wide poor financial practices?

  12. Visitor [Join Now]
    Jimbo [visitor]

    Once streamin is popular. How long will it take to counterfeit movies that are streamed?(If not already). When that happens they will be available for free all over the internet.

    • Member [Join Now]
      Hellstorm [hellstorm]

      Streaming though Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Vudu and CinemaNow has been around for years. Why aren’t “rips” of these video streams “available for free all over the internet”?

      FYI: I just joined the site, that’s why my previous comment (with the same avatar) is posted under “Brian [visitor]”.

    • Member [Join Now]
      Hellstorm [hellstorm]

      If this were an actual concern, why is WB trying to sell streaming video through Facebook?

  13. Visitor [Join Now]
    Jimbo [visitor]

    Streaming is still sub par to dvd let alone blu-ray. When the quality is equal I think you will see counterfeiting being done.

  14. Member [Join Now]

    He is out of touch with reality… plain and simple.