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Another Warner executive has joined company CEO Jeff Bewkes in praising the advent of 28-day delay windows on new releases for Redbox and Netflix. Warner CFO John Martin, in comments made at a Morgan Stanley conference today, claims that his studio has seen a 15% boost in margin on delayed titles versus non-delayed ones.
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Said Martin:

“Putting in a window for Netflix and Redbox, we’re convinced, was helpful and the right thing for us . . . We are currently evaluating the window and economics we are getting for that window.
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Certainly having the window is better than not having the window.”

Martin also commented that he believes the industry is “coalescing” around the idea of premium VOD, another concept first adopted by Warner. According to Martin:

“For us, digital transactions are better than physical transactions . . . You try to advantage the channels where you are earning the most money,”

Warner has already hinted that it doesn’t feel like 28 days is long enough of a delay window, and Martin’s comments about “evaluating” windows certainly back that up.

Is it a “when” rather than an “if” with regards to Warner lengthening its delays on new title deliveries to Redbox and Netflix? Why do you think that so many studio execs are convinced that consumers are willing to drop $25 to view a movie at home on or right after its theatrical release?

(via Home Media Magazine)

12 Responses to “Warner Exec: Delay Windows ‘Helpful’”

  1. Member [Join Now]

    I for one won’t buy a new release from any company with a delay. It sends the wrong signal to them. The execs think we are mindless zombies that can be coerced into buying movies because of this. The reality is we buy good movies but those are rare.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      Video Store Owner [visitor]

      Who is “we”? some people on this site?? The reality is people on here do not represent a large segment of the society as a whole. Trust me when I say people are buying these movies at Walmart that they can’t get out of a Redbox.

      • Visitor [Join Now]
        Rational [visitor]

        Well, you want some hard data, then? Go visit some torrent sites and you will see that millions of people download those movies without delay… relative to the theater release, not rental date! The more studio executives try to put pressure on consumers, the more they will justify in people’s minds the free download of their prized possessions, and the lesser their profits will get. Trust ME, consumers will not be dictated upon. Certainly not with vacuous entertainment.

      • Member [Join Now]

        Here’s where science comes in

        1- you can’t have accurate studies like this without a control. You’d have to divy up two comparable markets and give one a delay and one immediate rentals. Then you can make comparisons. 15 percent is well withing the margin of error and is based more on the individual movies than anything else. They’ll lose that 15 percent soon since it’s going to be a slow few months for movies. They won’t tell you it’s NOT because of Redbox.

        2- why don’t these people visit your video store? Are you not able to get new releases? Why not visit BBE which for a while at least had new releases? What about Blockbuster Video itself? Wouldn’t these people know by now to go to BB and save the company before it’s too late.

        3- The average wal-mart customer is cost conscience. They do impulse buy but not for full price entertainment. They will rent it somewhere before tossing 1500 percent more money to the price of a viewing. (math is fun because numbers can be manipulated so easily, backing up point 1)

        4- lastly Wal-Mart customers and customers in general buy the first week because the studios and stores manipulate the price encouraging it. It’s 14 now but it’ll be 25 soon. Those people would have bought it anyway.

        You can’t force people to buy, you can’t even force them to rent. If you could BB would be making a fortune now.

        • Visitor [Join Now]
          UBM [visitor]

          1. Isee the studios are using a national chain like Family Video as part of its “non delayed” control. Family Video ads and flyers have been increasing lately, boasting of their “exclusivity” over kiosks.

          However, the two manager I talked to both agree that rentals happen more than average with those that they “upsell” into their
          “half off prepaid rental plans”, which is a scam. You get “half off rentals”
          for 30 days, which means instead of $2.69 you pay an at counter price of $1.30,
          but if you rent an average of four movies a week, the $ 20 you pay for “half price rentals” means you are basically paying the same price, as it averages to $1.10 per video a week ( based on four times a week)
          Family Video reports back higher rentals as part of the “exclusivity”
          because of this, and the studios take that to mean “delays are good”.

          2. People, for the most part go with the “Cool” and shy away from the “bad”. If someone tells them BB and BBE are “evil”, and Redbox is
          “cool”, then people want to be “Cool” and go with the “winner”.
          Netflix grew in part because of this, and so did Redbox.
          BB could never do anything to change their image in the USA,
          ( one of a bloated overpriced, overcharging rental chain, and
          hiring Jim Keyes only reinforced that with his desire to turn BB
          into 7-eleven / video rental stores).

          3. And Wal-Mart consumers are also sales savvy. Every regular walmart customer knows how long it takes a movie to hit the $5 and $7 bin.
          And they know from years of experience what and for what price point
          movies will sell for on Black Friday.

          4. I’d say non wal mart customers, and say Best Buy regulars, Gamestop regulars, Fye’s and customers.
          Again, us wal-mart customers know how long before it hits
          the $5 to $7 bin, so we wait. :-)

  2. Visitor [Join Now]
    Consumer [visitor]

    I know friends of mine now that will order the VOD of a movie if it’s a big enough of one. Due Date was one I had a friend order because he really wanted to see it.

    Maybe there are 5 to 10 movies per year that in the right situation I might pay $25 for. Some of the summer movies with some friends over would work or Christmas when the house is full of people and going to the movies is so expensive and such a pain. I visited my father for Christmas and he never goes to the theater. But if “True Grit” had been available I would have ordered it for a Christmas present to watch with him.

    • Member [Join Now]

      That I can believe. VOD is different since it’s similar money for a rental. I also accept that people will buy certain movies. You and your dad would have appreciated True Grit. I just don’t think that under normal circumstances the delay window will lead to a purchase. I think the DVD market is going to turn into the CD market soon. By that I mean CD sales dried up rather quickly because people got tired of paying the high price for marginal entertainment and filler songs. People found new avenues for music.

      The future is clear. The studios just have to accept it and find a way to make it work.

  3. Visitor [Join Now]
    Vernon Dent [visitor]

    The 15% statistic is bogus.

    Anytime this number [are you sure Jeff Bewke it wasn’t 14.1% or 16.8%?], is used… you know it is a very bad lie.

    Bad lying is not good spin.

  4. Visitor [Join Now]
    Marshall [visitor]

    The fact that they think we are so easily coerced is astonishing to me.

  5. Visitor [Join Now]
    modsq [visitor]

    Keep on blowing that smoke… Someone’s bound to believe ya.
    Now we know what kind of smoke ‘screen’ your blowing. Try the ‘puff puff pass’ approach if you expect anyone but yourselves to be convinced delays make or break the deal.
    Our $pending habits won’t change with your calendar.

    As for premium vod I agree w/the 1st post. It’s a seasonal or event thing. It’s not a weekly thing. That’s where removing the delay may simply shift some revenue from the theaters to the svc provider. I can also see it gain some traction with parents of larger families where the kids bombard them with the ‘gotta see it’ now fever.

  6. Member [Join Now]
    ChadCronin [chadcronin]

    For Movies and Shows this is how I do it. I call up Mediacom once a year and state I want to leave due to my deal expiring. I get a discount on all the HD movie channels Starz, HBO, Show (not Cinemax because it’s not on HD and alot of the movies end up on HBO they are are both the same company) So I get to see alot of movies 10 months average after theatre and older movies in HD now. For new movies if it’s an event movie or 3D I go to the cheapest movie theatre time usually a weekday or 1st show of the day. If I really like a movie then I buy it usually first week deal @ Walmart or Pre-order deal on Amazon. If a movie looks ok I skip the theatre and wait for Redbox, if redbox is on a delay when I see a movie @ Walmart, I wait. if I never see it @ Redbox after that or if they only carry it on DVD then I wait for the movie channels then if I like it I buy it if I see it as a deal @ Walmart or Amazon but usually Walmart don’t have titles no more so I just stop caring. I just last week bought The Back-Up Plan because I ran out of Blu-rays I wanted to red with the discount codes and gave in and rented the DVD free. If it has been on Blu-ray as a rental day one then they would have my money 6 months earlier. Since I care less about new releases since I never know what or when something will come out and it usually don’t match when it should like holiday movies in jan, I focus on buying shows I want on Amazon VOD and in December I joined Netflix streaming only since there is alot more choices as a very low price of $7.99 vs 3x that for one blind buy movie I most likely won’t want to see again. There also is alot of TV and Cable website and video sites that offer free content. Now as content providers if it works for them to Offer high priced home video/VOD rentals then make us wait 6 months to buy, that’s their choice. I just hope it offsets the lose of income they get from people like me who wait or go the cheapest legal alternative. With all the features and directors cuts not making it on Blu-ray as well as prev DVD masters being used, Hybrid DVD one side Blu-ray the other crap editions, heavy DRM with high loading times and or upgrades needed to play a disc, the studios have long since lost my respect. I am not interesed in being treated as criminal who should pay top dollar for mostly average to sub-part content that always disregards my wants and suggestions. I know I have posted thousands of messages on boards and social sites and e-mails stating my wishs for distribution as well as content/scripting/casting/storylines of shows/movies and time and time again they ignore me and just contine to stream roll right over me in their moneymachine and never-ending quest to make the most money possible @ anyones expense. How long did they think people were gonna remain stupid once the internet took off in the 90’s?!