Why Netflix, Why?!

If you haven’t been rocked yet by the news of Netflix inking a deal with Warner Bros, then prepare for a shock before reading this WSJ article. Now, after WB releases a new movie, there’ll be a 28 day holding period before it’s released by Netflix. I guess part of what’s so shocking about this is that
we’re accustomed to Netflix being the good guys, the ones that fight for the consumer, not against them. They’ve brought us great movies at low prices, right to our door! Hassle free! It’s been so nice for so long, but now what? We can likely expect this decision to partner with WB to lead to other deals with other studios. In other words, we can expect this to get much, much worse. Netflix is saying that this’ll allow them to bolster their instant play library, which could be good for consumers, but only if it actually happens. 

My question is how does this really help Warner Bros? I only buy movies that I feel are absolute MUST HAVE movies. Other movies I just rent, or just completely pass on until they stumble their way onto my TV via my wife or cable. There is also the rare scenario where I just rent the movie for a few bucks via my Xbox 360, but that doesn’t happen to terribly often. I’m curious how many people WB thinks are going to buy movies now that this deal is in place. Is it enough to offset the number of fans they’ll piss off? How about this WB, can we expect to see ridiculous prices on movies to drop? Perhaps instead of $30 for a new Blu-ray movie, we could see 20-25 instead? Maybe then I’ll care. 

Unfortunately, it’s just too expensive to buy every movie that I think *might* be good. There’s too much garbage to sift through to find decent movies in a store these days. So I can either do a bunch of research to ensure I buy good movies, rent movies a month after they come out, or just not care at all. As the movie studios know, after the initial excitement passes that comes with a new movie release, excitement for it wanes, leaving it unknown and uncared for in the minds of many. Take the Psychonauts video game for instance. The launch was sub-par, and it took months for the media to really back it. Despite a lot of love from the media, the game never really seemed to take off. It’s still on everyone’s underrated list, and a lot of people’s “I should really play that list”. 

I just don’t get it. I don’t see anyone benefitting from moves like these. Maybe WB gets a marginal amount of more money, but I just don’t see it. I don’t see people spending 20-30 bucks on a movie they’re not absolutely sure they want. They’ll wait it out and rent it, or hell, maybe Blockbuster and Redbox will get rich off all this.