Netflix is reported to have reached new deals with 20th Century Fox and Universal for movie and TV show rentals. Netflix customers will be able to rent out the studios' titles 28-days after their release for purchase. Moreover, subscribers will also be able to stream a greater portion of the titles from these studios' libraries and will be granted better access to movies-by-mail. While the deal is painted by most accounts as a fair compromise, Netflix appears to be getting a sweeter deal.
The Studios' Demand
The 28-day delay is intended to serve as an opportunity for the studios to sell more DVD and Blu-ray copies over that time period. The studios believe that anyone who really wants to see the title as soon as it hits the shelves won't want to wait for Netflix and will feel compelled to purchase it. Will this really increase disc sales that much?
First, consider Blockbuster. TheWrap notes that the movie rental franchise must be very happy about this announcement. It already gets access to new releases as soon as they hit stores -- now 28 days before Netflix. That means anyone who really wants to view these titles immediately can just go to Blockbuster. So it's still relatively easy for most consumers to avoid purchase, even if impatient.