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Hollywood Studios, Movie Rentals, and Idiocy
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OAW
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Jan 12, 2012, 05:15 PM
 
Back in 2010, Hollywood studios negotiated a major win over DVD-by-mail and Internet streaming service Netflix, getting the company to agree to a 28-day day delay between the retail availability of new titles on Blu-ray and DVD and when they’d be available for rental on Netflix. Now, that window is getting even bigger, with Warner Bros. inking a new deal with Netflix that extends the studio’s retail exclusivity to 56 days—and it’s almost certain other major studios will try to follow suit.
“Netflix wants to ensure members have continued secure access to Warner Bros. DVDs and Blu-ray discs and, as such, is accepting the 56-day holdback,” Netflix’s Vice President of Content Anna Lee said in a terse statement.

The idea behind these delays is to enable the studios to maximize the retail sales of new releases. Historically, consumers who are going to buy their own copy of a newly-released DVD or Blu-ray title are going to do it within the first few weeks of retail availability; after that, retail sales tend to slump. By stretching the window from 28 to 56 days, Warner Bros. is hoping to maximize that retail window for all it’s worth. Adding a larger delay before new releases are available for rental or streaming also maximizes the revenue Warner Bros. can earn from theatrical release and video-on-demand offerings.

The Netflix deal applies to new theatrical releases and made-for-video titles released on DVD and Blu-ray.

However, that’ll only work if it can get other rental companies to toe the line on a 56-day window: so far, Redbox and Blockbuster haven’t signed on, but given that Warner is apparently playing hardball—agree to the 56-day window or lose Warner Bros. movies—it seems only a matter of time before the new window becomes standard for Warner Bros. titles. And once Warner Bros. gets away with it, other studios—like Sony, Universal, Disney— will likely follow suit.

Netflix didn”t have to agree to a 56-day window with Warner Bros. to to continue renting Blu-ray and DVD discs—the company could have chosen to source its discs through third party distributors and offering them for rental to its customers under the First Sale doctrine. (That would enable Netflix to continue offering titles for rental day-and-date with on-disc releases.) However, the agreement with Warner Bros. enables Netflix to purchase discs directly from Warner Bros. at a discount—although the new two-month delay may substantially reduce the value of that discount to Netflix. Moreover, Warner Bros. likely held streaming rights to new releases over Netflix’s head to get the company to agree to the deal—and we all know how badly Netflix wants to be out of the DVD business and operate as a streaming-only company. Netflix may be discovering that, as a middle man, it has very little power in some negotiations.
Netflix agrees to 56-day delay on Warner Bros. titles - Yahoo! News

Certainly no one would buy a DVD or pay extra for VOD if they can rent it for less. If they are only interested in renting that is. The reason why I say these studios are run by idiots is because they have it in their head that by introducing artificial scarcity (i.e. further delaying rental availability) they are somehow going to magically convert a RENTER into a PURCHASER. And that just ain't going to happen. The bottom line is that the days where the majority of consumers were looking to build up their DVD collections and proudly display them on the shelf are well on their way out. Just like nobody is collecting CDs anymore. Especially when the vast majority of people only watch a DVD once .... even the ones they buy. So why buy it only to stick it on a shelf and collect dust? Why deal with all the clutter? The noticeable exception to this are kid's movies ... because they will watch the same movie a million times. But other than that ... most consumers want to watch it once and be done with it. And if it's a particular movie they really want to buy .... for instance I bought Avatar on Blu-ray simply because I wanted to have it ... then it's not going to matter that they could rent it for less. So why not provide the consumer with what they want instead of clinging to your outdated business model? Because guess what? I'm certainly not going to go run out and purchase your DVD/Blu-ray because you now want to make me wait 2 months to rent it. It's just not that deep. No the only thing that they will accomplish with this retarded bullish*t is to further delay when they will collect a $4 rental fee from me. And when did it ever make good business sense to prevent a potential customer from giving you their money sooner and make them wait until later?

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OAW  (op)
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Jan 12, 2012, 05:18 PM
 
Looks like the "amp" forum bug is back. Will a mod please fix the thread title? Either "&" or "and" will suffice.

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Jan 12, 2012, 05:22 PM
 
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Jan 12, 2012, 05:44 PM
 
The amp bug is not back - it was never gone, reader just hacked around it in the post display. That hack doesn't work on titles, so please pretty please keep away from the ampersand in titles, OK? I edited this particular instance.

As for the topic...it seems like they just don't see the cause and effect of restrictions like this and piracy.
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OAW  (op)
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Jan 12, 2012, 05:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
The amp bug is not back - it was never gone, reader just hacked around it in the post display. That hack doesn't work on titles, so please pretty please keep away from the ampersand in titles, OK? I edited this particular instance.
Will keep that in mind going forward. Thanks!

Originally Posted by P View Post
As for the topic...it seems like they just don't see the cause and effect of restrictions like this and piracy.
Indeed.

OAW
     
sek929
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Jan 12, 2012, 06:04 PM
 
Darn, I won't be able to see Jack and Jill right when it releases now...

F**k em, there are barely any movies worth watching anyways and I haven't bought a movie on disc for like 5 years now. Having to wait a month and a half to see something on Netflix is a non-issue. If I want to see the movie badly enough, I'll see in in the theaters, if not, I'll wait the 56 days.

People who don't buy movies anyways are not going to suddenly start doing so because of this move, stupid.
     
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Jan 12, 2012, 06:13 PM
 
I think DVD purchasing was a bit of a fad.

It was fun and new. Like collecting baseball cards of all your favorite movies. Then one day you realize you look at your wall and realize you never almost watch your DVDs any more. Then you realize that you haven't even watched a third of what is on your wall, and of the rest, only a select few have been watched more than once...

That's what happened to me, and most of my friends.

I used to buy 20-40 DVDs a year. Now I buy 3 or 4 per year.

I also used to buy DVDs as gifts a lot. Until I noticed that a lot of them never even got opened.

Like I said earlier, I do think it was a fad. I don't think the market is going to disappear anytime soon, but the boom is over and it's not coming back.

This Netflix change doesn't really bother me at all. I can wait. Whatever. That said, it's dumb and the movie studios are dumb for thinking this will do anything positive for their bottom line.

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Jan 12, 2012, 06:14 PM
 
Hollywood has always fought and feared new technology. They feared VHS once upon a time. This isn't the only mistake they consistently fail to learn from of course.
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Jan 12, 2012, 06:23 PM
 
If they had any sense, they'd work out a pricing structure and roll it out across as many platforms as would have it.

For example,

Buy and rent prices for each of new release and older titles, then a subscription model for unlimited access to rental copies or streaming.
Buyers choice of physical media, Netflix, iTunes, Xbox Live, Amazon, etc.
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sek929
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Jan 12, 2012, 06:27 PM
 
I would pay a hefty amount of money for a Netflix account that movies, TV shows, etc all added instantly and streamed in HD. As much as a cable subscription in fact.

What I will not do, is buy a movie on a freaking disc.
     
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Jan 12, 2012, 06:35 PM
 
Here's what I don't understand.

If you can put a TV show on TV, for free, supported only by advertising... then why can't that same show be financially successful streamed online with advertising?

Why isn't there a box that streams TV for free with ads, lets you rent movies for a fee, and buy movies and tv shows with no ads to stream whenever you want?

The movie and television studios are headed down the same path as the music industry. I think that they look at what happened to the music industry and think it's avoidable by not making the same mistakes... but it's not. The future is unavoidable.

They need to pull their heads out of their asses and realize that the old way of making money is no longer viable and completely re-haul their entire business model.

People are willing to pay for content. Just make it easy and reasonable. And give us the damn content. All of the content. In one place. One easy place, with one easy system.

Apple? Google? Microsoft? Anyone? Who wants my money? Make this happen.
( Last edited by ort888; Jan 12, 2012 at 06:46 PM. )

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Jan 12, 2012, 06:43 PM
 
You people are a very specific category of peeps. Namely, "early adopter geeks".
Fact is, most people do buy DVDs and CDs still. People like that stuff on their shelves, unless they're an "early adopter geek".

End of story.
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Jan 12, 2012, 06:49 PM
 
I must have been a really early adopter, because I (for the most part) stopped buying DVDs 10 years ago.

I almost never watch a movie twice, so I rent it for a night, watch it and/or rip it and return it.

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Jan 12, 2012, 07:00 PM
 
I imagine people are buying DVD & Blu-Ray more than CDs these days. Everyone does mp3 these days.
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Jan 12, 2012, 07:10 PM
 
Uhm, THESE days ? That's years ago.

THESE days, everyone watches movies on ATV and iPads. DVDs are useless.

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Jan 12, 2012, 07:11 PM
 
Doofy,

Even if what you say is true … and that's a big if IMO … the fact remains that if someone is looking to buy a movie they will buy it even if it's available for rent. And a person who only wants to rent isn't going to buy just because you make him wait longer. The only thing the studio has done is irritate a potential customer who was more than willing to part ways with a rental fee sooner rather than later.

As the article states … a DVD has its biggest sales in the first few weeks of release. After that sales fall off a cliff. That's not going to change because they delay rental availability. Sales fall off a cliff like that because everybody who is interested in buying has already done so. So what's the point in continuing to watch your sales decline with no rental income to make up for it?

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sek929
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Jan 12, 2012, 07:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
You people are a very specific category of peeps. Namely, "early adopter geeks".
Fact is, most people do buy DVDs and CDs still. People like that stuff on their shelves, unless they're an "early adopter geek".

End of story.
You say end of story as if you just said something that made sense, unfortunately, you didn't.

Do you even know how many people use Netflix? I'm not just talking about streaming, but the 'old-fashioned' disc in the mail service. DVD sales are a meager sliver of what they used to be, and it's because regular people would rather pay a flat fee and rent the movies they want to see and send them back. The people who actually want to buy discs are a very specific category of peeps called 'media library aficionados.'

Early adopters of Netflix were like, 10 years ago at this point, Netflix is the standard for nearly every household I know of, none of which are populated by geeks. When you say stuff like this, Doofy, it reminds me how much of a fossil you are in some respects.
     
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Jan 12, 2012, 07:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
When you say stuff like this, Doofy, it reminds me how much of a fossil you are in some respects.
When you say stuff like this, Sek, it reminds me how much of an American with no knowledge of how everything works outside your country's borders works you are in some respects.

Netflix launched in Europe 3 days ago. How much of the market share do you think they've acquired in that time?
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Jan 12, 2012, 07:35 PM
 
How many major movie studios are based in Europe again?

Netflix just launched there? Guess that shows how important that market is.
     
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Jan 12, 2012, 07:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by OAW View Post
Doofy,

Even if what you say is true … and that's a big if IMO … the fact remains that if someone is looking to buy a movie they will buy it even if it's available for rent. And a person who only wants to rent isn't going to buy just because you make him wait longer. The only thing the studio has done is irritate a potential customer who was more than willing to part ways with a rental fee sooner rather than later.
Right. Everyone's talking like they don't MacTheRipper their rented DVDs.
You know that this is what the time delay is about, so why argue it?
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Jan 12, 2012, 07:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
How many major movie studios are based in Europe again?
What's that got to do with anything?
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Jan 12, 2012, 07:39 PM
 
We've never had Netflix, streaming quality is crap and there's no DTS track, we buy most of what we watch on BR. It's actually cheap compared to $5 parking, $11 tickets (x3), $8 popcorn, and $8 drinks (x3). Plus the huge bonus of being able to pause so I can go take a piss (priceless).
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Jan 12, 2012, 07:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
What's that got to do with anything?
Everything
     
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Jan 12, 2012, 07:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
Everything
Go on then, explain.
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Jan 12, 2012, 07:45 PM
 
Oh, also... FAIL:

Netflix was officially launched in the United Kingdom on January 9, 2012, priced at £5.99 a month for its streaming only service
Streaming service? That'll sit well with everyone's bandwidth caps (usually about 10 GB/month for the average prole's cheapo connection). Massive fail.
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Jan 12, 2012, 08:21 PM
 
The streaming service is irrelevant to this discussion since it doesn't contain new releases. While it is true that most users still use physical media for movies (as opposed to us early adopters who have gone all digital) ... the bottom line is that the vast majority of those people still RENT the disc as opposed to PURCHASING the disc. So the studios have just made the majority of their customers wait two months to give them money. That's retarded anyway you slice it.

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Jan 12, 2012, 08:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by OAW View Post
The streaming service is irrelevant to this discussion since it doesn't contain new releases. While it is true that most users still use physical media for movies (as opposed to us early adopters who have gone all digital) ... the bottom line is that the vast majority of those people still RENT the disc as opposed to PURCHASING the disc.
...in America.

Netflix is streaming only in Europe. Netflix-style "disc via mail" hasn't taken off over here at all (which is why Netflix themselves aren't offering it). ...because people tend to buy, not rent.
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Jan 12, 2012, 08:54 PM
 
Get off your high horse Doofy. How one chooses to consume the media should be up to them, whether they want to rent or buy, they should have the choice. Are you agreeing with the studio's decision to delay DVD rentals? Why?
     
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Jan 12, 2012, 09:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by boy8cookie View Post
Get off your high horse Doofy.
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Jan 12, 2012, 09:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by boy8cookie View Post
Get off your high horse Doofy. How one chooses to consume the media should be up to them, whether they want to rent or buy, they should have the choice. Are you agreeing with the studio's decision to delay DVD rentals? Why?
Which part of "rentals via postage mail have been tried here, but haven't worked out" involves anybody on any sort of high horse, exactly?
     
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Jan 12, 2012, 10:00 PM
 
Let's keep it real here. The European market is different from the US market. I get that. So how Netflix and the studios choose to operate overseas is up to them. I couldn't care less. What matters to me is the market that I'm a part of which is in the US. The country that whipped the UK's ass. Twice. So in light of that … my point stands.

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Jan 12, 2012, 10:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by OAW View Post
Let's keep it real here.
OK, so let's keep it real then.

You're bawling like a little girl because you have to wait a whole two months to rent a film. That's about the top and tail of it, no?
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Jan 12, 2012, 10:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by OAW View Post
Doofy,

Even if what you say is true … and that's a big if IMO … the fact remains that if someone is looking to buy a movie they will buy it even if it's available for rent. And a person who only wants to rent isn't going to buy just because you make him wait longer. The only thing the studio has done is irritate a potential customer who was more than willing to part ways with a rental fee sooner rather than later.

OAW
The studios have done their market research and found that what they're doing does in fact work. You're thinking of the very small number of responsible people. Poor people for example have some of the largest DVD collections of all, and lack the self control to not compulsively buy something they want to see NOW. The upper middle class to rich don't even pay attention to the measly $20 cost of buying a disc. If they want to watch it and it wont be available for a while they will buy it; even though they know it's just a marketing scam. I don't really watch movies but I would buy it in some circumstances...

Here's a cheap solution for you guys: buy every DVD you want to watch, preferable used on ebay or something. When you're done with it resell it online for the price you paid. If you bought it new resell it for a slight loss.... as if you rented it. There is a whole industry of people who buy & resell used movies in packages of 20-200 online; the idea is when you're done watching all of them you just resell them for what you paid to someone else who hasn't seen them. It's a way to watch movies for free. I used to do this a long time ago and actually made a profit.
     
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Jan 12, 2012, 10:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
Go on then, explain.
Oh I will, once you explain why mentioning the European market matters in a discussion about two American-based companies and a policy that only matters to American customers.
     
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Jan 12, 2012, 11:04 PM
 
el chupacabra,

I don't know about you … but where I come from poor people and plenty of not-so-poor people are buying DVDs bootleg off the streets or in barbershops, beauty salons, etc. 5 bucks. 2 weeks after they are released in THEATERS. There's an entire underground economy that the studios official market research doesn't even account for. Think it's a game if you want to.*

I'm sorry but I'm going to have to stand on my point here. Buyers are buyers. Renters are renters. And bootleggers are bootleggers. All these BS shenanigans by the studios are not going to change anything. Except delay when they get that rental money.

OAW

* - Just a few months ago I watched half of Rise of the Planet of the Apes while eating a meal in a BBQ joint. Just because they were bold/crazy enough to play it on the TVs in the open like that to encourage their customers to buy the bootleg DVD. Long before it was ever officially released.
( Last edited by OAW; Jan 12, 2012 at 11:12 PM. )
     
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Jan 12, 2012, 11:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
Oh I will, once you explain why mentioning the European market matters in a discussion about two American-based companies and a policy that only matters to American customers.
Households in United States: ~120,000,000
Netflix subscribers worldwide: ~24,000,000

Explain how "most people rent" again?
You can't, because you're wrong. End of story.
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Jan 12, 2012, 11:16 PM
 
^^^

You are presuming that disc rentals are only done via Netflix. Try again.

OAW
     
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Jan 12, 2012, 11:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by OAW View Post
I'm sorry but I'm going to have to stand on my point here. Buyers are buyers. Renters are renters. And bootleggers are bootleggers. All these BS shenanigans by the studios are not going to change anything. Except delay when they get that rental money.
You're also forgetting the exclusive TV licences. 56 instead of 28 days is more time for TV companies to give exclusive (or pay per view) performances of film.
Process here: Theatre -> TV and DVD purchases -> rental.

I'm pretty sure that your media industries know more than you guys do about what's going to maximise their profits.
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Jan 12, 2012, 11:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by OAW View Post
^^^

You are presuming that disc rentals are only done via Netflix. Try again.
Well, since most of the competition has gone bankrupt...

Look, OAW, I get it. The movie company execs are morons and you're a genius. Why not apply for one of their jobs and get yourself a company Porsche? Go on, send yer CV off tonight.
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Jan 12, 2012, 11:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
Households in United States: ~120,000,000
Netflix subscribers worldwide: ~24,000,000

Explain how "most people rent" again?
You can't, because you're wrong. End of story.
Well of course logically if only 24mil households use Netflix the other 96 million households certainly buy DVDs. They couldn't possibly use a number of other services like On Demand, HULU, RedBox (which a TON of people use), etc etc...

End of story indeed.
     
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Jan 12, 2012, 11:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
Well, since most of the competition has gone bankrupt...

Look, OAW, I get it. The movie company execs are morons and you're a genius. Why not apply for one of their jobs and get yourself a company Porsche? Go on, send yer CV off tonight.
Blockbuster went bankrupt because they refused to adjust their business model to changing customer demand. Even still … they are still a major force in the movie rental industry. Red Box is growing like gangbusters because they give people what they want. New release rentals at a fair price without all the BS late fees. I don't claim to be a genius. I just have eyes to see the writing on the wall. Just like the music industry damned near tanked because they were too busy protecting 1980s business models in the new millennium … the movie industry is doing the same thing. Red Box isn't playing this game and told the studios to f*ck off. They are just going to buy the discs retail and rent them out anyway. No delays. So now the customers can rent it on Red Box one day, on Netflix another day, Blockbuster and iTunes still another day. Who knows when Amazon will have it. Or Vudu. It simply creates confusion in the market place. And makes the studios look like IDIOTS. Like how I can go to Blockbuster … the bankrupt company being propped up by the studios … and rent a Blu-ray for 4 bucks for a 3 day rental. But if I rent that same movie on iTunes for the same price I only have 24 hour window to watch it. All because of studio BS.

OAW
     
hyteckit
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Jan 13, 2012, 12:06 AM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
Well, since most of the competition has gone bankrupt...
Redbox revenue, operating income soar - latimes.com

$363.9 million in the three months ended June 30. Assuming about $1 per rental, that's 363.9 million movie rentals in a 3 month period. Assuming 120 million households, that's 1 movie per household per month just from redbox alone.
Bush Tax Cuts == Job Killer
June 2001: 132,047,000 employed
June 2003: 129,839,000 employed
2.21 million jobs were LOST after 2 years of Bush Tax Cuts.
     
boy8cookie
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Jan 13, 2012, 12:21 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Which part of "rentals via postage mail have been tried here, but haven't worked out" involves anybody on any sort of high horse, exactly?
I didn't quote that post for a reason, I was replying to his overall tone in this thread, and forum, for that matter. The whole ...in America nonsense gets old.
     
Doofy
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Jan 13, 2012, 01:28 AM
 
Originally Posted by boy8cookie View Post
The whole ...in America nonsense gets old.
Make your minds up. You're either talking about what goes on in America or you're not.
Been inclined to wander... off the beaten track.
That's where there's thunder... and the wind shouts back.
     
Doofy
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Jan 13, 2012, 01:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by OAW View Post
All because of studio BS.
Send your CV off then. Seriously.
Been inclined to wander... off the beaten track.
That's where there's thunder... and the wind shouts back.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Jan 13, 2012, 09:53 AM
 
I don't think there can be much doubt that movie execs are morons. Their continual fear of technology makes that obvious. Meanwhile the porn barons actually drive the technology they are so keen to adopt it. Porn had a big say in the original format wars between VHS and betmax for example. The guys behind betamax wanted a family friendly image and refused to allow porn on their format. Look who won there.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
ShortcutToMoncton
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Jan 13, 2012, 10:12 AM
 
Netflix is streaming-only in Canada as well.

Quality is somewhere between DVD and 720p level but it's acceptable to me - I often watch older movies anyway. Most newer-release or popular BRs seem to be between $20-$35 at Future Shop/Best Buy stores in Canada; prices are absolutely ludicrous. I refuse to buy for that money. I also have similar issues with iTunes Canada - HD rentals (which are of course no more than 720p, and possibly less) are $6 a pop for the 48hrs rental, which is just (or more) expensive than going to a local brick-and-mortar store, if there were any actually left.

In Canada, content is the issue with Netflix - it sucks. But it's the way of the future. Unless they can somehow figure out a way to make movie theatres so much more awesome than the home theatres many people now have, attendance will simply die. I read somewhere that studios are considering offering in-theatre movies for rent for like $30 a pop...makes sense. Stay home and watch it on your own screen with your family, right from your cable/internet connection? Has to happen.
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The Final Dakar
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Jan 13, 2012, 12:04 PM
 
So does anyone actually think this will increase sales? I ask because I see a lot of arguing over everything but the actual topic at hand.

This just looks like some obstructionist or delusional shit to me.
     
ort888
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Jan 13, 2012, 12:34 PM
 
Warner Bros doesn't like Netflix and is just trying to harm them in any way they can. That's all this really is.

My sig is 1 pixel too big.
     
andi*pandi
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Jan 13, 2012, 12:39 PM
 
I still buy DVD, but not as many as before, since a) shelf-sitting/space; b) knowing that format changes will come and make a "collection" obsolete. The kid movies get watched the most. My sister collected all the disney movies on VHS when they came out. Now she doesn't have a working VCR. I do though. And laserdisc. We just got bluray.

Haven't ever done the netflix thing. We rent from the library. $1 a week.
     
 
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