Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Hollywood Studios shoot themselves in the feet

Hollywood studios attempt to use their heft to force consumers to buy their movies. Let me make a bold prediction by saying the effort will fail. I do not see how studios figure delaying movie rentals is going to increase revenue. The standard delay from public release of DVD's to rental availability is 28 days. Now Time Warner seeks to push that delay to 56 days to spur more movie purchases. Good luck with that. Most movies are not worth purchasing. I've got other things to do in the meantime. This move will ensure a longer shelf life for DVD's and that's about it. I won't even pay for the premium tiered rental fee that Blockbuster Express uses. I wait till the movie costs a dollar. If I really want to see it, I might pay two bucks. Never three. I'm just not that impatient.

Tangentially, I really do not understand why Amazon and Vudu persist in charging four dollars for VOD, when I can rent locally on the cheap. Less distribution costs for them, but higher fees for me? I'll make the trip to the kiosk, three minutes from my house.

Last night I checked out Vudu on a whim. I resent the requirement to register just to check their prices, but I did so. One of the featured films was "12 Monkeys" released well over 15 years ago. The rental fee: $3. Amazon charges the same. The price-fixing socialist model reigns supreme among competitors apparently. Why would I abandon Amazon, with whom I have a preexisting multi-year relationship to rent movies from Vudu for the same price? I wouldn't.

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