Some studios are banking that the answer to that question is “yes!”
An interesting story appeared over at the LATimes.com last week about an upcoming effort by studios to improve lagging DVD/Blu-ray sales. In brief, they hope to put restrictions on the amount of time between a title’s release and its availability for rent. From the LATimes piece:
Under the plan, new DVD releases would be available on a purchase-only basis for a few weeks, after which time companies such as Blockbuster Inc. and Netflix Inc. would be allowed to rent the DVDs to their customers. The move comes as the studios are grappling with sharply declining DVD revenue, which has long propped up the movie business.”
Basically a new DVD/Blu-ray would be released only for sale both online and on the shelves at Target, Wal-Mart, etc. If you want to see it, you have to buy it… or wait the additional few weeks for the sale-only window to close so you can rent it from your DVD peddler of choice. Traditionally speaking the highest percentage of DVD purchases and rentals are in those first few weeks of release. It makes sense as the marketing push from the studios to get your ass in the store is focused around that time. The hope is that the trend would continue and therefore translate into increased sales revenue.
And this is more than simply a rumor as the CEO of Netflix has confirmed talks on this very topic. The LATimes also states that “people close to the situation at several studios confirmed that such plans were under consideration and probably would take effect next year.”
So what do you think? Will you be able to resist picking up the new movie sitting on the store shelf for up to four weeks? Can you wait a full month with that title staring you in the face from ads on TV and in magazines in an effort to save a few bucks on a rental instead?