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Redbox Gives Warner the Big F.U.

by Shane McGlaun
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In my area, one of the only places to rent physical movie discs is at Redbox kiosks, so I’ve been a big fan for a while. I never liked the fact that you couldn’t get some new releases for weeks and weeks after they were available to purchase. I don’t watch movies enough to purchase anything, so it’s rental or nothing for me. Recently Warner Brothers has been making the rounds and trying to force new contracts on companies like Redbox and Netflix. The new contracts increase the delay from the retail launch of new release titles to their availability in kiosks and other services for 56 days after the initial DVD and Blu-ray launch – to spur new disc sales.

While Netflix caved and signed the agreement with Warner, Redbox has simply let its agreement that has been in place with Warner for a few years expire. That agreement allowed Redbox to buy new DVDs and Blu-rays in bulk at a discount directly from Warner.

By letting the agreement lapse, Redbox has done two things. The first thing is Redbox no longer has to delay the launch of new DVD and Blu-ray releases in its kiosks by the 28 days that the old Warner contract had stipulated, much less than the 56 day delay that Warner now wants. The second thing that not signing the contract has done is force Redbox to buy DVDs in bulk from retailers and wholesalers at higher prices. That could mean the rental prices at the kiosks will go up, but it should give them a competitive advantage over other outlets who have to wait if they want discounted discs for rentals. FWIW, Blockbuster made the same move with Warner recently, too.

Personally, I would gladly pay a little more money at the kiosk then have to wait two months to watch a new film that I want to see. What do you think of this move? Would you be willing to pay a little more to rent a movie if Redbox refuses to renew these contracts that force delays in getting the movies you want to see?

[via LA Times]

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