Warner Brothers Looking to Extend DVD Rental Window to 56 Days
Warner Brothers was the first studio to push Netflix, Redbox, and Blockbuster into agreements requiring a 28 day window on rentals from the date that DVDs go on sale. When Netflix, the first domino to fall, signed on, Netflix claimed that Warner Brothers would be providing better streaming options in return. How well this worked out is debatable, but there won’t be any such justifications this time as Warner Brothers is not planning on offering anyone anything in exchange for signing on to a new agreement except a 56 day rental window. Warner Brothers and the other studios have argued that the rental window is necessary to protect DVD sales. Given that the 28 day window hasn’t done much to improve DVD sales, one has to wonder how doubling the window is going to help. As it is, I expect most people who rent rather than buy have long since stopped paying attention to the retail release date altogether.
The move is part of Hollywood’s ongoing campaign to bolster flagging DVD sales, and sources tell me the new deal is supposed to be announced at next week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Warner Brothers executives have already talked publicly about extending the current window.