January 7, 2010 |
On Wednesday evening, Mike Chauvet opened a red envelope from Netflix and popped "The Hangover" into his DVD player. "I try to get most of the movies I watch through Netflix," said the 30-year-old physician, who lives in Queens, N.Y. Now he's going to have to wait for the privilege. Warner Bros. has struck a deal with Netflix Inc. whereby the fast-growing DVD subscription firm won't offer the studio's movies until 28 days after they go on sale. Had the deal been in effect last month, "The Hangover," which went on sale Dec. 15, wouldn't be available on Netflix until Jan. 14. It's part of a strategy by several studios to create staggered releases of DVDs so that the most profitable transactions are available first and cheaper rental options take effect further down the road.
August 18, 2009 |
As Yogi Berra would say: Yikes, it's dÃ©jÃ vu all over again. In recent days, my newspaper has been chock-full of stories about the latest round of legal battles between the Hollywood studios and Redbox, the upstart $1-per-night DVD rental kiosk company. My colleague Ben Fritz has done a wonderful job of chronicling all the fussing and fighting, having reported on how three of Hollywood's biggest studios -- 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros. and Universal -- are refusing to provide DVDs to Redbox until at least 28 days after they go on sale.
July 24, 2009 |
Apparently it's better to rent than to own DVDs during a recession. While movie studios are reeling from plunging DVD sales, which were down 13.5% in the first half of the year, DVD-by-mail subscription company Netflix Inc. saw its revenue surge 21% to $408.5 million in the second quarter that ended June 30. Net income was $32.4 million, up 22% from the same period a year ago.
July 14, 2009 |
Amazon.com Inc. makes its money as an online retailer. So why would it want a company that rents DVDs? Officially, it doesn't -- or at least it isn't talking about it. But an Amazon purchase of DVD rental king Netflix Inc. has been the subject of on-again, off-again rumors on Wall Street, and that speculation Monday sent Netflix shares up 7%. Although neither company would comment on the speculation, some analysts think it isn't that far-fetched.
April 24, 2009 |
The bottom may be falling out of the DVD market for Hollywood, but not at Netflix Inc. The DVD rental company set a record for subscriber growth -- blowing past the 10-million-customer mark -- and reported that first-quarter profit skyrocketed almost 70% from the same period a year earlier. Reed Hastings, chief executive of Netflix, attributed the growth to the online video service's "unlimited rental" deal, which allows movie junkies all-you-can-watch plans for the month.
March 31, 2009 |
Netflix flexed its muscle Monday, saying it would raise prices about 20% for subscribers who rent Blu-ray movie discs. The movie service said the higher rates would allow it to stock more copies of the high-definition discs to keep pace with demand. The rate change, which takes effect April 27, will add $4 to the $17 monthly fee paid by subscribers who rent three movies at a time. Customers who rent standard DVDs will not be affected.