Recently Redbox and Verizon have announced a new “joint venture” that will combine Redbox’s physical DVD rentals with an Internet-based streaming-and-download service. The new service seems primed to compete more directly with Netflix, as well as the territory currently occupied by Amazon, Hulu, and Dish Network/Blockbuster.
Although demand for affordable DVD rentals remain strong, anybody with a Netflix subscription and a Roku box can attest to streaming’s fertile future. The popularity of streaming proves it to be the future of content delivery, but studios seem intent on leaving their customers behind by clinging to the evaporating segment of DVD sales.
As we, the consumer, drift from DVD purchases, the studios are reacting all too desperately to retain those sales numbers. Disney recently announced its intention to join Fox, Universal and Warner Bros. in invoking a 28-day waiting-period to rent new releases on DVD — news that followed Warner Bros. own decision last week to extend its own rental waiting period for new titles to 56 days. This despite the facts that more market revenue came in from DVD rentals than sales — the first time that has occurred since 1998.
The whole condition makes for a curious economic scenario: Studios looking back to an era of vibrant DVD sales, vendors looking forward to the streaming era and a majority of consumers left squarely in the middle.