Now we know: WB insisting on 28-day kiosk window

Posted in DVD, Netflix, Redbox, rentals, Warner by Diane on August 13, 2009

redboxTurns out we were right to read into Jeff Bewkes’ Redbox comments late last month: Today Warners said it would begin selling kiosk companies directly in October, but only 28 days after each movie’s DVD release.

Netflix will be offered movies upon general release or with a 28-day window, depending on the terms rental-by-mail subscription companies choose, Video Business reports. It’s not clear how these terms will differ from current Netflix terms. The sub company buys discs from at least some studios under revenue-sharing terms.

During Time Warner’s earnings call late last month, Bewkes signaled a change was in the wind, suggesting that dollar rentals probably should not be available the same time as higher-priced rentals at traditional video stores.

So, to update the scorecard: Three studios are withholding movies from Redbox during the prime rental window, and three are working with the kiosk company in some fashion. Sony and Lionsgate have recently inked guaranteed distribution deals with Redbox, while Disney has indicated it is selling kiosk companies discs through a third party. The proviso under all these deals is that kiosk companies not sell used discs.

Universal is trying to impose a 45 day window, Fox 30 days and Warner 28. Paramount is supposedly negotiating with Redbox; they might be the next studio to choose sides.

Blockbuster CEO Jim Keyes endorsed studio withholding tactics in its earnings call, VB reports, even though the chain is rolling out kiosks of its own. Still not clear: The status of Paramount’s Redbox negotiations.

Not nearly as pleased: Chuck Berger, head of kiosk company DVDPlay, who told Home Media mag that studios are standing in the way of a “tsunami of technology.”

Deadline Hollywood Daily has posted the press release here.

Earlier: Lionsgate confirms Redbox deal; studio divide over kiosk company very real, Yeah, Redbox is suing Fox, Studios are trying to withhold movies from Redbox. Is this wise?

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