Warner Bros. to release movies for Apple TV on ‘day and date’ of DVD release

“There was good news for Apple and Comcast, but bad news for Blockbuster woven into Time Warner’s conference call with investors today,” Saul Hansell reports for The New York Times.

“Jeff Bewkes, Time Warner’s chief executive, said that the company’s Warner Brothers studio will now release movies for video-on-demand systems on the same day they are released as DVDs,” Hansell reports.

“Until now, people who wanted to watch movies on cable pay-per-view systems or rental download systems like Apple TV had to wait a few weeks after the same movie was released as a DVD,” Hansell reports.

“Warner Brothers has been experimenting with the new approach for the last few months. It has found that DVD rentals only fell by 3 percent to 5 percent and sales of DVDs actually increased,” Hansell reports. “‘Taking a customer and moving that person over from rental-physical over moving them to VOD day-and-date is like a 60 to 70 percent margin instead of a 20 to 30,’ Mr. Bewkes said. ‘So it’s about a three-to-one trade.'”

“All this represents the beginning of the end for the Hollywood system of sales “windows” that are used to extract the most profits from a movie,” Hansell reports.

“I spoke briefly this afternoon to Kevin Tsujihara, the president of Warner’s home video unit. He said that we are moving to an era when there will be thousands of titles available to rent on systems like Apple TV,” Hansell reports.

Full article here.

27 Comments

  1. Warner Bros. gets it. I knew Bugs Bunny was kicking butts over there. He’s probably loving his ATV and straightened out those execs. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  2. @cw: As far as I know the AppleTV only does 720p, not 1080p. Blu-ray is the only shipping format that does 1080p24 (native film frame rate) with (typically) lossless audio (often in 5.1 or 7.1 sound).

    When Apple starts pushing 1080p and lossless audio on the the movies they have available, I’ll start to be interested. Until then it’s physical media for me.

  3. “All this represents the beginning of the end for the Hollywood system of sales “windows” that are used to extract the most profits from a movie,” Hansell reports.”

    Is he saying that the studios are no longer interested in extracting the most profits from a movie?

    “I spoke briefly this afternoon to Kevin Tsujihara, the president of Warner’s home video unit. He said that we are moving to an era when there will be thousands of titles available to rent on systems like Apple TV,” Hansell reports.”

    Well… good luck trying to make any money off of me or the unknown numbers of others who share my view. Who, I suspect, probably exist in far greater numbers that the studio execs will be happy about. For an idea of those numbers, think of all those who have bought DVDs. And I don’t mean just the movie collectors who have hundreds or thousands of titles in a collection, because there aren’t enough of those collectors.

    I’m talking about all those people who have a dozen or tow or three or more titles. I’ll admit they probably rent more than they buy, but there are titles they own because they don’t want to keep renting them over and over. They want to OWN those titles.

    Yes… I’m a collector so I’m not at all interested in renting. At all.

    Excepting the very rare, potential social occasion, I won’t be renting any movies.

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