In a seriously ridiculous turn of events, Reuters reports that three studios in Hollywood are looking at ways to stifle Netflix. I know right?! They apparently don't want to profit along with Netflix in regards to DVD rentals and streaming video online. In the article, they failed to name which Senior executives at three of the big six television and movie studios said they are trying to curb Netflix growth because they're in confidential talks...Now we all know that Netflix is not afraid to pay for content and they have some very deep pockets. So why someone might want to go against them, when they have content to sell, is beyond me.

Well, no, not entirely. I can see potential reasons why. It's not Netflix's growth that scares them, it's the revenue they see being lost to DVD sales, licensing to cable stations for television premiers, etc. That's what they see as the major problem I'm sure.

In fact, I believe that this is direct knee-jerk reaction to Netflix recent streaming only offering and this comment from the Reuter's article is what makes me say that:

"The problem is that Netflix is not the company we thought it was when we started doing these deals a few years ago. It has changed," said a studio executive who requested anonymity because the studio's discussions were confidential.

Hmm, if it's confidential, should you be even talking about it at all?

So what's changed at Netflix over the years. Let's see, they used to be all DVD, then they started offering DVD and streaming, now they offer just streaming options. Yep, hammer, meet nail head.

We know it's not Starz talking poorly about the DVD rental and video streaming giant, or at least, not being quoted for that article as they are mentioned in regards to the deal from 2008 with Netflix.

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I could venture some guesses as to who it might be, who would have the most to lose and who could feel the most threatened, but I won't.

The meeting of the big heads is drawing up war plans to stop Netflix continued expansion. It's like Hannibal crossing the Alps here suddenly, guess who stars in the role of Hannibal in this version.

The studios want to extend the DVD-to-Netflix time more than 28 days (most likely to try and soak up more revenue on the outdated media format, special editions, multiple format purchases like DVD and Blu-Ray, etc). They are also considering raising prices for the digital rights.

The article mentions that Big Film doesn't want to fall into the same pitfall that Big Music fell into with Apple, who then started dictating prices. Yeah, because that's been horrible for them, what with ten billion music downloads and all at a time when sentiment was running decidedly anti-RIAA.

Really, it's sort of silly. People who want hard copy (DVDs) will buy them, people, like me, who don't, will not. Even if there were a three month delay from DVD to Netflix, I bet it won't impact them much. We want what we want, digital, disc or otherwise.

In other news, Netflix just closed a deal with FilmDistrict to distribute its content on their network says Hollywood Reporter. Stick that in your top hat and smoke it Hollywood!

  • Mark Robertson


  • Garret

    Christophor Rick may "specialize" in technology, but what he knows about the Hollywood economy could fill a bottle cap. The studious made deals with Netflix, in the same way that SAG negotiated deals with the Producers, without having a crystal ball to indicate the manipulation of the content. As a writer, I get to watch a feature film I was involved in and countless others in the same budget window, flounder around as studios try to solve the new technology paradigm.

    Filmmakers are not going to kill themselves making 2 million dollar films - that net only 100K, with a straight to "Deathflix" platform. Think of all the independent films that you've enjoyed over the years: Mad Max, Swingers, Memento, The Evil Dead, Mean Streets and Reservoir Dogs to name a few. These films will not be made going forward, without a revenue stream potential, to justify the financial risk of the private monies it takes to make an indie film.

    Bottom line: with the threat of Netflix looming over studios, there is no "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" solution. Hollywood HAS to beat Netflix at its own game. The solution going forward is to: 1. Starve Netflix of new releases by at least 2-3 years. 2. Reduce Blu-ray titles to $15.00. They can still be profitable at that level. Drop DVD's to under $10.00 (which is already happening. 3. Prosecute users of torrents in the U.S., including the major cable companies that provide the internet service. Cut of the f'en head.

    The fact that all of this is "beyond" Mr. Rick, is not something I would hold against him, as he doesn't have all the facts of the DVD/Blu-ray/on demand market place. I do believe however, that he shouldn't write about issues that he has so little knowledge about. Netflix should be used to stream content that's been obtained WELL AFTER the content has had a go at hard copy and on demand sales. If Hollywood doesn't achieve this end, you can say goodbye to the Reservoir Dogs of the world and embrace a lot of gimmick, 3D type of content.

    • Christophor Rick

      I ever do so hate to be one caught off guard Mr. Garret M., so I did some research. It would seem to me that the scope of the discussion is actually beyond you. According to IMDB you have a stunning ONE writing credit and an astounding THREE acting credits (not including the one which you apparently wrote for yourself, oh and composed the music for.) All of which was done between 2007 and 2010, during which time I too have been writing, about the online video market.

      So, if would seem to me that you do have an intimate knowledge of the direct-to-DVD market and I would not ever dare to attempt to dissuade others of that.

      Now, if the studious (as you wrote but surely meant studios) were so blatantly oblivious to the fact that Netflix had an eye on purely digital distribution, then you, along with them, well deserve the boat in which you ride now. Even *I* could have gleaned that information from the most opaque of crystal balls some years ago. Mayhaps, you should read more ReelSEO and write less....well, need I say it?

      Truly, if the studios, or the rights holders, who deal with Netflix are so obtuse as you seem to be, it is no wonder that there are as many who choose not to deal with Netflix, as there are those who do. Since several Presidential elections were determined by a mere percent or two, it shows the mentality and intelligence of the country overall, I dare say, quite adequately. There are those who truly wish to succeed and there are those whole solely wish to hold others back.

      I do believe Mr. M. that you are quite possibly, batting for the wrong team. Perhaps, a re-evaluation of your stance might be in order. Netflix is not withholding money from your pocket, it would be the distributor that sold your content to them or the studio to whom you are beholden that is doing so, wouldn't you agree?

  • BS

    If I've already waited 28 days to see something, why would I all the sudden go out and buy the DVD/Blu-ray for it? Clearly I'm not that excited about it. Quite frankly, I see more new movies now than I ever did without Netflix. Back then I just plain didn't watch them. Your answer, studio executives: MAKE BETTER MOVIES.

  • FenGar

    Look movie execs, you don't want me to pirate your movies, right? That's reasonable because you spent money to produce it and you want me to pay for watching it, thus, hopefully more than reimbursing you for the cost of production and release.

    Now you're wanting to limit the ways I can pay you to watch the movies you made? That seems ridiculous.

    I want to watch a movie now, or perhaps in a few minutes. I don't want to have to go out and get the damn thing, I just want it here now. If you can think of another way to accomplish this besides Netflix or pirating I'll be glad to hear it. Until then which would you rather I choose? Netflix, or pirating? I'll do whichever is easiest to me. If you make Netflix more difficult I'll switch to pirating.

    You can't stop me pirating any more than the government can stop people doing drugs. However, giving me reasonable alternatives that are also agreeable to you seems like a logical step to take. Removing or restricting alternatives just seems silly.

  • Mc086249

    I love this article!!! I have netflix and i love it!! i even started getting people at work to belong to netflix!! If a person wants to see a movie at the theatre they will, if they want the hardcopy they will get it. Otherwise they will wait for the netflix dvd!! I mean pretty soon i wont even need my cable tv!!!

  • Jack

    Hollywood has been pushing other media around for decades. Go back only a few decades and Hollywood was against having their movies on vide cassette tapes and broadcast on regular TV because in their thinking people would watch movies at home rather then go to the theater (in their mind lost profits $)....

    That is until they learned that people would actually buy the movies they saw (and liked) on TV or saw on a rented video. Then their tone changed greatly...

    Piracy was just as easy then as it is today. All you had to do was rent a VCR from the movie rental store and hook it up to another one with a blank tape in order to make an exact copy. Probably easier to pirate then, then even today.

    So I ask this, if TV and VCR's didn't erode their profits then, why are they still stuck in this mindset? Broadcast TV didn't destroy the industry, VCR's and DVD's didn't destroy the industry, CABLE/Sattelite TV didn't destory the industry and now the Internet (with even greater piracy controls then the old VCR's) isn't destorying the industry...

    why are they being so stubborn?

  • Huckleseed

    The Reuters article was nothing more than a plant by Google. NetFlix has had good relations with Hollywood for a decade now, while Google is falling on it's face. GoogleTV is having issues getting content with the Hollywood studios and are trying to loosen NetFlix's head start. Google is simply trying to sling mud with these "anonymous" sources. Fact is, NetFlix is beating Google to the TV set.

  • Dee Cee

    Hollywood does not seem to understand that we want our entertainment on demand - on our schedule, not theirs. American life is busier than ever, we don't have time to wait around. People work, go to school, have families, interests and juggle very busy schedules. Eliminating hard copy rentals, trips to stores and time spent waiting for DVDs to arrive in mail is very welcome. Also, we cannot commit to watch television shows on the same night every week and we won't watch if we have something better to do. Digital, on demand is where it's at and it's what we want.

  • Boiling-Springs-Real-Estate

    What are they going to do. Start their own streaming brand to the consumer. The greed never stops does it.

  • Where to Buy Silver

    The long term profit implications are large as mobile devices grow quickly and people move away from cable tv. It's the entrenched trying to protect their pie slice.

  • Dan

    Love the blog, but not sure what Netflix has to do with video marketing/seo.

    • Ronnie Bincer

      @Dan I don't work for ReelSEO, but I think they not only cover Video Marketing/SEO but many other things that relate to video online...and Netflix is doing video online. Here is a quote from their "about us" statement:"ReelSEO is focused on internet video marketing, video advertising, SEO, video production, the online video industry, social media, YouTube, and anything else that can help marketers leverage the power of online video."Hope that helps!

      • Mark Robertson

        I love the hound. ReelWeb is coming

  • Elvis Presley

    So when Netflix goes to Korea, China, England, Germany ect, and all the subscriber fees are added up, the contract fees to the studios will be in the billions. When that happens over the next decade or so, the studios will still be arguing about getting $2 or $3 for a single episode of house on pay per view.

    • Christophor Rick

      Haha! Elvis Streams Video :D

  • frankz00

    These jackasses need to ask themselves one question. "Do we want to be pirated or not?" If they don't then they just need to let it go and get with NetFlix OR they can blunder around like the music industry and get pirated mercilessly while they fail at figuring out another way to make money. Hint: No one is going to subscribe to separate movie studios' content... PERIOD!

    • Guesta

      Or you could just pay for content, and not expect things for free.

      It boggles my mind that just because you can get things for free, now you expect them. There will come a time when people have pirated so much that there will simply be no money left in any industry. Then what will you do?

      It's sooner than you think.