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.
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studios want to extend the DVD-to-Netflix time more than 28 days (most likely to try and soak up more revenue on the outdated media format, special editions, multiple format purchases like DVD and Blu-Ray, etc).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!