updated 08:30 am EST, Fri December 17, 2010
Blockbuster kiosks wait 28 days for Warner Bros
Blockbuster on Friday said that its Express kiosks would have to wait 28 days before getting new movies from Warner Bros. to rent. Despite having trialed same-day launches as recently as the past few weeks, such as Fox's Knight and Day, the company has agreed to stall the $1 DVDs in return for closer contact with Warner Bros. as well as a lower distribution cost and healthier supply. It already had similar deals with Fox and Universal.
The delay now all but puts Blockbuster's kiosks in the same position as Netflix, which itself knowingly took on the four-week delay to guarantee access to major titles both for physical rentals and online streaming. Redbox also usually faces a similar delay for its kiosks. Blockbuster has often been deliberately sheltered by the movie industry as its per-title rentals were more lucrative, but the need to compete against other, less costly services may now have subjected it to the same limits as others.
Blockbuster recently declared bankruptcy in part as the established retail model lost popularity.
Most of the early access for non-traditional movie sources now comes from Amazon VOD, iTunes, Vudu and Zune Marketplace. While they still often have to wait roughly a month after initial DVD sales to begin rentals, the option to purchase often gets them titles in some form roughly in step with traditional releases.