Disney imposes delays on movie rental companies in an attempt to turn profit through DVD sales

Stephen Elliott Contributor
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Walt Disney Studios will not sell their DVDs to any video rental services such as Redbox, Netflix, or Blockbuster until 28 days after their initial release, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Prior to this decision, Redbox was able to purchase Disney DVDs the same day they were released to the general public.

The policy change has garnered attention with the release this week of “John Carter” and Disney’s implementation of the new 28 day delay. Redbox is getting around the rule by sending employees to retail stores to purchase the DVDs for its kiosks.

A Redbox spokeswoman told the Times, “We will be sourcing ‘John Carter’ through alternative means.” The company plans to have the DVD in its kiosks one week after it goes on sale in retail stores and three weeks before Disney wants them to have it.

Warner Brothers, Universal Pictures, and 20th Century Fox already have similar policies in place. The policies are meant to increase profits for the studios through DVD sales and on-demand purchases through cable and satellite services.

Warner Brothers demands that Redbox wait 56 days to rent its DVDs, so Redbox stocks their movies with copies purchased at retail stores.

The delay rule doesn’t affect Netflix as much, because it does not rely on new releases for most of its profits, since customers subscribe for the service to watch long-cancelled TV shows, or movie classics. Netflix has abided with all of the studios’ time windows for DVD rentals.

Redbox, on the other hand, relies heavily on new releases to catch the eye of potential customers in supermarkets or other kiosk locations.

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