It is no secret that Hollywood movie studios are not Netflix fans. They have slowly made it harder and harder for Netflix to get access to movies and TV shows.
Now movie studios such as Twenty-First Century Fox and Warner Bros. are hoping to get movie fans to rent movies rather than waiting for them to show up on Netflix. To do this they are going to drop the time between release of a movie in theater and its release on services such as Amazon Video to just 45 or fewer days. Compare that to 135 days wait in 2005, and you can see they are getting more aggressive.
That will mean that movies will be available for digital rental months or maybe even a year before they show up on a service such as Netflix or Hulu. The hope is this will make you more likely to pay up and watch the movie long before it goes live.
What is really driving this effort is the disappointing movie ticket sales at movie theaters. In 2016 global box-office growth slowed to just 1%. Compare that to Netflix, which saw a 35% year over year increase in 2016 including the largest-ever quarterly growth in new subscribers.
For now at least movie studios seem to want to fight services such as Netflix rather than work with them. The only question now is will early digital rental options make people more willing to rent a movie rather than just see what is on Netflix tonight.
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