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Warner Brothers want more people to pirate their new movies

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that Warner Brothers will be delaying release on Netflix by four weeks. It is a silly move to try and squeeze more money out of consumers at a time when most consumers don’t have lots of extra cash to spare.

From the article:

“Within the home entertainment category, we’re creating different times at which a product is available at different prices,” said Kevin Tsujihara, Warner Bros.’ home entertainment president.

I place my bet on this being a total wash financially. Whatever money they gain from the few customers who are willing to pay the premium they’ll loose to illegal downloads. This is also a great move to anger and alienate their customers.

It is amazing that a company can create a strategy that is hostile to customers and simultaneously complain about things like piracy (which are in part an issue of customer loyalty). It seems that Warner Brothers doesn’t understand some of the fundamental changes in technology and culture that effect their business. This is yet another issue of boneheaded money grabs which make life more difficult for legitimate customers and much much easier for people who don’t pay a penny.

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Blockbuster vs. Netflix

So I haven’t been a Netflix customer for a while, but that is mostly due to the fact that I keep moving around and don’t have the time or location for Netflix. But I’ve been a loyal customer at heart, giving them my allegiance even when I haven’t given them my money.

Why? I’m no bull chasing blindly at someone waving red, I’ve tried the competition. Twice. I tried Blockbuster once when it first was out a moving and now once again. What do I think of the changes Blockbuster has made? They are junk. First off, I don’t want to go to a store to trade my DVD in. I like the mail system because it means I don’t have to go and hope for a decent movie and then return it. I also don’t like that Blockbuster uses edited versions of some movies and doesn’t let people know before hand. But what I really hate is that the DVD’s take way too long to show up.

Compared to Netflix, Blockbuster is a snail with a limp. My trial month with Blockbuster couldn’t be more disappointing. It seems to take about a week to get movies once I mail them in, no exaggeration. I mailed one out last Tuesday and the other last Wednesday and I just got two new DVD’s today, the following Wednesday.

Once I am ready to sign back up for a DVD mail service it will definitely be Netflix.

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The MPAA Might Need a Better Public Image

Recently a satirical news story had some people up in arms. The idea of the story was that the MPAA wanted to start charging each person that watched movies at home. The idea being that the MPAA though everyone who watched a movie ought to own it or at least pay for it. Outrageous, yes, but not outrageous enough to be put beyond the realm of possibilities. Lots of people thought this was the real deal. The question is why?

Could it be that people think the MPAA is greedy? Looking at the news we can see that just recently movie studios came out saying that they want to impose heavier limits on iTunes store movies (there are already some pretty crappy restrictions), people have a good reason to think they are greedy.

mpaaThe interesting thing is that they keep saying they don’t want to have the problems that record companies have had with downloading music. They say that, the question is whether they have considered that part of the reason record companies have done so poorly (aside from releasing terrible music) is because they were unable to adapt to new consumers.

Consider yourself that a movie ticket in Seattle costs $9.50, then you’ll have to watch five to minutes of commercials, and most of the movies out at these huge theaters are, at best, mediocre. Does this have anything to do with people not going to the theaters anymore? A family of five has to spend money on gas, probably some crappy over priced food and then there’s the tickets and maybe even parking. We are talking well over $60 for them to see a movie. Or they could watch one of the movies they just got from netflix for $17 a month. Best of all there are no commercials, annoying people in the audience (unless your family and friends are annoying), and if the movie sucks you just send it back— you’ve barely lost any money on the deal, certainly no where near $60-$70 dollars.

But that isn’t the reason movie studios are doing poorly. It’s clearly pirates, lurking in the filthy darkness where they grow rich off the sweat of the sweet hard working movie execs who just want people to play fair.

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