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Netflix Will Offer Universal, Twentieth Century Fox Videos
Netflix Will Offer Universal, Twentieth Century Fox Videos

By Jennifer LeClaire
April 9, 2010 10:17AM

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Netflix will offer its members videos from Universal Studios and Twentieth Century Fox. New releases will be delayed 28 days, while struggling rival Blockbuster will pay more to get them immediately. Netflix expects its members will be most interested in video streaming, which it sees as the future. Blockbuster is expected to continue declining.

Netflix on Friday announced deals with Universal Studios and Twentieth Century Fox. The distribution agreements will see movies from both studios released to Netflix customers through standard DVD, Blu-ray and instant streaming to TVs and computers.

Universal will make its new release titles available to Netflix members after a 28-day window. That gives Universal time for sales before making the titles available for rental and streaming. Fox is offering the same terms for its new releases.

"As the home entertainment market continues to evolve, we're exploring new and creative approaches to distribution with our key studio partners," said Ted Sarandos, chief content officer for Netflix. "Our intent is to forge agreements that make sense for the companies involved and that, on the whole, improve the consumer experience and the movie ecosystem."

Netflix Bets on the Future

Netflix said the deals will help it better stock new releases for its members. The company also said it will get better prices on the products, which will let it purchase more units. Meanwhile, a license for Universal and Fox content gives the company's 12 million members a broader selection.

As Inside Digital Media Senior Analyst Phil Leigh sees it, Netflix has decided it doesn't want to pay the price Blockbuster is willing to pay to get new release DVDs as soon as Blockbuster does. Essentially, Blockbuster will get the DVDs a month earlier than Netflix, he said, but Blockbuster will have to pay a higher price.

"Netflix is deciding that their users will be more interested in instant streaming. Netflix is preparing its customers for the future, whereas Blockbuster is willing to pay to keep the customers that are living in the present and in the past," Leigh said. "The immediate advantage for Netflix is that this will make its instant-streaming catalog bigger. It will probably also boost Blockbuster's business temporarily, but in the long term their business will continue to decline."

Digital Content Galore

Universal's first release under the new distribution agreement is the comedy It's Complicated, which will debut on Netflix in late May. The streaming agreement makes domestic films like Gosford Park and Billy Elliott and library films, including The Pianist, Being John Malkovich, and Do the Right Thing available to watch instantly.

The streaming agreement with Fox makes popular TV series available to watch instantly, including all prior seasons of current hit series like Lie to Me, Bones, 24 and King of the Hill and complete seasons of library TV hits such as Prison Break, Arrested Development, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The deal also includes many popular contemporary films like Aliens, The Thin Red Line and Romancing the Stone, and Academy Award-winning film classics like Patton.

Tell Us What You Think



Posted: 2010-04-12 @ 11:00am PT
Their growth is the Internet and they expect most of their business to be through one ISP. With this ISP raising its base speed to 1.5 megs, they expect to get a lot of new customers very quickly. This is the one they are going for and it saves a lot of money over mailing. Most are just playing to this one ISP, the biggest in the U.S.


Posted: 2010-04-09 @ 11:38am PT
Netflix has downgraded its service for customers. Netflix is NOT the service to use if you like to see new movies.

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