The video rental giant Netflix has reached an agreement with Warner Brothers to delay access to the studio's new releases by a window of twenty-eight days, according to an article by the Associated Press. This will give Warner's home video retail some breathing room, hopefully forcing sales of more DVD and Blu-ray units for those that can't wait to get their hands on the new films.
In exchange, Netflix will get deep discounts on Warner Bros titles, as well as a higher volume of titles to stream from Warner's catalog of movies and television shows. It's a decision that seems designed to bolster rentals at the brick-and-mortar video stores, which I'd expect from Paramount (whose parent company Viacom also owns Blockbuster Video) but it seems like an odd move for Warner Bros.
The silver lining to all of this is Netflix access to stream more of the Warner Brothers library. In my opinion, the more streaming content, the better, and a one-month delay isn't going to kill anyone. The titles will still be out there for sale and rent, and I think most Netflix users usually have so much to watch in their queue that the one-month delay will zip by in no time.