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Warner Also Puts Redbox on Window Alert

13 Aug, 2009 By: Thomas K. Arnold

As expected, Warner Home Video has chimed in with the "fight club" of studios that don't want Redbox renting their new releases for a buck the day they come out.

A day after the kiosk company fiiled suit against 20th Century Fox over imposing a 30-day delay, Warner Home Video has informed Redbox of a 28-day window before making titles available to kiosks. But while Fox's window was imposed through third-party distributors, Warner's announcement was coupled with word that it is eliminating whoilesalers and, come October, will sell direct to both kiosks and mail-order subscription rental programs (Netflix and the various Netflix wannabes).

Interesting tactic. Warner's line is that if it deals direct with different classes of vendors, it can impose different "business options," including windows (for kiosks) and revenue-sharing (for subscription rentals). We shall see if that reasoning will keep Warner from the legal line of fire Redbox already has aimed at Fox and, previously, Universal Studios, the first studio to just say "no" to Redbox last year with its 45-day window rule.

Here is the Warner press release, in its entirety:

Burbank, Calif., August 13, 2009 – Warner Home Video (WHV) today informed its wholesalers that beginning in October, WHV will engage solely in direct relationships with kiosk and mail-order subscription vendors.

Through a direct relationship, WHV can ensure that its titles are available through a variety of distribution models to serve all types of consumer preferences. WHV will be in discussions with both kiosk and mail-order subscription vendors, offering business options that will allow all parties to grow their respective businesses. The options offered to kiosk vendors will include a 28-day window, while mail-order subscription customers will also have a day-and-date revenue sharing option. Additionally, WHV has revised their wholesaler terms to prohibit the purchase and sale of WHV previously viewed product.

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