Warner Dropping 28-Day Embargo to Brick-and-Mortar Video Stores24 Oct, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel, Thomas K. Arnold
Warner Home Video has quietly dropped a 28-day embargo on new-release titles offered to brick-and-mortar video stores, effective with the studio’s Oct. 30 releases, according to sources familiar with the situation.
The change comes a year after Warner first imposed the embargo on video stores with the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2, Harry Potter: The Complete 8-Film Collection and Crazy, Stupid, Love releases.
Warner imposed the embargo as part of ongoing efforts to promote sellthrough of packaged media in a market increasing impacted by low-margin subscription video-on-demand and rental kiosks.
Ted Engen, president of the Video Buyers Group, a consortium of more than 1,500 independent video stores nationwide, hailed the decision as proof of the value of the brick-and-mortar video store to studios.
“Maybe they too understand that distribution is pretty fragile right now,” Engen said. “[Warner] needs video stores just as much as we do.”