December 07, 2010

DVD Kiosks - new "premium" DVD's released

New "premium" DVDs being offered now at select Blockbuster locations. The 28 day headstart deal. It will likely drive some significant traffic and revenues..

‘Inception’ joins ‘Knight and Day’ as first premium DVD kiosk rentals - Yahoo! News

Inception’ joins ‘Knight and Day’ as first premium DVD kiosk rentals

By Ben Patterson – Tue Dec 7, 12:11 pm ET

Starting Tuesday — today — you'll find both the Christopher Nolan-directed blockbuster "Inception" and the Tom Cruise dud "Knight and Day" in selected Blockbuster Express DVD kiosks, about a month earlier than you'll find them through Netflix or Redbox. The catch?

You'll have to pay $3 for the first night's rental.

Both "Knight and Day" and "Inception" are now available in about 900 NCR-operated Blockbuster Express DVD kiosks with "premium" pricing: $3 for the first night, then the usual $1 for subsequent nights, according to NCR spokesman Jeff Dudash. Test markets include San Francisco, Phoenix, Miami and Atlanta.

The idea of NCR's new premium pricing stunt is to see whether consumers will be willing to pay more to rent a new DVD the day it goes on sale, rather than waiting 28 days for a rental "window" to expire.

20th Century Fox and Universal just inked new distribution deals with NCR that involve holding back their latest DVDs from Blockbuster Express kiosks until they've been on retail shelves for 28 days, in the hopes that the rental delay will boost disc sales. In return for the 28-day wait, the studios are offering their movies to NCR (as well as Redbox and Netflix, which have already signed similar deals with the studios) for steeply discounted prices.

The two studios are participating with NCR (which owns and operates Blockbuster Express kiosks, not Blockbuster Inc.) in the pricing test, with "Knight and Day" being the first (previously announced) "premium" Fox title.

NCR, however, has yet to strike a distribution deal with Warner Bros., the studio behind "Inception," which means that the studio's movies aren't necessarily subject to a 28-day delay through Blockbuster Express kiosks. (It also means that NCR had to get its "Inception" discs from sources other than the studio, and probably at retail prices.)

NCR decided to add "Inception" anyway, because "we felt like that was an appropriate title to include in the test."

That means Blockbuster Express customers in areas outside the four initial "premium" test markets won't be able to rent "Inception" until early January, the same wait that Netflix and Redbox users will have to endure. (Don't worry, we'll survive.)

The 28-day wait for DVD rentals at kiosks and through Netflix is quickly becoming the rule rather than the exception. Netflix recently signed a pact with Sony that includes a 28-day wait for its latest releases, leaving Disney and Paramount as the last two studios that offer so-called day-and-date DVD rentals to Netflix subscribers.

And though NCR has 28-day agreements only with Fox and Universal for now, expect that to change soon. An NCR exec tells Dow Jones Newswires that the company is in "constructive discussions" with the other major Hollywood studios.

So here's the big question: Would you pay $3 for the first night's rental of "Inception," if it meant not having to wait until early January?

‘Inception’ joins ‘Knight and Day’ as first premium DVD kiosk rentals - Yahoo! News

Posted by staff at December 7, 2010 03:27 PM