Ed. note: This post appears courtesy of our friends at Techdirt. We’ll be sharing law-related posts from Techdirt from time to time in these pages.
Michael Carusi points us to the news that Warner Bros., MGM and Universal Studios have agreed to pull nearly 2,000 films from Netflix’s library, in order to put them in the Warner Bros. Instant Archive. You may recall that Warner recently launched this archive, which is an incredibly overpriced and ridiculously limited offering. Apparently, they’re trying to bolster the offering in part by hurting Netflix. As we’ve warned, this sort of fragmentation does little to help anyone…
Consumers don’t want to have multiple accounts for multiple services. They don’t want to have to worry about whether or not a particular title is available in one place or another. And they certainly don’t want movies to suddenly disappear from the service they had been already paying to get.
Everything about this move seems designed to piss people off, not provide them a better overall experience. Sure, Warner wants films for its own archive, but removing them from other services doesn’t suddenly make people run gleefully to join their service. It just makes people annoyed and resentful of Warner Bros., which is exactly not the way to encourage people to sign up for their new service. In the article linked above, it noted that some people were having “marathon” viewings of some of the films about to disappear from Netflix. Note that they weren’t planning to sign up for Warner’s lame archive, but rather watch while they could on the service they chose. One of the key lessons from the past decade or so of internet content is that you need to make accessing your content as convenient as possible. And Hollywood’s response is to do the opposite. Incredible.
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