Warner Bros., MGM, and Universal will be taking their titles from Netflix’s streaming archive and moving on to Warner Archive Instant. This is bad for Netflix, for sure, but it’s also bad for the consumer I feel, since getting On Demand movies requires multiple services due to exclusivity. Warner Bros. is definitely the biggest blow, since the studio is behind mega-blockbusters like Harry Potter and all the Batman movies. The exodus from Netflix goes to show what a difficult business this is to make succeed because the content you rent is owned by others, and they can pull it whenever the contract is done.
This Isn’t the End of Netflix, But It Could Be A Sign
This is why Netflix has been so hard at work producing their own content like House of Cards. When you own it, you don’t have to worry about a studio taking it away from you down the road. But even if studios don’t take it away, they can increase the amount of money it takes for others to stream and/or rent that content. The problem the studios are making for themselves now is that there are going to be too many services to keep track of to get as much content as possible.
This is why Blockbuster stayed around for awhile, even though their failure to see the future ended up being their demise (even then, there were some exclusive deals shutting out other chains, but you could always rely on Blockbuster it seemed). You could get pretty much rent whatever you wanted under one roof. You didn’t go to Blockbuster one day and find out that Warner Bros. decided to take all their business to Hollywood Video. It was all there. Now there are far too many roofs in which to keep track. Many haven’t even heard of Warner Archive Instant. It’s an extra $10 a month if you want their titles now.
Netflix lost Starz in the streaming wars last year. Now, we sit back and wait to see what Netflix does to recover from this loss.