FOX and Warner Bros delaying new movie releases to Red Box and other kiosk vendors is like watching a new release of Dumb and Dumber.
In the Wall Street Journal article: Warner Bros. aims to lift DVD sales, will delay arrival at rental kiosks. They discuss how they plan to delay new releases to DVD rental kiosks.
The movie studios are concerned about their DVD revenues.
The market is not only speaking, but screaming how they are raving fans of DVD rentals Kiosks like Red Box.
The current big customers like Blockbuster and others are posting over 22% losses in revenues when kiosks like Red Box are showing consistent and impressive gains. Call me crazy… but your market is speaking guys…can you hear me now? Red Box Kiosks are described as; “The hottest thing in movie rentals is as old as the Coke machine — and just as red.”Their CEO Gregg Kaplan said “We are incredibly proud to achieve 200 million rentals and 10,000 locations nationwide.”
The studios have a choice, they can try to “control” the market, the buyers, or they need to intimately understand the market, buyers and needs and not only embrace the new ways consumers wish to consume content but enable it.
Thirteen years of my work experience was serving the movie distribution, rental and mass retail. How Warner and Fox are behaving is no different than how they all were behaving worried that this new thing called “movie rental stores “would erode their box office revenues in the mid 1980”s.
Market losers try to control the market and they protected their current cash cows while ignoring the consumer’s voice. They ignore the bright lights of growth and change trying to tightly hold on to past business models their markets no longer value.
Market leaders spend time getting to know their market and they quickly understand consumers who rent movies also go to movie theaters and some even buy movies and collect them.
When we rent content it is about wanting entertainment in a convenient and cost effective way for me as a consumer. You can try to control us, however when you do we find other ways to solve our needs and often they are much more severe to your bottom line. Besides, how long will it be before one of your competing studios blinks? Didn’t we live this same scenario “back in the day” And what happened…aggressive smaller studios emerged understanding the needs of consumers and and one of you big guys blinked. Some of you held your ground (more stubborn and stupid, driven by your own needs and egos instead of being strategic marketers) and how did that work for you back then? I remember, do you?
I can remember the 28,000 independent video stores and large movie distributors placing pressure on the studios to not ship new video releases directly to this 14 store chain in Texas called Blockbuster. At the time they were buying through distributors like Big State, Commtron, Ingram, and others. Well that little chain of 14 video rental stores quickly became a market leader.
I am a huge fan of Red Box.
They solve problems for me;
· I want to rent a DVD fast, I like the experience
· I want to rent a DVD and do my grocery shopping in one trip, in one location, one stop ( I am already late for dinner)
· I do not want to pay what Blockbuster charges , no late fees …but still a lot more than $1.00
· I only want the movie for one night
· I don’t want to have to join Net flicks or others and pre plan my month of movie viewing
· At a $1.00 rental, I feel like I receive a value , if I like it I go to Wal Mart and buy it
· I do not want to have to “shop” at a movie rental store only to find out they have all the new releases checked out
· I do not want to pay more for a new release than an older movie
· I do not want to buy movies through my cable provider as they are already raping me with what they charge
· The box office theaters are increasing their prices ( again, feels like they are thinking about their own needs and not mine)
So what are you going to do Dumb and Dumber? Are you going to repeat the past and focus on your needs or are you going to understand the market, it’s consumers and our changing needs and not only enable us to enjoy movie entertainment, but who knows you may even find new products and serves that solve our unresolved problems that Red Box fails to solve?
When I wrote my post : Attention leaders: Don’t look now but your lack of market knowledge is showing… I was talking about companies like you that have lost touch with their markets and they guess , assume, and use their gut and intuitions as their way of hitting their goals. They make inside-out versus market -in decisions and their shareholder values decline rapidly.
Your choice…focus on your internal needs and try to control the market… Or gain an intimate knowledge of your market today and it’s consumers like me and build products and service delivery systems that serve me and solve my unresolved problems.
Oh I can hear the movie exec’s now…”easy for you to say, we have billions at stake here.” Well you are right, you do. But you will eventually supply the kiosk companies with new releases at the same time as others. While you figure it out, Red Box will go to a mass retail store on the day of the new release and buy them. While you figure this out you will remove profit from your movie distributors.
So the question is how long do you want to be a “buggy whip” manufacturer saying this horseless carriage is a fad? Or, do you embrace your market, its changes and evolve into a new company that meets our needs today and into the future?
Maybe you develop a “imovies” since my kids seem to download their favorite DVD’s onto Apple laptops? The only hassle is the download from the disc. Not a big deal, but maybe you take the time to understand why they are doing this, the problem it solves for them and solve it brillantly?
We are all watching…
How about your company….