Netflix had a rough 2011. Between its ill-conceived price hike and its even more ill-conceived DVD spin-off company, Qwikster, the movie rental company couldn't win. And now external factors (read: the studios) are making things even worse—not only for them, but also Blockbuster and Redbox—by delaying new releases.
According to AllThingsD, Warner Bros. is providing the biggest blow to all three services by now making them wait 56 days before offering new releases to customers. The reason? Lethargic DVD sales. Unable or unwilling to embrace the extremely efficient internet-based subscription system (not to mention streaming), Warner Bros/ would rather force everyone back to 1999 when we either bought all our movies, or had to haul ourselves into a rental store to get our hands on new titles.
On top of that, Cnet says that HBO has decided to stop directly selling its titles to Netflix for rental. Aside from driving up operating costs, this will have little to no effect on Netflix customers because it just plans to legally buy those titles from third parties. It's a hostile, dickish move from HBO which serves no other purpose than to declare the fact that they're threatened by the future.