If there’s one complaint that Netflix users have had with the service, it’s the lack of new, blockbuster titles. Despite Netflix’s claims to be mounting an aggressive attack to secure streaming deals with all six major studios, the service has been dealt a blow with today’s announcement that Sky has been the first streaming service in the U.K. and Ireland to secure a deal with Warner Brothers.
Sky’s announcement that it has entered into a partnership with Warner Bros. for the exclusive distribution of new movie releases is the first among any subscription service in the UK and Ireland to land the coveted Warner Brother’s deal. The distribution of Warner Brothers titles isn’t solely relegated to its video-on-demand service. Sky viewers can gain access to these movies through its Sky Movies channels, and on a pay-per-view basis through Sky Movies Box Office and Sky Store.
Classic movie trilogies that would be an asset to any video-on-demand like The Lord of the Rings, Superman and Lethal Weapon 1, 2 and 3 will be added to Sky’s catalogue, along with recently released titles including Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, The Dark Knight Rises, Dark Shadows, and The Wrath of the Titans. Future blockbuster releases that have yet to make its way to the theaters, including Man of Steel, The Hangover Part III and The Great Gatsby have also been exclusively promised to the platform six months after the films end their respective theater runs.
The Dark Knight Rises and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows are a couple of Warner Brothers films that are already available on Google Play and Amazon Instant on a pay-per-view basis. To fan the flames for Netflix, Google announced just yesterday that Google Play and YouTube’s catalog of films would be getting a boost by its deal with Twentieth Century Fox, which rounded out the coveted six major studio deal. And earlier this year Amazon secured a partnership with the studio to bring popular TV shows to Prime.
With this in mind Netflix’s streaming service is falling behind in customer satisfaction compared to its competitors. Despite boasting over one million users, in a Consumer Report study from September 2012 Netflix came in a low sixth place for subscriber satisfaction, behind Amazon Prime, Amazon Instant, Hulu, iTunes, and Vudu. Netflix does have an existing deal with Warner Brothers, but it’s limited to its physical DVD rental service. Not only that, but the partnership requires that Netflix wait a full 28 days after the DVDs and Blu-ray stock the shelves, to offer new releases to DVD subscribers. Redbox on the other hand undercut Netflix through purchasing films in bulk through retailers to offer newly released titles on the day of a DVD’s release.