Amazon Targets Warner Home Video by Eliminating Preorders
June 13, 2014

As you know, Amazon has an ongoing dispute with Hachette, where the online bookseller is not making preorders available on their titles. Now, Amazon has used the tactic on another company, one of particular interest to geeks: Warner Home Video. That means that, for example, The Lego Movie, out next Tuesday, can’t be ordered in advance. The same goes for Batman: Assault on Arkham, due out in August. According to the NY Times:

A Warner Bros. spokesman said it was the company’s “general policy not to comment on contract terms or any other proprietary information having to do with our partners.” …

Amazon’s tactics with Warner Home Video are unlikely to provoke as much of an uproar, since DVDs do not carry the cultural weight of books. And the films are readily available from other vendors, including Target and Barnes & Noble.

ICv2 points out that Warner also distributes Viz Media (anime) and BBC America (Doctor Who) titles, which are also affected.

3 Responses  
Jer writes:  

Shocking that Amazon would be using its market dominance to screw over its own customers. After all, a “pre-order” is as much a service to the customer as it is to the publisher. They must be pretty comfortable with the idea that their customers aren’t just going to wander off and pre-order it elsewhere if they can’t One-Click it with Amazon.

Johanna writes:  

I think the studio will take a lot more damage than the customers will, because they’re losing out on all those first-day sales. That is, any customer who likes Amazon’s prices and service is likely to find not being able to get one movie a temporary annoyance, but the studio is missing out on all that summed up together. And the customer has a lot more choices to buy instead, if they enjoy the Amazon shopping experience.

I can’t get that upset about this, because I analogize it to shopping at a great local shoe store. They don’t carry all brands, but I love the service, and I can usually find something that will work among their stock, because I have more loyalty to the store than the brands they carry.

Amazon Continues Blocking Hachette Over Ebook Pricing » Comics Worth Reading writes:  

[…] the way, Amazon briefly used similar tactics for Warner video products. Their new target? Disney. Muppets Most Wanted comes out on DVD on Tuesday, but Amazon hasn’t […]


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