In the fading days of a format you occasionally see strange and wonderful things happen. So it is with DVD. The most fantastic news this month — this year, even — might be this: Warner Brothers is making it’s entire library of films available to consumers (over time) via a custom DVD service. Beginning today with a handful of titles, www.warnerarchive.com allows anyone to pay $20 for their own custom DVD of a Warner catalog title that has yet to hit DVD. Digital-only downloads will soon be available for $15.
That’s a little pricey, and we don’t know what the condition of the films and transfers will be, but the business plan is amazing. (And judging by the video clips on the site, quality might be perfectly fine.)
With roughly 20 films scheduled to be added to the service per month, we’ll eventually have access to one of the most vast film libraries in existence. No more desperately DVR-ing stuff from Turner Classic Movies or scouring bootleg vendors for the six thousand-plus WB movies and TV shows not in print on DVD. (I’m not sure if that figure includes the MGM library.)
Have you wanted King Vidor’s The Citadel, or the silly Doc Savage: Man of Bronze? Want to wait for Spielberg’s Lincoln movie by watching the 1940 Abe Lincoln in Illinois? Now’s your time. Warners says that special features will initially be limited to, at the most, trailers. But in this case, most of the movies *are* the special features. Being able to own copies of some wildly out of print movies is fantastic.
USA Today, which is just full of good news this day, has the full scoop. [via the ecstatic Mr. Beaks at AICN]
EDIT: The question I forgot to pose initially is, how, if at all, will WB and this library interface with Netflix? Will any of these titles be licensed to stream from the service, or will Netflix be able to order copies of the most in-demand titles?