D'Works, USA, Artisan, others sign on for rev sharing

Online DVD rental service NetFlix.com has inked revenue sharing agreements with five Hollywood studios, including DVD’s biggest promoters, Warner Bros. and Columbia TriStar.

The Silicon Valley-based company has also inked the pacts with the homevid divisions of DreamWorks, USA Studios and Artisan Entertainment, as well as with library owners Vanguard and MTI.

Under the agreements, NetFlix is able to purchase DVD releases directly from the studios in much larger quantities, making new releases more readily available to Netizens.

Studios receive an upfront fee as part of the deal, as well as up to 45% of the revenues collected from each title. Deal is similar to that made with traditional brick-and-mortar ventures like Blockbuster Video and Hollywood Video. Few online e-tailers feature such an agreement with studios, especially when it comes to DVDs.

“DVD is the entertainment format of the future, and NetFlix is our fastest growing customer for DVD rentals,” Warren Lieberfarb, prexy of Warner Home Video said. “We look forward to working with NetFlix to expose the DVD viewing audience to Warner’s vast library of films.”

NetFlix, which launched its service last year, has grown to more than 250,000 members who pay $19.95 a month for its unlimited movie rental service.

“We’ve been putting the agreements together over the last few months,” Reed Hastings, CEO of NetFlix.com said. “We have half of the studios and are continuing to work on the rest.”

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