Fox to strip extras from rental DVDs

With DVD sales declining, Fox is trying to encourage more purchases by creating bare-bone rental DVDs without special features and audio commentaries.

The rental version of 'Slumdog Millionaire' will lack the deleted scenes and commentary tracks available on the retail version.
The rental version of 'Slumdog Millionaire' will lack the deleted scenes and commentary tracks available on the retail version. Amazon

A few days ago, we pointed out that more people seem to be renting DVDs rather than buying, which means the studios are making less money on their former cash cow. According to a recent report by Video Business, Fox is trying a new strategy to encourage DVD purchases, by releasing two different versions of the DVD: the standard retail version with deleted scenes and commentary tracks, and a stripped-down rental version including just the movie. Movies such as "Slumdog Millionaire," "The Day the Earth Stood Still," and "The Wrestler" are set to get the treatment, which means you can expect to see the bare-bones versions at your local rental store in a matter of weeks.

The Video Business story goes into more depth about how "rentailers" will try to get around Fox's new policy, but our biggest question is "What will Netflix do?" We've always thought one of the best parts of a Netflix subscription is you can enjoy the excellent Criterion Collection packages without shelling out $40--especially if you only plan to watch it once. Netflix subscribers are already used to giving up special features when using the Instant Streaming service, but there are definitely plenty of cinephiles who will be upset if Netflix goes with these bare-bones DVDs.

Do you care if your rentals lack special features and audio commentaries? And if so, will Fox's strategy make you more likely to buy the fully featured retail versions? Let us know in the comments.

 

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