How much do DVD rental companies pay for their DVDs?

I’ve been a subscriber of Netflix for over 4 years and have just recently been subjected to throttling . I had always been happy with the number of DVDs I had received and assumed that when postal rates went up the membership costs would have gone up. Quite the contrary, as the postal rate went up the membership rate went down, but then so did the number of DVDs I received. So I bumped up my membership plan. Then I received even LESS DVDs. I fully respect Netflix’s right to make a profit. But it got me thinking. . .

How much do the large DVD rental companies pay for their copies? How many times can an average DVD be viewed before normal wear-and-tear makes the disc not viewable?

If they customers take care of the discs (which obviously doesn’t happen), they should be viewable thousands of times.

I don’t know about DVDs, but back in the '80s and '90s rental VHS tapes were very expensive. For example, a consumer might buy a retail copy for $19.99 while a rental store might pay $99.99. The higher cost was for a license for rental distribution of the video.

Netflix lowered their rates?? When did this happen? :confused:

As for how long rental DVDs last, it depends on the genre. Obscure foreign art movies tend to remain pristine for years, while family films are far and away the worst. (“Ooh look how cute, little Billy’s trying to put the DVD in the player with grape jelly all over his fingers!”) I’ve received Netflix DVDs that were scratched to holy hell, despite having been released only a month ago!

[nitpick] …even FEWER DVDs. [/nitpick]

I can’t answer your question, but it is a good one and hope somebody has the answer.

I bumped up to 5-at-a-time, and so far (knock on wood), have not been throttled as so many have.

      • I don’t know about DVD’s or anything recent, but I worked at a gas station that rented VHS movies back in the mid-90’s, and I know that they had to pay $65 per tape for rental movies. Movies that were two tapes long cost the store $130.

        And just for fun:
        shortest rental: Malcom X (a double-tape movie) that got stolen on the second time someone rented it, and,

Longest rental: by far was the movie “Say Anything”, which was rented regularly every 2-3 days for almost two years before it finally broke. We’d have ordered another copy but it was long gone from the distributor’s catalog by then, so the store couldn’t obtain a replacement.

Although i don’t have conclusive answers to give you on the prices of dvds, i can say with some confidence that they pay less than retail for the dvds. From what i understand, there are no “rental licensing fees” involved and NetFlix certainly purchases their discs in wholesale.

According to this website: (under “videos and the ‘first sale’ doctrine”).

A common tactic in the late 90’s was to have the VHS version of a movie come out in “retail” a month or two after the “rental” version appeared, with the “rental” version touting extra durability and a price-tag about 4x that of the retail version. In other words, the video stores had no choice if they wanted to offer customers recent movies.

I have the $9.95 plan from Netflix. Only get one movie at a time. Send you another one when you send yours back. But lapse time seems to be pretty quick. I could easily rent 2 movies a week. 3 movies a week if I really pushed it.

So -------great deal for me.

I only use Netflix as a backup for my 99 cent Albertson rentals-----which is done right is much cheaper than Netflix

Unfortunately Albertsons seems to be going down the tubes.

A perfectly planned life can go array sometimes.


Just did the math and 3 rentals a week from Neflix, on the $9.95 plan, even with super quick turnaround -----------is impossible.

I think you could do 2 and one half rentals a week on the $9.95 plan though.