Today the windows are far shorter and harder to distinguish. Theatrical films can show up as DVDs just a few months later and find themselves available to rent on demand. Cable networks sometimes bid more for a film so that it bypasses Pay TV and hits the air much sooner. And the creation of digital copies and cloud ownership means that exclusivity windows become harder to enforce. "New technologies, like iCloud, are making these conflicts more obvious, pressuring traditional media businesses to rewrite their agreements. Movie studios want consumers to buy more digital-movie downloads as DVD sales shrink and digital rental and subscription services, from which studios earn less, gain traction."
Even the notion of the cloud has gotten fuzzy. Apple has its cloud, Amazon a different cloud, and the movie studios are trying to rollout their own through UltraViolet. At the end of the day, the consumer only cares about where they can find a movie and how effortless it can be to view it. If they want to buy it, they will; if they want to rent it, they will seek out that option. If they want to watch it with commercials because it is there at the moment ready to watch, they will do that too. And while the pay channels may seem to be most affected, they have not been blindsided. They have been seeing this trend for a while and it has been their motivation ( as well as Netflix), to diversify into original programming, in order to remain competitive and ahead of the problem.