Blockbuster News! Video Stores Follow Dinosaurs
It’s not as if everyone didn’t see this coming from a long way off, but Blockbuster, the video rental chain owned by Dish Network, announced it would close its remaining 300 stores by early January. The company also announced it would close its Blockbuster By Mail DVD service in mid-December.
"This is not an easy decision, yet consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment," said Joseph Clayton, DISH president and chief executive officer, in a statement. "Despite our closing of the physical distribution elements of the business, we continue to see value in the Blockbuster brand, and we expect to leverage that brand as we continue to expand our digital offerings."
Blockbuster’s fall was steep from the early 2000’s when it dominated the video rental market. At one point the chain had 9,000 stores and was referred to in monopoly-like terms by smaller competitors.
"It’s an interesting footnote to business history. [Dish] thought [Blockbuster] had a longer tail than it did. But digital distribution happened faster than people may have thought," Matthew Harrigan, a media analyst at Wunderlich Securities, told USA Today.
Dish Network said it would retain the licensing rights to the Blockbuster brand and the company’s video library. It will continue to offer the Blockbuster @Home service to its satellite TV customers as well as Blockbuster On Demand.
- Blockbuster to End Domestic Retail, DVD By Mail Services – Dish Network
- Blockbuster Video-Rental Chain Will Shut All U.S. Stores – Bloomberg News
- Blockbuster to close U.S. retail stores, mail DVD operation – USA Today
What is your postmortem on Blockbuster? Do you expect Netflix to end its DVD by mail service in the near term? Is there a new disruptive technology or service offering that will further upset the video rental business in the years to come?