It's the end of an era for the video store in America.
The iconic Blockbuster Video is facing a sad day as its U.S retail operation comes to an end. The days of grabbing a DVD, a bottle of sugary pop and some popcorn at your local store are over, as streaming services and illegal downloading rule the digital content roost.
Could these guys be responsible for the demise of Blockbuster?
The news comes at a strange time for the the home-video market. According to Business Week, the $18 billion market is doing well, and spending for rentals is set to outgun movie sales for the first time since 2001. But with the emerging culture of non-ownership, it’s better to rent things digitally.
"This is not an easy decision, yet consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment," said Joseph Clayton, CEO of Dish Network, Blockbuster's parent company. "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 nearly faced total liquidation two years ago when the DISH network saved them. But in order to remain functional, the much-maligned company have decided to cease trading in their 200 retail stores in the U.S. The 50 stores outside of America will continue to trade, however.
Netflix have continued to ramp up their efforts to become the number one streaming service in the world. To begin with, they offered up a wealth of movies for the £5.99-per-month-paying customers to enjoy. Then came Breaking Bad and - an overwhelming boon for the company – which saw them blast into the consciousness of those who were previously unaware.
Now, with a whole range of original content – Orange is The New Black and House of Cards have been received well – and shows like Arrested Development and Derek being shown exclusively (in the U.S), Netflix’s presence in the market is almost indelible. And it’ll take a major rebranding, with attractive and competitively priced content – to usurp them.