It's the end of an era for devotees of the humble DVD store.
We’ve all seen the end of Blockbuster coming from miles away, with stores closing across the country, but the biggest US DVD store chain has finally announced the end of its entire operation as of January. After Blockbuster the trend of falling profits continued over 2012 and 2013 (Blockbuster's revenue fell to $120 million in the second quarter, less than half of $253.3 million it generated in the year-ago period) and Blockbusters stores closing down en masse, the end of the entire physical copy distribution service was inevitable. The company, which has only 300 remaining stores, will close them all down by the end of January, with its DVD-by-mail service ending even sooner – mid-December, according to USA Today.
"This is not an easy decision, yet consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment," said Joseph P. 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."
So does that mean that the company has any firm plans to expand into the digital market? If so, Dish and Blockbuster will have a tough time conquering online video distributors like Netflix. Clayton explained that the company would be keeping the Blockbuster licensing rights and putting the focus on expanding the Blockbuster @Home service a streaming service available to Dish pay-TV customers. Blockbuster On Demand, the company's streaming service for the general public, will also continue to operate.