Blockbuster was extremely popular in the 90’s on weekends for bringing popular movies home to watch. Timing was of utmost importance to snag the newest releases for movie night. Business did thrive for the company for many years, and expanded into shopping centers in suburbs and cities throughout the country. Blockbuster announced on Wednesday that it will be closing its small inventory of stores that are still open in the United States. 300 stores will close forever in January of 2014. Ordering DVD’s by mail through Blockbuster will be discontinued in December of 2013.
When most consumers think about watching a movie, they do not immediately consider Blockbuster. Dan Rayburn from StreamingMedia.com stated, “Blockbuster has no brand. Consumers stopped thinking about the brand a long time ago. Why did they take so long to close?”
Blockbuster announced they’re closing all their stores. Now where am I supposed to go when I want to be alone?
— Conan O’Brien (@ConanOBrien) November 11, 2013
Open Blockbuster stores still received some business, but they simply can not currently compete with how consumers are choosing to be entertained. Many children and teens have never experienced renting a movie or video game from a local Blockbuster store. School aged children, teens, and adults have become accustomed to streaming their favorite movies on their televisions, computers, smart phones, and tablets.
The licensing rights of Blockbuster have been acquired by Dish Network. They currently offer the streaming of movies for Dish TV customers at an added cost to their monthly cable services. The current web portal, Blockbuster on Demand will remain open for customers who want to continue streaming their movies. This site charges a small monthly fee to access their catalog of movies.
“The quantity of movies is so limited,” Rayburn said. “Some of them are not even on (high-definition). It’s not even a real service. You can’t put it up there with Vudu or Netflix or Hulu.”
Although the Blockbuster on Demand service is limited and hasn’t yet caught up to its competitors it is going to remain open. Joseph Clayton the CEO of Blockbuster’s parent company Dish Network stated, “This is not an easy decision, yet consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment. 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.”
Going into a video store at the start of a weekend is a feeling that many people will never experience. The human touch when things go wrong is now a thing of the past, with renting movies and games. Being able to pick up a movie immediately was one of the best perks of Blockbuster. The flexibility of being able to stream movies online and renting from Redbox or other kiosks after pumping gas or getting groceries, can’t really compete with a video store that charges much more for the same service.
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