Justin Bachman on Dish’s decision to finally put Blockbuster out of its looooooong misery:
The video rental chain was spun off by Viacom (VIA) in 2004 and had about 9,000 locations at the time—a position of market dominance that once made it a target of legal challenges by smaller video rental businesses. Now some of those little brick-and-mortar movie stores will manage to outlive the behemoth. “The fact is that one retailer just doesn’t an industry make,” says Mark Fisher, president and chief executive of the Entertainment Merchants Association, a home-video and gaming trade group. “When Tower closed its doors, it certainly didn’t signal the end of the music business.”
Maybe not all hope is lost:
Indeed, in the $18 billion home-video market, rental is hot. Spending for movie rentals is expected to top movie sales this year for the first time since 2001, according to research firm BTIG.
Well, that actually just may say more about how poor the movie sales business is:
Video chains that want to keep people browsing the physical discs have been rushing to expand their offerings. The largest U.S. chain, Family Video, has started installing pizza shops adjacent to its locations “to offer one-stop shopping for dinner and entertainment,” as the company explains, while also expanding into fitness centers and a cable-TV service in several central Illinois burgs. Another entrepreneur has likewise added frozen yogurt to his store, MR Video, in Keizer, Ore.
In Brooklyn, meanwhile, Wendy Chamberlain moved her 16,000 movies to the basement so she’d have space for a bar and screening room. Some of the staff learned to mix cocktails. “We couldn’t just give up,” Chamberlain told DNAInfo, a local news website. “We hated the idea of not being able to be here and rent movies to people anymore.”
Cute, yet probably futile.