It appears that Blockbuster is giving up on physical DVD rentals. Dish, the owner of Blockbuster, announced today that the video rental store we used to know as the place to get film on demand will close the approximately 300 remaining Blockbuster stores in the U.S. by early January 2014. The company will also end its mail DVD distribution service by mid-December. Blockbuster will, however, continue on as a streaming service.
In a press release, DISH President and CEO Joseph P. Clayton said:
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.”
The Future of Blockbuster
DISH reports that it will retain licensing rights to the Blockbuster brand along with key assets like the company’s video library. Blockbuster’s streaming service for DISH customers, @Home, and its online streaming service for the general market, Blockbuster On Demand, will remain in service.
Though Blockbuster will be closing its doors, stores owned by third-party franchises in the U.S. and Blockbuster stores abroad will remain open for business.
Innovation Killed the Video Store
Just nine years ago Blockbuster operated over 9,000 retail stores in the U.S, according to the New York Times. Come next year, it will operate none. Today the company admits defeat by Netflix and other streaming services. The failure on Blockbuster’s part to innovate by competing with services like Netflix led to the video store’s (admittedly foreseeable) demise. Take Blockbuster as a modern case in point for the number one rule all businesses should follow: stay relevant to your customers.
What do you predict will happen to the Blockbuster brand?
Featured image via David Wilson