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Old 15 July 2018, 06:58 PM
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TV Alaska’s last 2 Blockbuster stores are closing, leaving just one in the U.S.

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The two remaining Blockbuster stores in Alaska are set to close, marking the end of an era in what has long been one of the video rental business's last strongholds.
https://www.adn.com/business-economy...-set-to-close/
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  #2  
Old 15 July 2018, 07:05 PM
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The last store is in Bend, Oregon. I think it's the first time in a good long time that Bend made the national news.
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Old 16 July 2018, 01:33 PM
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It's sad to see them go, but I always scratch my head at what they did wrong. They could have become the first Netflix if they had the vision.

They already had agreements to rent out movies, going the next step would have been feasible.

OY
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Old 16 July 2018, 02:08 PM
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They could even have moved into the kiosk area - like Redbox, which still seems to be doing business. Then they could have slowly reduced stores while increasing the online and kiosk areas.

BTW, I'm not sure they had "agreements to rent out movies" per se. I believe it is legal to just buy copies of tapes or DVDs and rent them out without paying royalties, based on the concessions made by the studios in the dawn of the video rental business. Of course, they probably had deals to get early releases, mass discounts, exclusive content, etc. with some distributors.
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Old 16 July 2018, 02:17 PM
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I don't think that is true. Movies usually have a disclaimer at the beginning stating that it is only licensed for personnel use.
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Old 16 July 2018, 03:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overyonder View Post
It's sad to see them go, but I always scratch my head at what they did wrong. They could have become the first Netflix if they had the vision.

They already had agreements to rent out movies, going the next step would have been feasible.

OY
According to Netflix's Wikipedia page, Blockbuster actually turned down a chance to acquire Netflix back in 2000. Netflix was losing money at the time and didn't turn a profit until 2003; it's unclear to me when or if they started consistently turning a profit.
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Old 16 July 2018, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by overyonder View Post
It's sad to see them go, but I always scratch my head at what they did wrong. They could have become the first Netflix if they had the vision.

They already had agreements to rent out movies, going the next step would have been feasible.

OY
I think the best description of "what Blockbuster did wrong" was they made gigantic piles of cash for a decade or more. When you are making that much money you can't imagine that a new way of doing things would come along and completely displace you in couple years. Being extremely successful tends to make a company stodgy, or at least tentative. Neither works in the modern movie and content marketplace. Blockbuster got into the mail delivery of DVDs too late and Netflix destroyed them.
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Old 16 July 2018, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Beachlife! View Post
I don't think that is true. Movies usually have a disclaimer at the beginning stating that it is only licensed for personnel use.
True, and maybe technically enforceable. But the business model that emerged from the early days simply had the studios/distributors making their profits by charging high prices for new movies, rather than seeking royalties from rentals, which was the original plan. It was easier than suing the thousands of independent video stores over renting copyrighted material. They might have lost those suits as well - do publishers have a right to stop libraries from lending books?

As I said, the studios did enter into all kinds of partnerships, but they never explicitly agreed with the rental companies that renting the tapes or DVDs was okay in general - they just let it happen.
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Old 16 July 2018, 05:59 PM
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I remember renting a few Blu-Rays from Blockbuster that were "rental edition" versions of movies which didn't have any extra features on them.

But I think that Blockbuster could have had a chance to reinvent itself and survive if digital streaming hadn't sucker-punched it. That was the real nail in the coffin for traditional video stores.

There's actually one video rental in Roseburg. It's also a post office and sells disc golf supplies and wine.
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Old 16 July 2018, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by crocoduck_hunter View Post
There's actually one video rental in Roseburg. It's also a post office and sells disc golf supplies and wine.
That reminds me of a place in out town back in the 1990s that was both a video rental store and a pet store. They had a parrot in the store that would say "hello" and follow you around as you browsed the videos. If you weren't careful he'd peck you on the back of the head when you weren't looking. IIRC they had started out as separate businesses that were next door to each other, and at some point merged together into one store. I'd always assumed neither business was able to afford the rent for their respective spaces, so they combined them into one space to reduce their costs.
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  #11  
Old 16 July 2018, 06:16 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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Originally Posted by crocoduck_hunter View Post
But I think that Blockbuster could have had a chance to reinvent itself and survive if digital streaming hadn't sucker-punched it. That was the real nail in the coffin for traditional video stores.
I don't thing Blockbuster really even lasted up until digital streaming. Netflix beat them to DVDs by mail and then to digital streaming. Blockbuster pretty much had one foot in the grave before the digital streaming started and by then they didn't have the money to compete as Netflix pretty seamlessly shifted from postal to online.
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Old 16 July 2018, 06:57 PM
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The Blockbuster in my town didn't close until 2011-2012, and I was streaming via Amazon Prime by then.
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  #13  
Old 16 July 2018, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmy101_again View Post
I don't thing Blockbuster really even lasted up until digital streaming. Netflix beat them to DVDs by mail and then to digital streaming. Blockbuster pretty much had one foot in the grave before the digital streaming started and by then they didn't have the money to compete as Netflix pretty seamlessly shifted from postal to online.
I could be remembering wrong, but I recall BB shuffling toward its grave back around when I graduated high school/early college. This would have been 08-early 10's.

It was odd because it felt like my friends and I were part of the last cohort to get on the BB train- just many happy memories of being a young teenager and going there with some friends to decide on what we were going to watch for our movie night, and having to be open minded and try something unexpected if they didn't have the video we were hoping for.

Used to be my favorite birthday gift to give, too, especially for friends I liked but didn't know well enough to get a more personal gift. Gift card for free rental + theater size candy box + box of microwavable popcorn.
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  #14  
Old 16 July 2018, 08:50 PM
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So, wait - are they giving Russel Crowe's jockstrap back to Russel Crowe, or to John Oliver? It's not really clear who they mean by "the owner".
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Old 16 July 2018, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Credence View Post
So, wait - are they giving Russel Crowe's jockstrap back to Russel Crowe, or to John Oliver? It's not really clear who they mean by "the owner".
Could someone reboot Darth Credence?
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  #16  
Old 16 July 2018, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by crocoduck_hunter View Post
The Blockbuster in my town didn't close until 2011-2012, and I was streaming via Amazon Prime by then.
Yes, but Blockbuster had already been driven off the corporate cliff, probably back in about 2003. (Their stock peaked in 2002 and by 2010 had last more than 90% of it's peak market cap.) The fact the some stores held on for another decade says more about momentum (corporate and consumer) then anything else.

BB filed for bankruptcy in 2010.

Besides, part of the story is BB's inability to see the correct future. Netflix ate BB's lunch on mail delivery and then Netflix seamlessly moved into streaming. Netflix has been extremely successful in responding to technology changes.
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  #17  
Old 16 July 2018, 09:46 PM
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My point is that Blockbuster, while doing badly, could theoretically have recovered and reinvented themselves as a distributor of movies-by-mail. Probably not as successfully as they had been as a brick-and-mortar, but enough to survive as a company.

Then digital streaming started happening and they lost any chance they would have had.
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Old 17 July 2018, 12:12 AM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crocoduck_hunter View Post
My point is that Blockbuster, while doing badly, could theoretically have recovered and reinvented themselves as a distributor of movies-by-mail. Probably not as successfully as they had been as a brick-and-mortar, but enough to survive as a company.

Then digital streaming started happening and they lost any chance they would have had.
BB tried snail mail (I used if for a couple years) but couldn't catch up to Netflix. Netflix seamlessly went to streaming. A nimble, well managed BB should have been able to do the same thing. Indeed since they were sitting on a pretty big pile of cash they should have been able to do it without needing venture funding.
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Old 17 July 2018, 01:37 AM
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Nothing that you're saying is contradicting what I've said. It doesn't even appear that you're disagreeing with my point.
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  #20  
Old 17 July 2018, 01:14 PM
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Netflix ate BB's lunch on mail delivery and then Netflix seamlessly moved into streaming. Netflix has been extremely successful in responding to technology changes.
That they did! Netflix must have had some seriously good negotiators to be able to have a model that allowed unlimited watching of digital media for a fixed-price. Movie companies are not the keenest for spreading their media far-and-wide like that.

OY
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