A lot of people might remember the glory days of visiting video stores to get movies, especially Blockbuster. It’s hard to believe that there were thousands of Blockbusters across the United States at one point. People would hop in their cars and go see what movies they’d like to rent out. This phenomenon did take the United States by storm.
Measuring the size and depth of Blockbuster’s hold on the American market has been made a bit easier. At least for those people who use their own eyes to check things out. In this surprising heat map video, people see literally the rise and fall of Blockbuster.
The rental store model worked for a period of time. When Netflix was introduced with its own rent-a-movie style, the writing pretty much was written on the wall for Blockbuster. Anyone who has their Blockbuster card these days is kind of telling on their age.
But take a look at this very interesting heat map. In it, you will see the growth and expansion of Blockbuster in America. While it takes some time for new stores to open, notice how much faster it becomes to close them. Originally, Blockbuster opened up its first location in Dallas, Texas in 1985. Soon, many more stores opened around the United States.
Blockbuster Video Had Chance To Buy Netflix
Remember that I mentioned about Netflix and its model? Blockbuster had a chance to get in on the ground floor. It would have changed the way that Blockbuster did its business. Still, the company owners did not have the foresight to see it that way.
What happens? Mistakes piled up. One after another. Eventually, the company had to close down its nearly 9,000 stores from California to Florida. And the company owners did allow that a lot of Blockbuster’s revenue came from charging fees for late rental returns.
The fee thing was one of a number of issues that didn’t sit well with Netflix founder Reed Hastings. Early on in Netflix’s business model, they would mail people DVDs for a flat monthly rate. Netflix did not have any late fees put into its business model.
In 2000, Blockbuster could have purchased Netflix. They chose not to do so, thereby opening the door to future problems. And yet another competitor, Redbox, launched in 2002. This was just another way for a company to cut into Blockbuster’s marketplace.
By 2004, Blockbuster was still a leader in video rentals. However, the company decided to drop the penalty fees. It also chose to start up Blockbuster Online, but it was way behind Netflix. Around this time, Blockbuster lost a lot of its market value. In 2010, the company filed for bankruptcy.
This led to the closure of all those stores. It led to the demise of Blockbuster Video in the video rental world.
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