We read in the Washington Times today about Blockbuster Videos facing bankruptcy -- not so much because of poor financial management, but because the market has dramatically changed with technology. When reading about Blockbuster's plight, two things come to mind -- 1. the appreciable brilliance of Waste Management ga-zillionaire Wayne Huizinga to sell the lucrative Blockbuster franchise years ago, before the DVD home rental market tanked, and 2. the panic media moguls must be experiencing as they so desperately scratch and claw to maintain control of the press with online news sources being the wave of the future.
Washington Times reports on Blockbuster's fall. Compare to what we could soon be reading about the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun Times:
Blame the new shape of the home-movie market. Film and video writers say the concept of a chain of video-rental stores has become an obsolete business model because of how technology has transformed the home-movie experience and will continue doing so.
"I think it's all going to be handled online," said critic Noel Murray, a contributing writer for the Onion AV Club.
The story continues ...
Although he noted the success of DVD rental kiosks such as Redbox, Mr. Murray thinks the days of obtaining a physical disc when renting movies will end soon, replaced by movies streamed or downloaded directly to computers or television. He cited boxes such as the Tivo Premiere, a not-yet-released DVR system with a Netflix connection that gives access to movies with the touch of a remote as opposed to a drive to the video store.
Mr. Murray said he could not see any way for brick-and-mortar video stores to stay in business in the future, with the only exception being very small, independent shops carrying lesser-known, hard-to-find films.
Blockbuster today, The Tribune Company tomorrow ...