Is the video rental business dead?

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When asked, most people think that the video rental business is dead, mostly because of the time saving prospect and comfort offered by websites such as Netflix. What do you think? Do you agree with those who think that the video rental business is dead or do you think that there still is hope? I started to ask myself this question only a few days ago, when I was offered a flyer while walking down the street. What did the flyer say? It was basically offering me a deal: 30 days of free movies and game rental coming from Blockbuster if I become a new member. I have to confess that I was shocked, mainly because I thought that Blockbuster is closing its stores, not trying to attract new members. Then, I remembered the time during which Blockbuster asked its clients to leave their credit card on file in order to make sure that the customers will bring the movies or games back. Did they even have the legal right to do that? I think they didn’t, so they must have realized that it was one hell of a marketing strategy they were using there, so they suddenly decided to change it in order to keep their stores open. Now comes my second question: do they still have time to save something or is it just too late for them? Are they too late with this move? Maybe they are, maybe they aren’t. Probably time will tell, but I think I know what the answer is for Blockbuster.

Do you want to find out what I think? I think that Blockbuster made a lot of money back in the VHS days, but the store chain forgot about the fact that as time passes, people want to be properly treated, especially when you are an old member. It is true that there are a lot of traditionalists left out there, but they have definitely stopped going to Blockbuster when they were asked to leave their credit card as proof of the fact that they are going to bring the movie back. If they have had no late fee, what makes the Blockbuster owners think that they are going to get one now? This was the click that triggered the end for Blockbuster. Even these traditionalists decided that it is a good idea for them to learn more about Netflix, for example, since Blockbuster is not treating them right anymore. As for the Blockbuster chain, how can they even think about the fact that a business model that was successful two decades ago is still going to be successful for another few more decades, with no changes? If you want to stay in the business, you simply have to keep up the pace with the time. If there is a change going on, embrace it, as it is going to be good for your business. Don’t be reticent about the new marketing tools and the new products now available, as they can make or break a business. I think that the video rental business in general is not dead; it is dead only for stores such as Blockbuster.

The survival of movie rental

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Who hasn’t heard of Blockbuster? I am sure that all of you, as kids, were simply thrilled to go to Blockbuster every time your parents had some free time to rent a movie. Now, it is very sad to enter a Blockbuster store, as these are the last days of business for the company and the only thing you can find inside is DVDs that can be bought. Yes, Blockbuster is selling its entire inventory. Even though some might think that since Blockbuster is closing, this is the end of movie rental, there still are success stories on the market. One of them is Family Video, a movie rental chain with 770 stores in locations in Canada and Midwest. The best about this movie rental chain is not this; the best is yet to come: the rental chain is preparing new locations after adding 18 last year. What is the story standing behind this huge success? Good ideas, top quality services and a smart marketing campaign.

Lots of Family Video locations have Marco’s Pizza joints next door and this has helped them boost their business. People go to their stores, rent a movie or two and get some pizza. This is the perfect recipe for relaxing evenings. While you are waiting for your pizza to be ready, you can browse for a movie in the Family Video store next door.

This is one success story and one of the examples on how movie rental survives. Another good example is Redbox. The Redbox owner is one of those people who simply love brick and mortar stores and who would not trade them for an online store. Redbox manages to help the movie rental survive by presenting a store in which movie rental services are available, among other products. The Redbox owner is proud of being able to offer his clients a video selection much wider than the ones available online and he often manages to bring new releases in stores much sooner than online stores manage to make this happen.

As you can see, it all stands in the marketing strategy and the creative ideas that you implement in the movie rental store. Even though Hulu and Netflix are now available, this doesn’t mean that people have completely lost the joy of renting a movie from an actual store. The feeling is completely different from the one you get when you access a website and this is what makes movie rental survive at the end of the day. In the next few years, it is not going to be easy for the industry, but a little bit of creativity will make everything good in the end. Of course, the creativity has to be combined with a lot of work and a good marketing strategy but just because the Blockbuster stores are being closed, this doesn’t mean that there is no winning recipe available. There is, but it is now waiting to be discovered and then exploited to the fullest. If this is done, then the movie rental industry is going to survive.