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.