Tuesday, December 14, 2004

The Future of the DVD Rental

I've long been impressed by how arrogant and stupid Blockbuster has behaved as an institution. They had a near monopoly on the video rental business and a chance to extend that monopoly as the market changed, first with the DVD, then with the internet, and finally with the supremacy of sales over rentals. And at every step, instead of innovating and adapting, Blockbuster sought to fight the future and maintain the status quo.

Today Blockbuster announces that it is dropping late fees. Instead, after a week of being late, they'll simply automatically charge you for the sale of the DVD let you keep it. It's a fine idea, but too little, too late.

P.S.: If you follow these things, look for Netflix to be bought by Amazon in the coming months.

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