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.


Christopher said...

I imagine that Blockbuster will charge you $80 per DVD too!

Westmont said...

They do have that plan similar to Netflix that you can keep 2-3 games or movies out at a time for a flat monthly fee. You just turn one or more in and take home the same number. It's really not that bad, especially if your family procrastinates like mine does. But I would agree with Christopher in that you will be charged a premium price if they automatically sell it to you. If you are a day late, you will be more than a dollar short. Let the buyer beware....