Blockbuster files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
The news we had all been waiting for has finally come: Blockbuster, Inc. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Most of the company’s services will remain available throughout the process, which will last a few months. But as part of its reorganization, the company plans to shut down as many as 800 of its 3,400 stores in the United States. It also plans to move more toward a kiosk- and digital-based approach to delivering its content.
If you’ve been in a Blockbuster store any time during the past couple of years, you could see this coming. Gone are the days of perusing shelves and seeing if there was an extra DVD behind a movie title at your favorite video store. There has been a colossal shift in the industry, with mail and kiosks taking over much of the market.
It’s somewhat surprising that the kiosk-based approach that Redbox uses is still going strong. The convenience of stand-alone machines – usually found in front of pharmacies and supermarkets – coupled with the low prices make them successful, but you still have to drive somewhere.
Netflix is king of the home video market right now, but for how long? Many times I have grown impatient at the two-day turnaround time because I really needed to see the next three episodes of “Dexter.” Eventually this model will give way to on-demand, digital delivery of media. Netflix is already offering part of its inventory online, and Amazon and some cable providers are doing the same. Once set-top boxes such as Boxee and Apple TV become more common, we’ll see the scales tipped – again.
This was a guest post. About the author: James Mowery is a computer geek that writes about technology and related topics.