Blockbuster, the former video retail giant, has been forced to close up to 960 stores in North America. The company said the cause might have been competing stores and online streaming sites. Unable to compete, Blockbuster has closed 276 stores so far this year.
Founded in the mid-1980s as an alternative to small, local operations with limited video rental selection, Blockbuster quickly grew into a nationwide chain. Blockbuster was able to promote movies in ways that no local chains could. The company was instrumental in getting movie-watchers to stay in instead of going out. By bringing Hollywood home, Blockbuster became a Hollywood icon itself.
In the late 1990s, Blockbuster faced challenges brought about by increased competition and a relatively soft market for videos. Remaining one step behind competing video stores like Netflix and Zip.ca, Blockbuster was unable to keep up with the competition. The advent of streaming sites with social media components did not help either.
Aiding in Blockbuster's demise is the internet. Online streaming sites with social media components are making video stores obsolete. Users are allowed to upload movies and television shows to share with networks worldwide. Sites like Ninja Video, Great Stuff TV, and OV Guide have given television and movie addicts a cheaper, more convienient alternative to Blockbuster.
Blockbuster leaves behind a loyal staff of over 60,000.
WORLDWIDE - The worldwideweb is pleased to announce the recent appointment of online steaming sites as the key provider of television and movies. These sites, which stream videos online, are successfully succeeding Blockbuster Inc.
"We're very pleased to welcome online streaming to the video family. Its availability, user involvement and competitive pricing makes it the perfect successor to Blockbuster," said Ari, a self-proclaimed computer know-it-all.
Generally updated following its release, the television shows and movies found online are of high quality. Users have the option to upload and share a video or watch a previously posted program. Some sites, like Ninja Video, have forums for users to connect. These chat rooms provide an environment for video enthusiasts to share thoughts and ideas on recently watched videos. Sites like Great Stuff TV have useful links to inform users of the upcoming TV schedule. OV Guide, a popular streaming site, allows users to interact while sharing videos. Comments and ratings are requested by users.
"No longer will users be tired down to due dates and limited availabilities The internet is our oyster and streaming sites are our pearls," proclaims Jennifer, an avid streamer. "My videos are now available to me on demand. No longer is there a need to drive to Blockbuster; I can do it all from my home."
Online streaming has taken over the traditional video stores. As the fastest, cheapest method for obtaining the videos you want, online streaming will soon make video stores obsolete. As the use of home computers continues to grow, the need for traditional video stores shrinks. People are able to connect their computers to their televisions and watch programs on a high definition big screen TV. The added bonus of communicating with a like-minded community has only enhanced the interest in online streaming.
The success of online streaming cannot be ignored. Videos are now available on demand, from my computer to yours.