Remaining 300 Blockbuster Stores Finally Put Out Of Their Misery


As if the decline of cable TV wasn’t obvious enough (I wish we could expedite the end of the ‘dumb pipe’ even faster) anyone with a pulse knows the physical video rental model has long been over.

So it wasn’t surprising to hear Blockbuster physical locations are done entirely. What was surprising in the news release is that Blockbuster actually had a stunning 300 stores still wasting space (likely in depressed strip malls). It was also interesting to hear the DISH CEO say (emphasis mine): “this is not an easy decision, yet consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment.” Wait, what? Of course this is an easy decision: they need to go all-in with digital or they’ll bleed money.

At a technology company this type of decision would have been made ages ago. And quickly. But this retail giant watched the world breeze by and their failure to adapt created room in the market for Netflix, Amazon Instant and others to step in. If anything I feel bad for former Blockbuster shareholders but any of the smart money saw the writing on the wall ages ago I’m sure.

It just goes to show you living artifacts can stick around and paint the landscape with fleeting memories of how things used to be. Some obvious, some apparently not so much to some judging by previous reactions to my posts on cable, voicemail, radio and other technologies being irrelevant. But remember just because a technology or way of doing things still exists doesn’t mean it hasn’t been disrupted. To quote William Gibson: “The future is already here, it just isn’t evenly distributed yet.”

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