USA: Blockbuster end.


IFC # 9 Champion 2012-13, V-Bookie Champion 2008
28 IOL 2007
Thessaloniki in heart, Alimos on paper ....
[h = 2] End of season for the largest video club worldwide, surprising none [/ h] The ... smuggling of any tradition sounds louder if it was long - and that just seems to have happened yesterday as the biggest (and practically last time) movie rental chain in the US, that of the famous Blockbuster, "rolled down" and officially.

We say "officially" because their owner, Dish, has consistently suspended the operation of more and more branches in the last three years, in a desperate effort to keep marginal even profitability. The latest 300 Blockbuster that remains scattered in the US states will all be closed by January, while the home mailing service maintained by the chain will not be available since December.

Blockbuster is the latest likely "big victim" of the radical change in the landscape of home movies worldwide. With the booming network rental services such as Netflix and online sales outlets such as iTunes, movies in mature markets such as the US are now consumed almost entirely in the form of files rather than optical discs.

Viewers in the US if they want a Blu-ray or DVD movie tend to buy it now, not to rent.

In markets like the Greek one, of course, where economic conditions and network infrastructure differ greatly, perhaps we have not yet reached this point - but we are not far behind that, as the few video clubs renting movies in our country operate with very limited margins and no one knows for how much they will still be able to survive.

The only thing that is certain about this is that domestic entertainment worldwide has not yet found the signs of harmonious coexistence with the cinema industry - hence phenomena such as the blockbuster suspension (which at their best numbered over 9.000 stores).

These served a need that is not satisfactorily covered only by Network Services, if one judges the high rate of illegal downloading of movies from the Internet. With these and with them it remains not just ... foggy landscape in the future disposal of films for the domestic market, but practically undefined.

Networking will definitely be. Will it be appealing to the consumer audience - because it is not priced at the moment and in terms of image / sound quality - to be legally extended? Or will it be kept commercially "on the surface" barely, while ... "under the surface" will have the illegal yet widely accepted form it has today? We have come!

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