Obviously the company needs money, but this seems more like a reminder to sign up for Netflix than a “let’s save Blockbuster” move. The reasoning behind the throwback to days of yore is that customers who keep movies longer keep them away from other customers, forcing Blockbuster to purchase more copies to keep up with customer demand. To be honest, you have to wonder just how much demand is out there. When Netflix is delivering movies to my doorstep and provides streaming service across a couple different platforms, paying to keep movies an extra day or two seems downright stupid.
Remember that crazy ad push Blockbuster made in 2005. No more late fees! There were huge blue-and-yellow signs everywhere proclaiming the company’s latest attempt at competing with Netflix. Well, Blockbuster is rescinding that deal and bringing you back to late fee hell. Things are pretty ugly, too. A dollar a day ugly, up to a 10-day maximum. That’s pretty brutal, especially when rentals cost so much to begin with.
I used to think Blockbuster Online was the greatest thing on the planet. At the time, I was living close enough to a physical store that I was getting as many movies as I wanted plus the bonus of being able to turn them in for free movies for something like $10. It was great. It wasn’t long, though, before the store closed and I started mailing my movies back.
That same thing is about to happen in 500 locations across the country. Blockbuster announced this week that it would close 500 stores over the course of the year. The news comes as the company continues to bleed money, to the tune of $435 million for its most recent quarter.
“While we believe the future is bright, the next 12 to 18 months will remain challenging as we balance the secular decline of a single channel with the ascension of emerging channels, such as vending and digital,” CEO Jim Keyes said on Wednesday. The company is also trying to restructure its nearly billion dollar debt to stay afloat.
In case you missed it, here’s what’s Bouncing Around the Web:
Western Digital’s My Book family just jumped up to 2TB of storage. 2 freaking terabytes! You can carry around a USB 2.0 2TB external drive for around $330. 2 freaking terabytes! Is it me or can you recall when you didn’t know what the hell a terabyte was?
I can guarantee I didn’t know what a terabyte was the last time I conquered this game. One of my absolute favorite games growing up is now available on my phone. id Software just released a ported version of Wolfenstein 3D for the iPhone. My productivity just went out the window.
A company is now producing Boxed Water. Water in a box? Really? I can see where they are going with this. Boxed Water is safer for the environment than plastic bottles. I get it. But Boxed Water? Really? I’ll stick to the tap.
TiVo and Blockbuster are joining forces. The market of people willing to pay several hundred dollars for a DVR and also pay $15 a month to rent movies will be thrilled. I guess I’m not one of them.