What are the primary causes for the end of music stores, and video/DVD rental stores?

4 comments

All of the major music stores (Virgin, Wherehouse, Tower Records) no longer exist. Only a few indie record stores stay in business.

The same is occurring with video/DVD rental stores like Blockbuster & Hollywood video, along with smaller chains.

It seems to be the end of an era. What can this be attributed to?

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Ross

Netflix is the main reason all of the old blockbuster stores and the sort closed down. It’s easier to just go on your computer and load up a movie from Netflix (and cheaper) than to get in the car and drive to a store to rent a DVD at a more expensive price and then watch it on a DVD player.

Anjaree

The invention of G3 and G4, and Android.

george

Both record stores and video stores experienced one problem after another.

First, both records/audiotapes and VCR videotapes became obsolete, replaced by CD’s and DVD’s. That forced the stores to replace their entire inventories. For many small, mom & pop stores, they just couldn’t afford it, and went out of business.

But just when they were adjusting to CD’s and DVD’s, along came pure digital. VCRs were replaced by DVRs (like TiVo), CDs were replaced by MP3′s, and although DVDs still exist, they are slowly being replaced by a combination of online streaming, premium cable channels and digital downloads (from places like Amazon, not to mention pirate sites).

There’s no way for a brick & mortar store to make money from digital without a hard copy to sell. So the stores have simply disappeared, one by one.

Crocoduck

The idea of actually having to drive to a video store, pick up a physical disk, and then return it, is itself an obsolete technology. With modern high speed Internet connections, and various ways to stream it to a TV (eg hook the PC up to the TV, buy a box that does this, or even buy a TV that has this feature built in), there’s really no reason to need to have to rent the physical disk anymore. Redbox still stays in business, but that’s only because they keep costs to a minimum (an automated machine, and it’s located on some other businesses’ property such as McDonalds), and then pass the savings along to customers.

What I don’t get about the record studios is they’re still living in the past decade. They tend to be uncooperative with Apple’s iTunes (when they negotiate contracts), and they haven’t even released any of their own systems to replace the old model. They still think they can make significant amounts of money selling music CD’s when this technology is already obsolete and has been for a while now. If they weren’t living in the past, they would have introduced their own system for selling music. At least Apple seems to understand technology and what consumers want.

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