Is there something you hate about your life and the world you live in? The heteropatriarchy? Communism? The carrots? You just have to do like the frayed film directors or some militants whose ideological knowledge comes from Rincón del Vago. Blame him for closing Blockbuster.
It does not matter that from its founder to the main analysts of the industry have gotten tired of showing that the only ones to blame for the closure of this gigantic chain of video stores be your own shareholders. The unsubstantiated explanations are still alive.
A clarification to avoid sterile discussions. Although the tweet that gave rise to this article is from an anti-capitalist, I am not writing against any political tendency. The lightness of the theoretical training is not the patrimony of any of them. Is the result of the shortcomings of an educational system that in my generation it is based on the photocopies of chapters rather than on the reading and analysis of complete books. For the next one there were already summary sites such as Rincón del Vago and Wikipedia and currently YouTube and social networks.
What was Blockbuster?
Every time a technology produces a change in customs, those who are subjected to competition sThey feel threatened and ask for protection by taking refuge in sources of work that generate. One particularly curious case is that of London horse drivers who did not look favorably on the manufacture of umbrellas.
But, it also happened with:
- Theater entrepreneurs with the appearance of cinema.
- The editors of newspapers with the appearance of the radio.
- The owners of cinema with the appearance of television.
- Radio stations with the emergence of television.
In 1975, when Sony introduced its video recording technology, history repeated itself again. The owners of the cinemas clamored for the closing of the cinemas. Advertising agencies complained about the possibility of skipping advertisements. The ideal villain "piracy" and unsuccessful attempts to combat it appeared at this time.
If you paid attention to the list above, you will have seen that none of the forms of content distribution disappeared. The one that is not there anymore is that of the video stores.
Video stores (as they were called in Argentina) or video stores, they were locals that rented you a video cassette (or dvd in its last days) with a movie for a limited time. To run a video store legally you needed a strong capital investment to not only have an extensive catalog of movies constantly updated, but also to replace titles with deteriorated hardware.
Being an international chain, Blockbuster the market was eating away at the small neighborhood video stores. To begin with, I had much more capital to invest in titleyou. You no longer had to wait months to see that movie that everyone was interested in. And the quality of the image. as the support medium was renewed more often, it was better. An added bonus was that right there could you buy something to eat and drink to accompany the movie.
The great advantage of streaming services over Blockbuster is that they open the game to another type of cinematography (and people work in the production of those films) At least in Argentina, the supply of content was dominated by the North American industry. On Netflix I was able to watch independent cinema and movies from countries like India, Korea, China or Israel. None of that was achieved at Blockbuster.
And in the sector of the provision of Internet services, people also work. Installers, administrative, software specialists, technical support. In all political systems one technology replaces another and sources of work are modified. The USSR in 1970 was not the same as in 1917.
The Truth About Blockbuster: Why It Closed
According to specialists, the reasons for the closure of Blockbuster are:
- Inability to generate profitability: From 1996 to 2010, Blockbuster was only profitable for two years. And between 2002 and 2006, it lost about $ 4.400 billion.
- Lower prices for DVDs: Comparatively, it was more business to buy the DVD of the movie you liked than to rent it from Blockbuster.
- Indebtedness: The company asked for a loan to pay its controlling company Viacom and be able to become independent. Experts believe that the payment of that debt was one of the causes of its end.
- Indiscriminate opening of new premises without thinking about the ability to produce profitability
- Excessive late fees on the return.
- Competition: Retailers like WalMart or BestBuy and smaller, more efficient video chains entered the market with lower rent.
The truth is that technological advancement and change in living conditions is asomething associated with human beings regardless of economic systems. In fact, some of us we are in a post Netflix stage.
Of course the future of work it is a discussion that we have to give urgently. But cry for inefficient companies and anachronistic services, It is not the way.