Blockbuster gets kicked when it’s down by cable companies
It’s a tough time to be a video rental store owner wherever you are, but it’s especially tough if you’re Blockbuster Inc and have 6,500 stores to manage, thousands of employees, expensive debt repayments and a sinking share price.
Yesterday Blockbuster warned for the first time that it may need to file for bankruptcy protection and its auditors at Pricewaterhouse raised doubts about its ability to continue as a going concern.
It doesn’t get any worse than that right? No, it does.
According to a story we spotted today from Hollywood Reporter, movie studios and cable companies are joining forces for a $30 million advertising campaign over the coming months to promote awareness of movies available on cable’s video on demand services.
From Hollywood Reporter:
The Movies on Demand initiative comes as on-demand film rentals have hit new highs as viewing habits are changing, and studios are increasingly looking to capitalize on their high margins amid a more mature DVD market.
The TV, print and online ad campaign runs under the theme “The Video Store Just Moved In” and highlights how easy it is for digital cable subscribers to view movies at home with a simple click of their remote. It also includes a dedicated website at CableVideoStore.com and a Movies on Demand logo.
Over the next 12 weeks, the ad blitz will feature new titles available on VOD, including some offered day-and-date with DVD releases, such as “The Blind Side” and “Fantastic Mr. Fox.”
Let’s stop to note the irony of the cable companies’ website titled CableVideoStore, which features the imagery of a traditional video store. Are they poking fun at video stores? Probably not. Realistically, the writing was on the wall for video rental stores a long time ago with competition not just from cable video on demand but also Netflix, RedBox, Apple and every online video service you can mention.
Of course, the cable companies face their own threat from the Internet world but that’s another story for another day. For now we take a few minutes to fondly recall some of the unique features of the local video chain store which we’ll miss… Nothing? Me neither.