If you have any overdue Blockbuster DVD’s sitting on your DVD player… Well, you’re apparently in the minority. Blockbuster has announced they’ll be shuttering all of their 300 remaining U.S. retail stores, and will also be shutting down their disc-by-mail service, both by early January 2014.
“This is not an easy decision, yet consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment,” said Dish CEO Joseph Clayton in a press release. The online streaming rental service Blockbuster Now will live on, and Dish will retail licensing rights to the Blockbuster brand.
Observers have long been anticipating an announcement such as this, as the writing has been on the wall for years. Netflix has eaten away at Blockbuster’s customer base bit-by-bit, first with its DVD’s by mail service, and later with its streaming service.
Blockbuster operated over 9,000 stores worldwide at its pinnacle, but the last 10 years has seen the once dominant player being slowly wiped out.
Physical media is on its way out. Streaming media via such devices as Apple’s popular Apple TV, Roku, and other set-top boxes is quickly becoming the preferred format for watching movies and other content, and the current Blu-Ray format is expected by many to be the last of the physical media used to bring entertainment to viewers. No physical media, no Blockbuster.