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Blockbuster: Online Video’s First Casualty?

Do you remember Blockbuster? Way back when you actually had to walk into a store to rent a movie?

The company dominated the DVD rental market in the 1990s. But since the early 2000s the company’s struggled to find a business model that worked in the changing movie rental market. They tried to take on Netflix, Redbox, and other online streaming services, but they never managed to make it work. And that’s why they went bankrupt in 2010.  At least that’s what their new owner Dish Networks would like you to believe.

After announcing the closure of all North American retail locations last fall, Dish is hoping to successfully promote the brand as a streaming only service called Blockbuster on Demand. The transition makes sense knowing that online movie viewing is growing every year.

But will the old brand power of Blockbuster be enough to capture customers in a market where Netflix, Apple, Amazon, and other cable and satellite providers offer streaming? The folks over at took a look at Blockbuster’s history to see if the troubles that plagued them really were simply related to online streaming, or if they were doomed long before.

Take a look at the infographic and see if they make the case Blockbuster’s financial troubles were the real reason for its failure. What does the Blockbuster brand mean to you? Is it a positive or a negative when you are choosing an online streaming movie service?

Netflix vs. Blockbuster

Oliver Burt

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