Dish Network bought Blockbuster back in 2011 for $320 million and has since been operating only 300 stores nationwide. They’ve currently decided to close those remaining stores in January 2014 as consumers are moving towards digital means for movie renting. “This is not an easy decision, yet consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment,” says Joseph P. Clayton, Dish president and CEO. The closing of Blockbuster will affect 2,800 employees, leaving them jobless. The Blockbuster by Mail system will close in December 2013 as well. Dish’s next focus is Blockbuster@Home, a digital service that will stream movies and TV shows through different partners with Dish, such as Starz and the Hallmark Movie Channel.
What does this mean for consumers? Well, seeing as most people are gravitating towards digital sources of rental, such as Netflix, which gained most of it’s popularity in the early 2000s, Blockbuster has already been on the backburner for quite some time. However, there are still people who prefer the physical way of renting and want to pick up their movies on-spot. For these people, Redbox will become the next best thing. Redbox, a kiosk that has an internal selection of DVDs and Blu-Ray discs, is expected to bring in the remaining $300 million that Blockbuster will leave behind after their closure. While their selection isn’t vast because one kiosk can’t possibly hold every selection of film titles, they do carry the most up-to-date in various counts. Redbox also wants to start up a Redbox Reward programs in an effort to drive traffic. If the program is started, it’ll entitle members one free DVD rental for every 10 paid rentals.