A – Z
I’m proud to be a part of a wonderful organization called the Writers of Kern. They are having a “Blog Challenge” and I’m participating. I’m writing my normal two blogs per week but challenging myself to be prompted by the alphabet. Hope you can read all twenty six from A-Z. For more good reading check out the Writers of Kern’s Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/groups/95572300558/
B is for BLOCKBUSTER
Seems funny that the first dictionary definition of the word “blockbuster”
is still “A HUGE EXPLOSIVE BOMB.”
Many decades ago Hollywood, Broadway and Publishers took that word and used it to promote successful movies, plays and books. They still do. Yet dictionaries still insist the first meaning of the word is a bomb…the exact opposite of what the media means.
In 1985 it was the perfect word for a movie rental store.
Blockbuster should have observed Valentine’s Day the way the Los Angeles Public Library is this year. The LA library just sent out an amnesty Valentine’s plea asking that all books please be returned with no “late fees” from Feb 1st to Valentine’s day.
They have even guaranteed that no matter how late you return their books, you may still check out new books in the future.
That’s nice, too.
Blockbuster pissed off a customer, Reed Hastings, who kept the movie “Apollo 13” too long. They charged him $40 in late fees. Hastings had a friend and former co-worker, Marc Randolph who wanted to sell something, anything, over the internet.
Reed said he knew just the thing they could sell together. And they did.
After organizing in 1997 they began their monthly subscription of DVDs in 1999. They had immediate success. Anyone who looked at their business model knew the sky was the limit. But, businesses are created to be sold and in 2000 they offered NETFLIX to Blockbuster for $50 million.
Blockbuster said, “ehhhhhhhh—shove it.”
By 2004, Blockbuster had 60,000 employees and over 9000 stores. They didn’t need Netflix.
The rest is history.
Last week, Netflix reported that it had 75 million subscribers worldwide including 44 million in the U.S.
The last financial report from Netflix showed a market value of $32.9 billion.
That’s two billion bigger than the entire CBS Network.
In the meantime Blockbuster tried the DVDs in the mail thing.
They filed for bankruptcy in 2010.
Disk Network bought them and scrapped their plans to compete with Netflix. They offer a “video on demand” service and still have a whopping 51 rental stores open (down from 9000).
Maybe all the dictionaries had it right all along.
Blockbuster is a great big BOMB!
Hope you have a wonderful relaxing fun weekend!