On my way to my random drug test today (more on that later) I passed yet another closed Hollywood Video. I’ve noticed a trend of these stores closing left and right. A trend that has taken over the region. But in the meantime, back in my homestead of Greenville, PA, they just opened a Family Video where as many as three separate independent video stores once populated the town.
And as I turn around, I see Red Box kiosks popping up everywhere, anymore. One of my wrestler guests the other night mentioned using one. Only one of my coworkers seemed to use one, that I know of before. And from time to time, I see a line at these things at Kuhn’s.
What is happening to video? There are so many options. So many are picking up services such at Netflix, a service that I champion, that is invaluable, even for the $9 a month I spend on it. One DVD at a time, and thousands of shows and movies that I watch streamed on my lunch break.
But the old video store has thrived less. We’ve seen mom and pops shut down across the city, the most hurtful victim being Incredibly Strange Video in Dormont. Now, even the big chains are failing. Blockbuster seems to be even failing the transition to the online/netflix model. New plans and options every few months.
Then there’s Cable/Satellite Pay per view, itunes stores, and even downloads and rentals on my Xbox 360. Who really uses these except early adopters? And am I spoiled by the “all you can eat” ways of Netflix? Drop $4 on a movie I have to wait to start, then maybe watch one, or within a time frame or just lose that money/movie?
But then there’s the lowly Video Shelf in Jamestown, PA. This goes back to my “Disconnected” argument from months back that I still hold to, and serves as an interesting test case of this. A people who are not technologically accessible don’t have broadband to take advantage of these things. So their car is their access.
So I’m wondering, who uses these other options? I feel I have an idea of what kind of people use Netflix. Those who embrace new, interesting ideas, and just love movies a LOT. So me. Peewee (the biggest movie buff I know). My brother (who I’m sure I’ve rubbed off on). Cynthia (who’s on my friends list, and I’d say almost breaths the internets).
So who uses Red Box?
Who uses Pay Per View?
Who downloads through itunes or their home gaming consoles?
Who goes to the store on Friday night and toils through the catalog of movies on a shelf?
And who misses that experience?