The Downfall of Movie Rental Stores

Earlier this week, news got out that Blockbuster will be closing the rest of their stores and end their mailing movies distribution. This news is another clear inclination that movie rental stores are a dying breed. New avenues to watch movies in the comfort of your home have definitely played a part in the downfall of movie rental stores. Those avenues include Redbox, and online streaming from places such as Netflix.

One of the major players in the downfall of movie rental stores is Redbox. The movie rental kiosk Redbox can be found at many different locations as there are around 42,000 locations nationwide. The price of Redbox movies are between $1 and $2. Along with the low prices, the quick and easy access of Redbox movies has made it popular among its customers. According to Statistic Brain, there are 9.5 million movies rented from Redbox per week.

Online streaming is another reason for the downfall of movie rental stores. Streaming movies have become more available than ever. You can do it from your computer or even from your TV if it has those capabilities. Columbus, Ohio resident Victor Gordon prefers streaming his movies from his TV instead of going out to rent them from a store. “It’s much more convenient to just press a button on my remote and choose from a library of movies than getting in my car and driving all the way somewhere,” said Gordon. “The prices of the movies from streaming are around the prices of a movie rental retail store, and I’m not wasting gas to pick them up or return them.”

The most dominant form of renting movies and another reason for the downfall of movie rental stores is Netflix. Whether you want to stream movies online or have them mailed to you to watch, Netflix offers both options. According Statistic Brain, Netflix has around 29.2 million subscribers. One of those subscribers is Ohio University senior Kendra Wagoner. “As a college student, Netflix is much more convenient than actually going out and renting movies,” said Wagoner. Another big draw to Netflix is that they offer full seasons of TV shows, which Wagoner is a fan of.

Redbox and Netflix have played a big role in eliminating movie rental stores but they haven’t made the stores completely extinct. In Athens, Ohio, Premiere Video is the lone movie rental store in the area. Manager Jason Werner says his store is definitely feeling the damage of the newer rental avenues but believes his store has something that those avenues don’t. “The best thing we have going for us is the personal touch and the trust our customers have in the recommendations by the employees,” said Werner. “Also, we clean every disk that comes through the store and you’re definitely not going to get that with Redbox.”

Renting movies is definitely becoming easier for people, making movie rental stores less and less popular. With stores like Premiere Video still getting business, there are still people who prefer the more traditional method. But with a major rental company like Blockbuster realizing its time to cut ties with the traditional method, the outlook for other movie rental stores isn’t looking good and Redbox only plans on expanding.

Below is a map that shows the domination of Redbox. While Premiere Video is the only movie rental in the Athens area, their more Redbox locations in and around Athens. Check out the map and see where a Redbox is located in and around Athens, Ohio.

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