Mail Order VHS Business – Who Needs Internet Marketing
Some ideas just need time.
One of the services you get to test drive is “Blockbuster at Home.” You remember Blockbuster right? It has been almost five years since I set foot in one of the actual stores, but I do hear some are still around. The last time I was there I was offered candy that had been around since the Clinton years. I declined.
Dish Network now owns Blockbuster. It is interesting to watch how shifts in consumer demand and technology impact the life of business isn’t it? With this service you sort of get the whole “Netflix” experience. You can put DVD’s in your que and keep them as long as you want – returning them by mail.
Ironic that Blockbuster is now mainly built around the very method that almost killed it if not for the Dish rescue. The story goes Reed Hastings was hit with late fees for video rentals prior to seeking a better way and creating Netflix in 1997.
But think about this…
The video rental industry was built on you heading to the store and making your selection. Then, you chat with the clerk as you check out and they tell you to enjoy your movie. Blockbuster destroyed the “Mom and Pop” by striking deals with Hollywood to get new releases. Mom and Pops could not compete. Then, Netflix kills Blockbuster. Then, even more interesting Redbox puts an entire video store outside of Wallgreens. How about that!
Here’s what I’m getting at…
Back in the 1980’s and early 1990’s – even before the days of the internet being in every house couldn’t there have been a “mail order” video rental business? Yes, there were movie of the month clubs where your VHS tape was sent to you. But think about it – it could have worked!
A mail order VHS rental business might have been clunky. No internet so you’d have to send out catalogs each month with the “New Releases.” Members would then check off their picks in the order they wanted them and send their request back by mail. You could have even used an 800 number in some way. So how come no one thought of this? Yes, I know the postage would be more costly and I’m sure there are other things I am not factoring in here. But – I tell you – it could have worked! This is a Cosmo Kramer like idea!
OH – well – I was too young to pull this off!
The reality is for some reason this business model just was not in the cards. I guess people were just so used to going to the video store. Heck I remember having my choice of four Blockbuster locations in South Philly!
All ideas need time.
If you have some great ideas its OK if you let them “stew” for a while. Just don’t simmer them to death.
I am raising venture capital for my VHS Tape Mail Order Video Rental Company. Who is in?