Blockbuster dying

Reading Time: 2 minutes

(Update 13Nov09) BBI released not so good earning report (Reuters). One interesting point is they are going to spend $10,000 to $20,000 to renovate the stores (about 1,700).

(Original) Note I am saying “dying”, not “death”. This also does not demonstrate all the hard work of men and women at Blockbuster, from corporate to stores, note I am merely talking about the trend of a business. Full disclosure: I do have a small long position on Blockbuster common stock (NYSE:BBI).

Two points:

First, stock and company are two things, Blockbuster dying does not equal to Blockbuster stock BBI goes to zero immediately. Example: The Motors Liquidation Company (formerly General Motors, MTLQQ.PK). Last I checked, their worthless stock is still trading at 65 cents.


IS blockbuster busted?

Reading Time: 2 minutes

VHS:blockbuster vs. DVD:Netflix

This is the GRE (Graduate Record Exam) analogy I would use for movie rental companies Blockbuster (NYSE:BBI) and Netflix (Nasdaq:NFLX). The popularity of VHS tape made the success of Blockbuster, as I read from Wiki, the first Blockbuster movie rental store was established in Dallas in 1985 (24 years ago). By similar token, the popularity and technology bring huge success to the “all you can eat” DVD by mail service provider Netflix.

Blockbuster logo

Blockbuster did not stand still. They got rid of the infamous “late fees”, replaced all the good old VHS tapes with much slicker DVDs, even tried the Total Access (combining DVD by mail and at store), but it appears they are still losing a lot customers to Netflix. More recently, the Redbox and Movie Box, those help-yourself (a dollar per rental) kiosk show up in McDonald, Walgreens, grocery stores, and people like it because it’s both cheap and convenient. But they also add salt to the injury of Blockbuster.


Netflix IS good

Reading Time: < 1 minute

I mean the service, not the stock NFLX (I no longer kept up to date with its stock). I heard about Netflix couple years ago, but I just started to use its service recently. Some of the features I like about:

netflix pic

1) The queue: the customer could put up a movie queue. Once a movie is returned, the one on the top will be mailed.

2) Fast: here in STL it takes one day to ship. So if I return the movie on Mon, I will receive a new one on Wed. The design on reusable envelop is also impressive.