According to the rumor mill, Blockbuster video is set to declare bankruptcy sometime in September. Some video-industry commentators are wondering if this is not just one more step along the path to replacing DVDs with video on demand (VOD). Many libraries, of course, still loan VCR tapes, so it’s not likely that DVDs will disappear from library shelves very soon. In fact, “hard” copy VOD, like Redbox, will probably continue to prosper for a while. In the long run, however, a shift in the video distribution industry that bypasses any kind of physical medium will certainly affect library circulation numbers.
Netflix soars as Blockbuster plans bankruptcy (CNET News/Greg Sandoval) ”This month, Netflix penned a five-year deal worth nearly $1 billion to stream movies from Paramount, Lionsgate, and MGM. And digital distribution of movies and TV shows is barely in its infancy. Services such as Hulu, YouTube, and Boxee are still developing. Apple is reportedly working on some kind of new digital-video service perhaps tied to a new generation of Apple TV. While we still have a long way to go, it doesn’t look like brick-and-mortar video stores will be making the trip.”
Studios Giving Up on DVD (NewTeeVee/Ryan Lawler) ”…the vast majority of film titles are now being released on cable VOD the same day-and-date that they’re available in stores. In 2006, the typical window between DVD and VOD release was 30 days, with some titles lasting up to 45 days before they became available. As recently as 2009, the average wait between DVDs hitting shelves and films being available on VOD was still 21 days.”
YouTube to launch pay-per-view movies (MediaBeat/Dean Takahashi) ”Negotiations have been taking place for a few months, but they have taken on more urgency because Apple could be launching its own counter-move this week. Rumors suggest that Apple will upgrade its ailing Apple TV service this week at a press conference in San Francisco on Sept. 1. Google will likely have to compete with Netflix and Hulu as well.”
Libraries top Netflix, Redbox when it comes to loaning DVDs (Yahoo!News/Ben Patterson) An older article (from July), but still pertinent.
YouTube has actually been offering streaming movie rentals from a number of smaller studios since January. (Ars Technica)