The Takeover: Netflix
Remember paying $8.99 for a streaming service to catch up on old TV shows and movies? Well times have changed, and so has the technology, Netflix is on a damn roll right now and from the looks of it, they’re not slowing down anytime soon.
Netflix started off as video rental outlet in 1998, and this was when going to stores like Blockbuster, Hollywood Video, and Family Video were still competing with each other, while Netflix was a mere footnote. Flash-forward a couple years, and Netflix began their monthly subscription concept, but video stores were still bringing in money, and this is where things get interesting. A deal between Blockbuster, and Netflix was supposed to happen but the Blockbuster CEO declined. Netflix could have been acquired for $50 million dollars; it's a shame the deal didn't go down. The last thing I remember seeing from Blockbuster was an app I had on my Sprint Samsung A-640 flip-phone in ’06, it was called Blockbuster On Demand, obviously they tried to duplicate Netflix or try get a head start on things but it was a complete failure.
Blockbuster On Demand only gave you options to rent or buy the movies and they would instantly download on your device, you had other options like receive the movie by mail or in-store pick-up but it was too late already because that's when movie rental establishments were shutting down. The Blockbuster On Demand app survived until 2012 which was very surprising, and that's when the stores really became extinct, we didn't see no more Hollywood Video stores either, remember going into movie stores on Friday and Saturday nights? Whether you was with your parents, cousins, or friends, that shit was like the Willy Wonka factory of movies, it was just cool to go in and read the back of the video boxes at the time, when new movies were released on Tuesdays nobody was in there right mind to go to the store to rent the new releases because for one, people don't get paid on a Tuesday and two, who the hell rents movies on a Tuesday? They would only have 3-5 copies available and if you was too late you had to put your name on some kind of reserve list, but it was cool because that gave you the secondary option to rent some other good movies, some corny ass horror films and even slide in a game at the time; I miss those days.
Surprisingly, the only video store that's still standing right now is Family Video, I didn't know people still go in there to rent movies and video games, I think the last time I was in Family Video was 2010 but every time I drive past one it still looks the same, they have something very creative to the store now, Family Video has a built-in Marco's Pizza, you can place your order for a pizza and wait while you find what movie you want, that's a fire idea, especially from one of the best pizza joints, and that might be why they're still in business, along with the quality of stock, and the creeps going into the adult section. While Family Video is on the edge, Netflix is a pure media streaming video on demand service, with a monthly subscription you have unlimited access to new and old movies and TV shows without worrying about a damn late fee, Netflix is a entertainment juggernaut now with original content such as Marvel TV shows, Stranger Things, House of Cards, and Orange is the New Black.
On the film side, things are really shaking up, actors such as Will Smith, Brad Pitt, Adam Sandler and more are making original films with Netflix, Will Smith's new movie 'Bright slated for this December was acquired from Netflix for $90 million, you mean to tell me Netflix Studios (yes it's coming) out bid Paramount, Sony, Universal, WB etc., that's their highest budget for a film so far until they grab Martin Scorsese's mob film for $100 million so clearly they're on the right path, pretty soon everybody is going to be doing Netflix films; I wouldn't be surprised if Denzel Washington jumped on board. People have to stop with all this "straight to Netflix" talk too, it was once a joke but now the joke is on the consumers because they're going to watch it regardless, Netflix believes in projects more than these major studios, it's quite amazing.
The only competition Netflix has right now is Hulu and Amazon Prime video, Amazon is already on the original content bandwagon and it's great because some videos they have instead of Netflix, Hulu is good also and they might be next for content, hell even YouTube is getting in the game with original movies and streaming now, it's crazy but Netflix remains on top. The way streaming and technology is progressing right now, the future of these streaming services are going to be hell for the movie industry, and I'm talking about putting pressure on major studios, it seems like they're not afraid to cut the check so in the next 5 years, watch out, they're going to be unstoppable.