Once upon a time, there was a company called Blockbuster. It provided interested individuals with rentals for both home movies and video games through brick-and-mortar stores for the most part, which were supplemented by a number of less important channels. Blockbuster was a notable player in its chosen market, as shown by how it had operations on not one, not two, but five continents.
What Is the Current Status of Blockbuster?
Nowadays, Blockbuster still exists. However, it is at the next step up from nonexistence. This is because there is one last Blockbuster store out there, which can be found in the small city of Bend, OR. As for what happened, well, Blockbuster got hammered in the late 2000s. A number of powerful competitors emerged at around that time, with the single best-known example being Netflix. However, Blockbuster also took serious losses because of the Great Recession, particularly since Blockbuster leadership wasn't up to the task of navigating through such challenging circumstances. As such, the company filed for bankruptcy in 2010, with the result that its remaining 1,700 stores were bought out by Dish Network. One by one, those stores were closed, though a small number of privately-owned franchises were able to continue running. The Blockbuster store in Bend, OR, would be the very last of those franchises. Very recently, Blockbuster has shown up in the news once more. This is because a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) has announced its interest in buying out what remains of the company. After which, it wants to revive Blockbuster as a movie-streaming service, which is rather ambitious to say the least.
Can Blockbuster Make a Comeback As a Streaming Service?
For starters, it should be mentioned that a DAO is an organization without centralized leadership. However, it is nonetheless supposed to be capable of cooperation because of a set of rules that has been encoded as a computer program. Besides this, it should be mentioned that DAOs are reliant on the use of blockchains, which should provide interested individuals with a very general sense of the kind of people who participate in them. In any case, DAOs have been around for a few years, though there is still much uncertainty about their exact legal status. There are places where their existence is recognized but there are still plenty of places where the law hasn't managed to catch up in this regard. As a result, interested individuals should make sure to look up the rules in their particular jurisdiction rather than make too many assumptions about what is and isn't the case.
Moving on, the DAO that wants to buy Blockbuster doesn't seem to have much more than a statement of intent at the moment. Certainly, it doesn't have the money needed to do so. Instead, the DAO wants to raise at least $5 million for its stated purpose. On top of this, there is no indication that Dish Network is interested in selling Blockbuster, which is why if the DAO manages to raise that much money, some of the sum will be spent on a marketing campaign for the purpose of convincing Dish Network to sell. As for how the DAO plans to raise that much money, well, the gist of it is that it plans to sell BlockbusterDAO NFTs, which have seen a huge surge in recent times but remain rather eyebrow-raising to say the least. In any case, even if the DAO manages to buy Blockbuster, there remains the issue of setting up a movie-streaming service. As mentioned earlier, Blockbuster has been dead for years and years, meaning that there are no meaningful assets attached to the name. For that matter, even if there was still substance to that name, it is important to remember that said company was never even close to being a streaming service.
Due to this, if the DAO wants to turn Blockbuster into a movie-streaming service, it is going to need to set up a movie-streaming service. Something that is going to be rather expensive to say the least. After all, it isn't just the matter of setting up the necessary infrastructure, which is going to take a great deal of money as well as other resources that must be secured through money. There is also the matter of securing content in an age in which every media company seems to be interested in launching their own streaming service. Simply put, any new streaming service is going to have a hard time securing content from media companies of note, which have strong incentive to keep those content for themselves for the purpose of making their own streaming services that much more appealing to the consumers. There is the alternative of creating content. Unfortunately, creating content comes with a major issue in that it tends to be even more expensive than just licensing content. As such, it isn't the kind of thing that new streaming services should be setting their eyes upon unless they have a very deep war chest to draw upon. On top of this, none of these things can be put together within a short period of time. Even with unlimited money, it would take time to acquire all of the necessary assets, which isn't mentioning the further expenditure of resources needed to turn a collection of resources into a functional set of operations. Time in which already established streaming services would be continuing to move forward, thus increasing the metaphorical distance that must be crossed before this hypothetical new Blockbuster can be considered a true competitor.
Of course, it is possible for businesses to avoid being crushed by bigger and better-established competitors in a head-to-head contest by seeking out a specialized niche for themselves. The only thing that has been mentioned is the idea of designing the new Blockbuster from the ground up to fit into Web 3.0, which is an imagined future version of the Web dominated by individuals using blockchain rather than tech mega-corporations. Suffice to say that said future seems rather dubious, particularly since some of the parties most interested in Web 3.0 are venture capitalists and tech mega-corporations. As such, it is hard to see how this would be enable the hypothetical new Blockbuster to stand out.
Written by Dana Hanson
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