Tuesday, October 14, 2014


On one of my more infamous early blogs, I talked about how Streaming was essentially just a temporary fad, and wasn't gonna to ultimately succeed as the main source of viewing movies, over a hardware source, like DVDs. That blog is at the link below:

In fact, I've talked about streaming movies several times since then, and many are surprised that I've stuck to that declaration that ultimately streaming will not win out, despite the rampant popularity of it, as well as the constant and continuously growing use of it. Well, frankly, I'm still sticking by it, 'cause I've always seen it from the long distance perspective, and last week, was the first big news about the downfall of streaming supremacy. Not that I ever used it, but I just deleted Redbox Instant Video from my Roku, as it no longer exists. Redbox in collusion with Verizon had started a Streaming Video option as an offset of their Redbox machines, which succeeded as some major video stores chains failed to compete with streaming services like Netflix and Hulu (Which was mostly their mismanagement for their inability to compete and survive, not the rampant popularity of streaming as some believe [Cough, Blockbuster, cough]). Redbox machines will still be running regularly, but this failure is noteworthy, they were attempting to position themselves as one of the major players in the Streaming market, and now they're failure signifies that it's not simply a move to streaming that gonna inevitably be where the future of home viewing lies. 

I've been saying this for years, and I am tooting my own horn here, because inevitably, streaming is gonna end up the way video stores ended up, two or three big players competing with each other, and then a bunch of other unimportant players trying to hold their ground, and failing miserably. Ultimately, it will never completely take over because there's just no way that a single streaming outlet or site is gonna get every studio, production, distribution, etc. company together in the same room and be able to strike a deal over how to handle and divide the money earned through streaming, that will simply never happen, no matter how badly some will try. That's why Netflix has deals with certain studios and Hulu has the Criterion collection, and so and so and so and so, and frankly, buying subscriptions, permanent or temporary to all of those sites, is just not realistic and it just won't happen. That's the only way that streaming could ultimately work, and let me put it this way, that would be the equivalent, of getting every museum in the world, to be convinced to put all the art they have on display into the Louvre, and no where else, and that's the only place anybody could go to look at art in the world. Like I said, it wouldn't work.

So, what's happened with the Redbox streaming failure is that, ultimately, the battle lines have now been drawn and Netflix and Hulu are essentially now Coke and Pepsi, and Amazon is Dr. Pepper, and Crackle is RC or something, and MGo is Tab or whatever, and Youtube is still, the stuff that didn't make it on "America's Funniest Home Videos" twenty years ago. (Is that still on btw? Does anybody know? [Shrugs]) Streaming is now a market, the way DVDs are now a market, and their gonna be battling over everything in order to get the streaming consumers, us, to subscribe. This is the format in which ultimately streaming will survive, not as the main source per se, but as, a source, of home viewing that will predominantly be controlled by one or two major sites or companies, and they'll ultimately be competing with each other for pretty much everything now. it's still, pretty much gonna cost an arm and a leg, to get everything, that's the bad news. And they're not gonna replace DVDs, Blu-Rays, or whatever the next generation of that is. They may, like Netflix, be a major player in that game too, but it's not the end.

Redbox Instant, didn't survive, couldn't compete. They weren't good at advertising their product, their streaming service didn't have enough titles, yada, yada, yada. I mean, they place themselves, first, not as an online presence, but as a vending machine presence. Which btw, that's not a new or novel idea either, it just finally found it's time. The President of Redbox was the inventor of the Video Droid. Never heard of it? How about Videomat? they didn't last long, but they were vending machines for VHS's back in the '80s, believe it or not, this idea much's older than most people realized. They suffered some of the same problems, limited selection, people can take their product easily, (Although with the advancements of debit and credit card technologies, there's easier to catch and get the money from them if they do now.) but, big issues, VHSs were big and bulky, and having them drop down to a vending machine, wasn't the safest thing for them, and video stores were a better, more adequate way of showing a wider selection. The machines were also, more expensive to keep up and restock, and ultimately, video store chains ultimately won that battle out dramatically. With DVDs, a more suitable technology for them, and the advancements of vending machine technology, and a sudden dropping of video stores and the rise of streaming popularity, they were able to fill a void that had primarily been ignored. It seems trivial and natural that they could swing their way towards streaming as an option, but considered Netflix, which started as an online presence, or Hulu, which was created by three of the major networks who had long already been experimenting with streaming services, and had a major online presence themselves, they had multiple distinct advantages. Even Amazon, was always an online presence. Picture an online universe, those three are huge brick and mortar operations, they have many stores and have established themselves within this community, and have relationships with the studios and distributors that supply the product they sell. Now, look at Redbox. Or does anybody get Target streaming or something else? No, no you probably don't. They're not huge, they're what they are in the real world, they're little machines, outside of 7-11s and McDonald's. A limited selection compared to the big store chains, an upstart that took 20 years to catch a break, and well, look what happened when they tried to zero in on their business. 

They got their little niche for now, maybe they'll figure out how to expand and get after that market that people who still miss video stores, (Moi) would want, but maybe not. Something will probably compete with them in the future, might be something like a UV codes store, but I hope not; I'm not really big on those things picking up steam. Anyway, streaming is still not perfect, and full of problems, and better for certain things than others, but it will be a part, of the future of home viewing, and that part at the top is now in a constant battle for supremacy. Steaming is now officially the limited space that I foresaw it to be. It's not the game changer, it's not the future, totally, just the soft drink aisle, next to the juices, the spirits, the beers, the milks, and all the other ways we quench our thirsts, even water's got a huge section of competitors now.  Streaming's here, DVD rentals' here, DVD purchases, On Demand, aisle five, next to the TV Guides, and HBOGo. Movie theaters, in the back, where the best seats still are.