- Blockbuster and Redbox react sarcastically to Netflix’s plans to open physical stores, hinting at the irony of the situation.
- Netflix’s intention to open stores is about leveraging its valuable IP, not returning to physical media rentals.
- The move allows Netflix to capitalize on the popularity of its original content and follows a similar model to Disney’s successful storefronts.
Video rental companies Blockbuster and Redbox have posted hilarious reactions to Netflix’s surprising new plans to open brick-and-mortar stores. Beginning its own operations as a mail-order DVD rental service, Netflix would ultimately change the face of modern entertainment by helping to usher in the age of internet streaming services, resulting in the closure of countless physical video stores in the process. Most recently it has been reported that the streaming giant now intends to open a network of physical stores offering retail, dining, and live entertainment options connected to its brand.
Blockbuster, which now only has one franchise store still operating, jokingly asked whether they should tell Netflix how their plans will end.
Meanwhile, Redbox chimed in by replying that they “think (they’ve) seen this film before.”
Netflix’s New Stores Will Be About IP, Not DVDs
While commentators may be quick to point out the irony of Netflix seeking to establish physical locations after being responsible for closing so many of its early competitors’ own stores, these new plans do not appear to indicate any immediate desire to return to physical media rentals. While the streamer is no stranger to selectively releasing its original content for sale on DVD and Blu-ray, Netflix even ended its original DVD mailout service earlier this year. Rather, this latest move seems far more focused on leveraging the appeal of its ever-growing collection of unique and valuable IP than returning to an older and outdated business model.
From hit series like Stranger Things, Wednesday and The Witcher to ambitious sci-fi epics such as Zack Snyder’s upcoming Rebel Moon, these new storefronts will allow Netflix to capitalize on the enormous popularity of its own rapidly expanding list of original IP. Having already experimented with immersive pop-up experiences that allow fans to interact with the world of their favorite shows and purchase exclusive merchandise related to their streaming offerings, this latest move seems to be the next logical progression in the company’s bid to prioritize its own content over that which it licenses from other studios.
Moreover, the model that Netflix is seeking to establish is something that has already been successfully done by Disney for decades. While it is debatable that Netflix movies and shows constitute the same kind of expansive, and instantly recognizable IP library that Disney commands, it would seem the company is still confident in the potential appeal of its own steadily expanding catalog. However, whether the streaming giant’s former video rental competitors would agree is a different matter altogether.