Do Video Rental Stores Have a Future?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Jason_Els, Dec 9, 2003.

  1. Jason_Els

    Jason_Els Screenwriter

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    I've debated opening a video store for a while but with the advent of video-on-demand services from the cable providers I have to seroiusly question if the business has a future. I'm beginning to think that video stores are going the way of buggy whip manufacturers. I'd like a video store that carries the mainstream titles with a high proportion of widescreen for videophiles and a lot of independent and foreign films. I live in an upscale town (which used to be nice and normal until the city people discovered it) so there is an education level for this sort of thing. We don't have a Blockbuster and the two rental places in town are pretty sad.

    Do any video store owners or people in the business know what the trend is or if there are any good websites that track the video rental business?

    I also wonder whether I would actually make any money doing it. I have no clue what video store owners actually make.

    Thanks for any ideas!
     
  2. Jeff_HR

    Jeff_HR Producer

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  3. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    It's been literally ages since I've rented a movie- I just go ahead and buy whatever I want. Some time ago, I rented and copied most of the VHS movies that I didn't think stood any chance of being re-issued on any disc format (the stores I did that at are no longer in business.)
     
  4. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie

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    Open a Suncoast instead; that's where the money is going to be until the industry figures out how to make video-on-demand work.
     
  5. Jason_Els

    Jason_Els Screenwriter

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  6. Alvin.G.

    Alvin.G. Stunt Coordinator

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    And don't forget the rise in popularity of web-based video rental. I don't think I'll ever step foot into another rental store since I've started using Netflix. Even if you only watch movies on weekends, at 20 bucks a month, is a steal. I agree with the Suncoast suggestion, or at least something like it. Maybe catering to your town's higher-end videophiles. A DVD/HD-VHS specialty store that carried hard to find films would be a great business. And if you had screenings...! Man, the possibilities are endless.

    Happy entrepreneuring!

    acg
     
  7. Jason_Els

    Jason_Els Screenwriter

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  8. Drue Elrick

    Drue Elrick Stunt Coordinator

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    Video rental stores will be around for a while. There will always be people who don't want to pay to subscribe to whatever the cable companies want to charge, just for the ability to get VOD.

    I look at Time-Warner's charges now. To get almost-VOD, you need to subscribe to digital cable, plus pay for the digital cable box, the on demand service, and other things ABOVE the cost of simply paying for a movie. The cost for everything before the movie: $64 plus fees and taxes, per month.

    That's a hell of a lot of DVDs that you can go rent for $64+ per month.
     
  9. GeoffBr

    GeoffBr Agent

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    Actually, I have the same types of questions about retailers like Sam Goody and FYE... I have yet to see discs (DVD or compact) at prices not substantially above those available at even Circuit City or Best Buy, let alone an online retailer like Deep Discount DVD. Yet judging by the crowds at my local mall, they seem to be doing relatively ok. I'm very curious who their target consumer is.
     
  10. Estevan Lapena

    Estevan Lapena Stunt Coordinator

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    Video on Demand SUCKS in Canada. All they have is new mainstream movies and porn. Netflix is great, if you live in the US. I'm stuck with 2 stores where I live, that stock 1 000 000 copies of Gigli, but don't even carry a single copy of Once Upon a Time in the West.
    My suggestion: If the only thing bothering you is VOD, go for it, because VOD stinks. Damn Rogers...
     
  11. Nick_Scott

    Nick_Scott Second Unit

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    I can't remember the last time I rented? 3-4 years ago?

    Ever since DVD came out, the prices have always been pretty low. $7-8 at Columbia House, and always good deals around the holidays. Its hard to justify the price of $3-4 for a rental. I remember a time in the 80s when VHS tapes were $30-80 bucks, but those days are LONG GONE!

    Plus, when I did rent, I was always paying late fees. I've read that rental stores make 40% of the profit FROM LATE FEEs! If I was going to rent, it seems that Netflix is a MUCH better alternative.

    But, I've always hated VOD. To expensive for me, and it seems akward. Its nice to have an alternative though.

    I can see where a rental store would be usefull is for buying/selling used DVDs, or find rare/obscure DVDs, but Ebay is a better alternative for both situations.

    Nick
     
  12. Michael Morris

    Michael Morris Stunt Coordinator

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    I would say that video rental stores are definitely on the slow decline. For me, it is very expensive because I can never get the DVD back on time. They set rediculous times like noon and I am always busy in the morning. As of now I have an 8 dollar late fee on my account that has been there for over 3 months. Netflix is much better with no latefees ever and keeping the DVD for as long as you want. Even stores like Walmart are trying to break into Netflix's business by opening up internet video rentals. I would say companies like this are definitely the future of renting videos.



    Mike
     
  13. Zak Hepburn

    Zak Hepburn Stunt Coordinator

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    I can't stand renting DVD's,most of the time they suffer from major damage.They won't play at all or worst they die half way through a film and when you return it to get a refund or another copy the clerks usally look at you like you have asked for thier first born or your trying to pull a fast one on them,All for the high price of $4.95 a night.These company's seem to be stuck in the past with thier title selection's and pricing.
     
  14. Marc_Sulinski

    Marc_Sulinski Supporting Actor

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    Not to defend major rental chains (I despise Blockbuster), but the requirements for getting movies back on time really are not that bad. Yes, sometimes they are due back at noon, but on the 3rd or 7th day. You are allowed to bring the movie back early.

    That said, I will not pay money to rent movies at blockbuster again. I am currently using free rental coupons that I receive (2 per month) for being a customer of MCI's Neighborhood plan.
     
  15. Blu

    Blu Screenwriter

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    I would open a custom DVD shop.
    A shop that carries the harder to find stuff that defends all of the principles that the HTF stand for.

    More of a niche shop and cater to the enthusiast.
     
  16. Paul McElligott

    Paul McElligott Cinematographer

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    I believe the rentals do have a future... to be remodeled and re-opened as a Starbucks.
     

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