It was just about every Friday night eighteen years ago that I would go to the local video store with my Dad. It was a thrill to stroll down all of those aisles of movies, inspecting each cover to decide what that Friday night’s main feature would be. It was an entire ritual. We would pick out a few movies, overpriced pop and popcorn then head home for a movie filled night. Going to the video store was a real treat; a treat, however, I don’t think my kids will remember doing. It’s sad, in a way, to see something that I look upon so fondly slowly going away. I have to admit, I feel a little responsible, as it’s now almost a memory in my house.
It started with On-Demand in my house; we would rent movies so we didn’t have to drive to the video store. As you probably know with 2 kids a simple trip turns into an entire production. The drawback of On-Demand was its lack of visual appeal and navigating the menus was slow. That being the case, my kids had very little interest in it. That all changed the day Apple TV came into my house. We connected to Netflix for loads of content and started renting the new releases from the ITunes store. My sons eyes lit up when, from our remote, he could scroll through the hundreds of movie covers of just children’s content and select the movie he wanted to watch right then. I didn’t have to worry about late fees anymore or about my kids misplacing or scratching a DVD. Plus, we could connect all our photos and music to the Apple TV, which is great when you are entertaining. My kids absolutely love Apple TV. Now the only reason my son ever even asks about the video store anymore is because he knows they have a gumball machine.
In closing, while I loved the video store, it seems the practicality is no longer there. They can’t produce the results that I get from today’s current technology. It only goes to show you that an industry can exist for a long time and the evolution of technology can just wipe it out. Still I feel a little selfish here that my kids will never get to experience the disappointment of getting to the video store only to find the movie that they wanted was already rented out. Kids today get what they want, when they want and, just like all of us, they want it now!
Even though Apple TV/Netflix may not be a cable TV killer, it will most certainly make video stores a thing of the past. As Apple TV, in combination with the ITunes store/ Netflix, can provide the exact same movies at a slightly higher price with better availability without ever leaving the house.