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How to make a DVD-rental store more relevant?

smi.james.th (1706780) writes | about a year and a half ago

5

smi.james.th (1706780) writes "Here on Slashdot, the concept that older models of business need to be updated to keep with the times is often mentioned. A friend of mine owns a DVD rental store, and he often listens to potential customers walk out, saying that they'd rather download the movie, and not because his prices are unreasonable. With the local telco on a project to boost internet speeds, my friend feels as though the end is near for his livelihood. So, Slashdotters, I put it to you: What can a DVD store owner do to make his store more relevant? What services would you pay for at a DVD store?"

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5 comments

Depends on the location (2)

AHuxley (892839) | about a year and a half ago | (#42017045)

In Australia local rental is fine due the a adsl1/adsl2+ roll out thats hit and miss.
Cable only went to select homes, suburbia is a mess of long copper lines, a waiting list for hardware in local exchanges for isp's to lock consumers in.
An upgrade to digital loop systems could see real adsl 2+ for more people, but you have to rent a line on the big Bell, then pay your isp on top.
The National broadband network is great, but roll out still has years to go and suburbia has 1-4 year gaps in hardware been pushed in ducts.
So downloads have a premium, the wait is not 'instant like' - dvd/bluray shops/rentals are still good places
What can you do in the USA?
Prices are set for fixed cost of the shop, media, staff...
Online is getting better, selection of new and rare movies is getting to the point of 'you want the movie, we have it'
Only things I can think of are:
Longer times on series.
Nice staff - as in they are friendly to all, know their movies, old and new, talk about life... the human side of a friendly chat and knowing your name can be amazing to many people. New staff should be quizzed on their love of movies- always lots of people looking for work, select the skills :)
Clean media, works every time - not scratched up copies on their last spin put back for 1 more rental after a quick wipe over.
Lots of candy, ice cream, snacks. Rare soda, rare candy and the big brands.
Get them addicted or self medicated with local candy/$nacks - hope they rent? Bit like a gas station - big cash can be in the snacks.
A big projector and sofa? Loop new trailers to create HD buzz? Even if just to see 'big' home entertainment - they might rent if the optics and sound is right? Your friend is right, mostly you can only go so low in price and even greedy US telcos are adding in enough speed to just cover modern codecs for downloads.
Long term you need 2k,4k, 8k HD+++ movies on some 'data' cube that can only be rented due to the massive data sizes making a night 'selection' too big for a 1h 'instant' download on rust belt US networks.

sell weeds (2)

JonySuede (1908576) | about a year and a half ago | (#42017075)

move to a state that legalized cannabis and sell it with your rentals, you will get an incredible increase in cash flow

Find a different livelihood (1)

GreatDrok (684119) | about a year and a half ago | (#42017817)

Here you can rent DVDs from the local library for $2 a week. You can order them from out of area and they'll email you when the discs come in. No membership fees like the local Netflix equivalent either. We do use a local DVD store but only to rent Blu rays which the library doesnt do and since the HD rentals appear so much later on the iTunes store but that will likely change at some point too. Physical media is on the way out so any store that depends on it has a brief future. I've largely stopped buying films now too and just rent what I want when I want it. No sense in building up a large library. Similarly, the cinemas are losing out because of the high prices and the fact that a large screen HD setup gets pretty damn close (100" projection screen here) so there's definitely a shakeup coming. First run rentals for a reasonable price will eventually arrive as will an essentially unlimited library to choose from pay per view. Sadly, your friend can't do much about this but the movie industry will need to do it soon to stay relevant or the $$$ will move on to some other form of entertainment like they did when the music industry decided to be dicks about it.

Learn from other old media (1)

u64 (1450711) | about a year and a half ago | (#42018573)

The LP business didnt die - observe it and learn why it survives.
Real Books still exists - dispite all inventions.

Give people what they want, what they're willing to *happily* pay for. We all know the list by now,
No-DRM ever.
No nags at all when playing movie.
Affordable.

But also, allow people to do good stuff,
Supporting artists they like.
Supporting good causes they like.

Also,
Add chairs and tables to the store. Allow people to sit down, stay a while and discuss.
Let people have free wifi.

Adapt or die.

Know your market (2)

JustNiz (692889) | about a year and a half ago | (#42018683)

>> he often listens to potential customers walk out, saying that they'd rather download the movie, and not because his prices are unreasonable.

Did he bother to ask them why? I'd love to know too. It boggles my mind why people PREFER the streaming model.

The picture quality of DVD (and especially blu-ray) is noticeably superior than streaming. In many cases, Rewind/fast Forward of streaming causes the movie to fail. DVDs also have nice extra fatures, and you can easily rip them.

What does it take for someone to say "No I think I'd prefer a fuzzier picture, a depdency on the internet, and maybe to have to pay each time you want to watch"?.

I guess its yet another example of the "rip me off however you want but don't make me actually move off the sofa" thinking that apparently dominates the average American mind these days.

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