I’m a little stunned right now.
Over the past 10 years, the music industry has shot itself in the foot by suing its best customers and trying to maintain an outdated model that required physical retail space. The newspaper industry, the book industry, and the movie industry are all having similar growing pains as technology passes them by.
Tonight, I declare that the home video rental industry is dead.
I have a Foxtel IQ — a PVR that lets me schedule and record programs aired on Foxtel’s 100+ channels. On top of that, it has a system called “IQ On Demand” that keeps a library of about 10 movies ready for me to watch at a moments noticed (for a fee of course).
But nothing there interested us much, so we decided to head to Video Ezy in Werribee. We’ve been a member since we moved into town five years ago, and every few months (normally school holidays) we head down and grab a bundle of movies. Tonight we picked five movies — one overnight, two three-nighters, one six-nighter and one weekly — and headed to the counter.
Because we usually use more modern technology than physical media, they told us our membership had to be reactivated. We also had $8.95 outstanding in overdue charges that we were quite willing to pay*. All up, we wanted to give them about $30.
But they decided to shoot themselves in the foot instead.
As our membership had to be reactivated, and because we have a history of paying overdue charges, they wouldn’t let us borrow all the movie we wanted. We could only take a couple today. We asked why: the owner doesn’t want to reactivate too many accounts. So we didn’t ask them to reactivate our account, we came home and will not be returning.
See, there’s one thing I haven’t said about Foxtel IQ: If we had a slightly newer box, we could watch any movie from their library of thousands at any time via an internet connection. Which we will now be doing.
Video Ezy didn’t get our $30. We’re upgrading to modern technology because they pushed us to. They’re not even getting our $8.95 in overdue charges.