The Death of In-Store Rentals
A new survey from CinemaNow suggest a gloomy future for the brick and mortar rental scene.
CinimaNow vs. Blockbuster
July 25, 2008 by Gordon Jones

There was a day not so long ago when renting a movie involved keys, clerks and in my case, far too many late fees. Obviously, a lot has changed since then and CinemaNow‘s recent survey puts many of my (our?) suspicions into hard numbers.

In a nutshell, their findings suggest brick-and-mortar rentals are not long for this world. While I question CinemaNow’s objectivity (they are, after-all, a major player in the movie download arena) I can’t help but nod as I read the survey results.

The first, and very Al Gore point is that 94 percent of those questioned believe that downloading content is good for the environment. It’s an aspect of the medium I never really considered but when you add up the gas and store footprint I can see their logic (and probably a future marketing campaign). What may have been overlooked is the enormous server farm on the other end of the download, but whatever.

The second number that struck was the 64 percent that rated convenience as the major factor for their decision to stream as opposed to rent. Again, not front page news, but certainly a growing voice in the home entertainment crowd. Object all you want to the picture quality and selection of titles the download services offer, but having a movie up and running with but a press of a button has an undeniable appeal.

Another notable tidbit gleaned from the survey is what these users are doing with their purchased or rented content. Over 50 percent say they tried to burn to DVD (for safe keeping of course) and 18 percent tried streaming to another TV or set-top box. It doesn’t say if they were successful, but given the proliferation of DRM, I’m going with not very.

How about you? Are there certain movies you’d be more apt to stream as opposed to buy/rent? How about services? I’d love to hear your favs.

Comment below.

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