Gary brings up a good point on the Blockbuster thing – and the answer, apparently, is US.
Let me explain. I live in a quaint little Connecticut town, inhabited mostly by uber-rich New York stockbrokers and hedge fund barons. It’s a town full of trendy boutiques and 5-star restaurants. Our local video store is another of these, who have seen rapidly declining business over the past few years, since EVERYBODY here has a home theater – and are, by their nature, heavy users of online services. The disc is already dead, and people here know it. So here’s the really funny item – this video store is suing the town library, and they’re turning it into a class-action suit against libraries themselves – as the destroyers of the video rental industry. So our town government, and through it, all of us, are being sued for destroying their business, since in an effort to bring people into the library again, they’ve started stocking new-release DVDs and Blu-Ray discs – loaning them out free on your library card.
I have two points here… one is that the video rental industry is still clueless as to why their business isn’t salable anymore. The other is that we need to do SOMETHING to save libraries in this country. Many are becoming community centers more than they are places to get books… and that’s good. Speaking as a kid whose greatest joy was getting my first library card and browsing through the stacks, I think there’s a need for libraries beyond their content. Many people in our industry have done a lot to keep libraries alive, by installing media systems and computer networks. Keep doing it, because, with all due respect to the internet, it’s really no substitute for the learning and social experience to be had in a library. And neither is Facebook or Twitter.