Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Videocassettes, DVDs, and the Remains of a Fading Day


November 1977 .  Magnetic Video, operating as Video Club of America, is the first company to offer theatrical motion pictures on home video.

December 1977.  George Atkinson opens the first video rental store, in a 600-square foot space on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles

1981.  Tower Records begins testing video rentals.

1983.  VCRs are in less than 10% of U.S. households.

1984.    By this time, many public libraries have added, or plan to add, videocassettes to their circulating collections.

1985.  U.S. sales of VCRs hit 11 million,.  30% of American households.own a VCR.
October 1985.  Blockbuster opens it first video store in Dallas, Texas.

1988.   Annual revenues from video rentals exceed movie box office receipts for the first time.

1993.  The end of that format war.  Sony ends production of Betamax VCR.

1996.  Video collection development experiences an early surge of double-digit growth (percentage-wise)

1997.  Say "hello" to the DVD.

April 1998.   Netflix introduces first online rental service.  (Or maybe it wasn't until 1999,.)

1998.  Amazon enters the video business.

2000.  The Middleton Public Library says "hello" to the DVD.

March 2003.  Weekly revenues from DVD rentals exceed videocassette rental revenues for the 1st time.  And as you probably guessed, annual DVD rental revenues exceed videocassette rental revenues for the first time in 2003.

May 2004Redbox appears on the scene. 

2007.   Videos are clearly are their way out at the Middleton Public Library.

Early 2014R.I.P. Blockbuster (1985-2014)

Related reading:
50 years of the videocassette recorder.   (WIPO magazine, November 2006.)
The great debate over videocassette rentals.  (The Free Lance Star, 5/13/1982)

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