Blockbuster’s Lesson For Print Publishing

Blockbuster Bankruptcy Shows Danger of Being Inflexible In Digital Age

If you want to see people stomping on and spitting on a company they utterly detest, go read the Comments there. They speak volumes about why this country is in the mess it’s in as well as why print publishing in its current state is doomed.

Here is the one Comment that should smack print publishing up the side of its head:

This past year I taught a film class at Berkeley and arranged for the students to have free Blockbuster Online memberships for the movies they had to watch outside of class. More than half of them kept their Netflix accounts, and a few used Amazon downloads instead.

That spoke volumes to me — broke college students would rather PAY to use your competitor’s service than use yours for free, because you aren’t giving this generation what it wants. They could not fathom not being able to just download the movies they needed to see, and were annoyed that they had to wait for DVDs to arrive in the mail. (Of course, back when I took this class, we had to go to the library, get the VHS tapes from the reserve desk and sit at a viewing station).

Keep that in mind when you emerge from bankruptcy, Blockbuster. If you do.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

Hey, print publishing! Do you really think you’re providing everything people want to read in eBook format? Does Harry Potter ring a bell? What about those backlist titles Andrew Wylie moved into eBooks without waiting for any of you? What about all those backlist and even current titles that readers have scanned and uploaded and are distributing for free?

And look around at all those writers you’ve been shedding too. They still have audiences.

When your customers are running faster than you are, you don’t get to cry about being left behind due to your own laziness.

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Filed under Books: General, Digital Overthrow, eBooks: General, Friction, Marketing, Writers

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