There was nothing quite like getting to Friday or Saturday night and heading over to the local Blockbuster to see what was on the shelf. Slowly walking around the outer rim of the store to see the latest releases and hoping against hope that a copy was still on the shelf was just a part of the movie experience just a few decades ago. Obviously, that’s all over with streaming making Blockbuster go the way of the dinosaur. But a new group wants to revive the video rental company and turn it into a Blockbuster streaming service to compete with the other big names in the industry.
According to MovieWeb, a financing group had formed to purchase the intellectual property rights to Blockbuster in order to reform and rebrand the company into the modern era of video watching. The group is called Blockbuster DAO and they come from the crypto space. The DAO, short for Decentralized Autonomous Organization, would put the new form of Blockbuster streaming on the blockchain and it would have more influence by the members of the organization without one central decision-maker at the top.
The plan for this Blockbuster streaming option is for the DAO to raise money (estimated $5 million) to purchase the rights to the Blockbuster name from its current owner Dish Network. It isn’t clear just how willing Dish is to give up these rights, though they’ve obviously really done nothing with the brand since acquiring it back in 2014. The plan for the DAO, after purchasing the name, is to turn it into the first deFilm (a take on Defi, decentralized finance) platform. This would obviously be a major shift in how streaming was accessed considering the high levels of secrecy around the major players like Netflix, Amazon, Disney, and others. Check out what the group had to say in a Twitter thread that outlined some of their plans.
What’s interesting here is the recognition by the group that though Blockbuster has been out of business for years and years now, the name still carries a significant amount of brand cache. Just some of the Blockbuster streaming plans include building out a rewards structure through staking, entering the NFT space with the Blockbuster brand, acquiring its own set of films, and then creating a streaming platform that runs on tokens. It’s all very elaborate, but considering the growth in the Web3 space, something like this isn’t nearly as far-fetched as it once could have been.
Of course, Blockbuster is one of the prime examples of a behemoth company being overrun by the proliferation of streaming services and a shift in how viewers take in media. Once at the top of the mountain in terms of video rentals, a near-monopoly in the space. Things started to come apart when Netflix entered the game as a DVD-by-mail company which really started taking off in the 2000s.
The company was slow to pivot into this space and never even made it to a Blockbuster streaming platform. The company once had more than 9,000 stores worldwide but in 2010 it filed for bankruptcy and sold its remaining locations and library to Dish. The latter closed everything up within the next four years. Currently, there is one remaining blockbuster location open in Bend, Oregon. It’s been the subject of a documentary and will soon be turned into a sitcom. We will see if they can reinvent Blockbuster streaming into a player for this day and age.