Blockbuster finally died on Wednesday when its parent company, DISH Network, pulled the plug on a company that not too long ago dominated the market for home movie rentals.
The decision was the final chapter for a brand that just couldn't adapt quickly enough to the digital world of Amazon and HBO GO. More than any other competitor, however, Netflix was most responsible for breaking Blockbuster’s once iron grip on Friday night domesticity. As the above snow-graffiti artist notes:
“LOL” - Netflix.
Or, if you prefer your lessons in chart form, this may be the biggest reason Blockbuster is blockbusted today:
(Quick note on the above chart: The last two years are exclusively streaming subscribers.)
Just as quickly as Netflix grew, Blockbuster shrank, leading to bankruptcy in 2010, followed by a last-ditch revival effort by DISH Network and finally the closing of hundreds of stores and laying off of thousands of employees.
Blockbuster has already been so thoroughly vanquished by Netflix -- which was merely a dangerous upstart just a decade ago -- that Netflix's stock price had utterly no reaction on Wednesday to the news of Blockbuster's demise.