The future? What does it hold? For you? For me? For us?

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Here’s an interesting post made by another video store owner somewhere. It’s an interesting read and may effect all of our futures! (note – edited for reasons)

There’s Still A Video Store in Vancouver?

I often get asked how a video store could still be in business in today’s internet environment with so many streaming options, both legal and illegal. Short answer is, it’s not easy. However, I do see the viability of a video store becoming stronger in the near future! Let me explain…

First, let’s tackle the illegal streaming options – these are “pirate” websites from which you can download and/or stream just about any movie or tv show you are looking for. Some people access these sites through their computer, but most access them through “the box”, a little black box which is sort of like a mini-computer onto which you can upload “apps” to search the internet for what you are looking for. The box itself is not illegal; however, use of the apps and the act of streaming/downloading the content and watching it in your home is illegal. The simple fact is you are watching copyrighted content without paying for it. I’ve had people say “It’s so easy and the content is on the internet, so it must be legal” – well, sorry, but it is not. The IP’s (internet providers – Rogers, Eastlink, Bell, etc.) are currently ramping up efforts to identify and stop the illegal streaming of copyrighted material. They are just awaiting the green light from the CRTC (Canadian Radio and Telecommunications Commission). Once this happens, the IP’s will send a message to anyone streaming copyrighted material and request you to stop, and if you don’t, they will be able to cut off your internet access. They are already doing this in the case of downloading of copyrighted material. In short, very soon you will not be able to use those boxes for illegal streaming no matter how hard you try.

Second, legal streaming options – these are any services you pay for access, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Crave, CBS All Access, etc. Netflix has had a great run at providing plenty of content for a low monthly fee (easy when they don’t pay taxes!); however, their great selection is in jeopardy as film studios try other ways to get you to pay for and watch their content. Netflix knows this, that is why they have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in developing their own content, such as Bird Box, Roma and TV shows such as Orange is the New Black. Of course, producing their own content costs money, that is why they have increased their monthly charge 3 times over the last year. They will also be losing all content from Disney (which Disney owns Pixar, Fox studios, Touchstone pictures, ABC, Lucasfilm, Marvel and the list goes on) as Disney will begin their own streaming service later this spring. As more studios develop their own streaming service you will need to subscribe to multiple services to be able to watch the movies or tv shows you want to watch. Want to watch The Last Kingdom? Netflix. Want to watch Stars Wars or a Marvel movie? Disney. Want to watch Sons of Anarchy? Crave. Want to watch Star Trek? CBS All Access. All of a sudden, you are paying for 10 streaming services to watch the shows and movies you want to watch. Of course, there’s still cable/satellite so you can watch the news and sports, or you could subscribe to the individual leagues (NFL, NHL, MLB) for well over $100/year each (and that doesn’t cover other sports you may want to watch – tennis, golf, darts, Thunderdome, Olympics).

Third, there is the excitement (or some would say nostalgia) of going to your local video store and seeing all the movies and tv series available to watch. I often have customers who have not been to the store for a few months who have come back and realized there were many movies they never heard of (because Netflix didn’t suggest it for them, or more the case – doesn’t have it) and tv series they didn’t have access to. That is where the staff at a video store can help you find movies and tv series that are of interest to you and that you will enjoy watching. Also shopping local is the best and right thing to do. It keeps the neighbourhood vibrant and alive, provides jobs for the locals and the money stays in the hood and doesn’t go to fund some evil gazzillionaire’s third yacht or moon shuttle.

In conclusion, yes, there currently still is a video store in Vancouver! Two actually! As the owner I promise to do what we can to keep it running for as long as we can. And with the help and support of all of you fabulous folks who like what we do, we can keep this train on the tracks for quite some time. Come in and talk to the staff and discover what is available to take home, relax, and enjoy in front of your tv tonight. Don’t let us all wish we still had a video store when it becomes viable again in the next year or two. Enjoy your local video store today! And tomorrow! And on into The Future!

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