Buried in the pile of bad news that was Blockbuster's Q3 earnings report (losses more than tripled vs. last year to $35 million) was the quote from CEO Jim Keyes that "the company will no longer be narrowly focused on its online subscriber count but instead will concentrate on the growth of, and report on, its total membership." In other words, Total Access=total fail.
Besides basically handing the online rental space over to Netflix, it leaves it the sole powerhouse movie rental company to remain profitable—Movie Gallery, the no. 2 B&M chain, is bankrupt—and therefore the undisputed heavyweight champion of the rental world. Make no mistake about it, folks, things are looking grim for the corner rental store.
It's not like Blockbuster was totally unaware of this. Moving into new distribution channels is increasingly looking like the only way to survive the video wars—hopefully Netflix doesn't stop following through on their bolder, more intuitive ideas, lest we write about it sinking with the physical media rental market altogether in several years. [Forbes via Consumerist, Flickr]