NY Times reported earlier this week that Netflix introduced a streaming subscription that is cheaper than their DVD rental service! Wow! This marks to me the end of the physical era for movies. Last year I witnessed the closing of the last Virgin Megastore in NYC which was the end of the physical Music era (it is now really hard to find CDs in NYC!).
Shopping streets will never again look the same: gone are the young crowds at music stores, folks renting movies for the weekend in the local video rental store and gone will be the shops filled with book lovers browsing the latest titles. It is just a matter of time… That is… unless existing shop owners are able to differentiate by adding complementary services and products. In Finland this has been happening in video/DVD rental stores for a long time: they have gone en mass in selling candies, ice cream and other sweets. That is of course not going to be enough to justify a shop.
What else besides music, movies and books will be digital soon?
Update November 25: NY times “Netflix a Fast-Growing Rival to Hollywood“, duh, that is an easy one!