Adapt Or Die - What Darwin Can Teach The Media/Entertainment World

charlesdarwin“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” – Charles Darwin

Darwin would do well in the world of tech and media. He would thrive because he would continually adapt product strategy to the changing consumer behaviors in the marketplace.

The recent news that Blockbuster was finally shuttering it’s remaining 300 stores across the U.S. was a stark reminder of Darwin’s adapt-or-die evolutionary mantra. I live in San Francisco, a city with a high density or residents that are early adopters with media and technology. Also,  the population skews a bit younger, so I haven’t seen a Blockbuster store here in years.



While San Francisco may be an exception to most cities, atom-based media shifting to bit-based media isn’t a new phenomena. Barnes & Noble and Borders stores have been evaporating for years! It’s as if Blockbuster has been asleep at the wheel for years and not willing to adapt to the changing landscape.  Blockbuster has a history of being eclipsed by media/technology shifts as has been noted by many analysts for years. 

Blockbuster still has strong name recognition and the name alone is a global colloquial term in the entertainment space. Hopefully, Dish, Blockbuster’s parent company understands that enough to roll the brand into new offerings that they can syndicate out across their 14 million subscribers.

I say “hope” because I’m not sure if Dish’s CEO Joe Clayton understands the world he lives in, since he was recently quoted saying “…closing the stores wasn’t an easy decision, yet consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment.” Newsflash: this has been happening for 10+  years!

Dish/Blockbuster should be looking to copy from the playbooks for networks like A&E, AMC, Showtime and HBO to create great programming they can push out across their network and brand it as Blockbuster.

In 2002, AMC underwent an overhaul and switched from showing classic movies (that my parents loved) to creating original programming that turned the channel into a must watch channel, that had fans pushing their cable providers and most notably Dish to include in the channel lineup.

Dish has an opportunity with the Blockbuster brand to be daring, get creative and create content that people would be willing to rent via Dish subscription or stream. Now is the time to innovate or else the Blockbuster brand will be dead forever.  And not too far behind will be Dish’s subscriber base.

Charles Darwin photo from Shutterstock

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