Video store’s end not anytime soon


Nicole Fuschino

Johnstown’s Family Video store is at 699 Scalp Ave.

Nicole Fuschino, Contributing Writer

The rise of Netflix and other movie-streaming services may be contributing to the downfall of some DVD rental stores, but not Johnstown’s Family Video.

IBIS World, a global business intelligence provider that conducts Industry Market Research in Los Angeles, found that 24,000 DVD rental stores existed in the United States in 2004 as opposed to 10,000 today.

Family Video, at 699 Scalp Ave. in Johnstown, opened its doors in 2004.

Although research suggests that Family Video’s business should be going under in the near future, store manager Marissa Bakke says that she does not believe that movie streaming services such as Netflix are affecting her business to a significant degree.

“What really keeps us standing is that we can give a personal review and synopsis of the movie,” says Bakke. “Our sales have been steadily decreasing, but not to the point where we’ll be leaving any time soon.”

Bakke says that Family Video’s game rental service really helps to keep the business’ head above water.

“Game rentals have been a big part of our business because many individuals try the game out before purchasing it,” says Bakke. “Also, a majority of our customers do not have cable, so they use our services to provide themselves with entertainment.”

On the other hand, computer science student Ian Verostick says that he guarantees services like Netflix negatively affect other DVD rental stores.

“I don’t personally use Family Video’s services, and I think services like Netflix make it hard to compete with,” says Verostick.

Another argument for the decline of DVD rental stores and the success of video-streaming services is that streaming services are an easier way for the consumer to receive content, according to Jeremy Justus, an English literature assistant professor who provides academic advice to Multimedia and Digital Cultures majors.

“Blu-Ray discs and DVDs, like videotapes before them, are content-delivery mechanisms.

“Those materials are not the media – the films they contain are the media – the discs themselves are plastic vehicles for getting the films onto your screen,” says Justus.

Justus says he thinks that streaming services like Netflix and Hulu are doing so well because they cut out the middleman and deliver content directly to a screen.

“Of course, no one wants to see a local business go under. I think that brick-and-mortar stores like Family Video serve an important function,” said Justus.