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Blockbuster’s string of poor decisions goes back a pretty long ways, it seems.
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Ten years ago, BB’s then-CEO John Antioco was approached by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings about a potential partnership, which was laughingly brushed aside by the much larger Blockbuster.
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The anecdote comes from recently departed Netflix CFO Barry McCarthy, who was with Hastings at the time the partnership was proposed. According to McCarthy:

“I remembered getting on a plane, I think sometime in 2000, with Reed [Hastings] and [Netflix co-founder] Marc Randolph and flying down to Dallas, Texas and meeting with John Antioco . . . Reed had the chutzpah to propose to them that we run their brand online and that they run [our] brand in the stores and they just about laughed us out of their office. At least initially, they thought we were a very small niche business. Gradually over time, as we grew our market [Antioco’s] thinking evolved, but initially they ignored us and that was much to our advantage.”

What if Blockbuster management had not been so short-sighted ten years ago, Insiders? What would the current video rental landscape look like today?

(via CNET)

7 Responses to “Blockbuster Laughed Off 2000 Netflix Partnership Offer”

  1. Visitor [Join Now]
    tinybrat [visitor]

    If they had joined forces, you’d see two companies in bankruptcy status instead of one. Any partnerships with a dinosaur for a company is just poor business.

  2. Member [Join Now]

    That’s a big WOOPS on BB’s part. But I agree tinybrat – just look at AOL/TimeWarner.

  3. Visitor [Join Now]
    Rodney [visitor]

    BB has a long history of being on the wrong side of these things. It took them years to switch from VHS to DVD.

  4. Member [Join Now]

    Why am I not surprised? WTG BB!

  5. Visitor [Join Now]
    russ [visitor]

    Blockbuster started up their dvd by mail business within a year of Netflix. But their selection was terrible and their turnaround time was twice as long. I used both services at the same time for about 6 or 7 months and Netflix was so much better it was like the Globetrotters vs. the Generals. Heck, even NumberSlate did a better job than Blockbuster.

  6. Member [Join Now]
    Alan Smithee [8traxrule]

    The movie selection at Netflix would be a lot worse if Blockbuster owned them!

  7. Member [Join Now]
    timscarlet [timscarlet]

    New Netflix friends community starting now.