The $176 Billion Dollar Joke

Feb 2022

15 years … That’s how long it’s been …

I’m not a huge fan of the big screen. I love a good movie, series or documentary, but I’m more than happy to watch from the comfort of my own settee. Gone are the days of 4 channels and a 30 minute walk to rent a movie from the local Blockbusters shop.

Now, thanks to Netflix, Prime, NowTV and the likes, I can watch pretty much anything I want, whenever I want. So it’s easy to see how it ended up being 15 years since I last went to the movies.

But a few weeks ago, Connor invited me to go with him to see the new Spiderman movie. And I thought, “You know what? Why not? The movie was fairly adequate- I’m not a big Marvel fan really.

But the experience was something else. Oh how the cinema has changed… From the biggest, highest definition screen and surround sound to leather recliner seats – everything about the cinema had been crafted to make the experience special. 

That’s really super smart. You see, the cinemas understand that times have changed. Online streaming has changed the way people consume content. We’ve now got the power to choose what we watch and when – and we’ve grown to like it! And Covid has led to many streaming services offering the latest movies much earlier than in the past – think Disney+ Premier or Prime Video Cinema. It was adapt or die time for the cinemas.

So they’ve adapted. They’ve taken the one thing that most people cannot create at home- a luxury viewing experience – and made that their key differentiator. And it works. Many businesses find themselves in this very same adapt or die situation – technology develops, behaviour changes and the world moves on. Some react – and others don’t see it coming.

Did you know Blockbusters, the movie rental company had the opportunity to buy Netflix back in 2000, for just $50 million. Apparently, CEO didn’t even consider the opportunity. He thought online streaming was a joke. Today Netflix is worth around $176 billion dollars. And Blockbusters is bust.

The freight industry is no different. The coming decades will bring more innovation, changes and transformations than ever before. So are you ready for them? Are you watching and waiting, ready to react when your adapt or die moment comes?