Netflix came up with a great idea back in the late 90's to make it more convenient to rent and do away with those dreaded late fees once and for all. But where does this once revolutionary company stand now that it has to share the playground with Redbox and since video streaming is the new(er) kid on the block?

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

I swear Blockbuster made a huge portion of their profits off of me alone with those dang late fees, I'd rent a handful of flicks and then forget to return them for days and days and then sneak back to the store after hours like a criminal and drop them off and then patronize a different store till I racked up late fees there, wash rinse repeat...

Then comes Netflix and also Blockbuster's own DVD-by-mail service with (gasp!) no late fees and I can keep them as long as I want for less than $8 a month?? Sold! But now more than a decade later you can find just about any movie you want streaming on Hulu, YouTube or some other source so it appears that DVD rentals are becoming extinct in time. But maybe not, what about the all too familiar Redbox that's on many street corners now?

Of course Netflix has gotten on the streaming bandwagon and ditched their DVD mail service, but what it used to offer was extremely rare and unique. As we know, the lions-share of the money flows to the companies who offer something no one else can and although Netflix can stream to your TV and gaming consoles, it's not too far fetched to project that everyone else will be doing that too in short order. And if everyone else does so, subscription prices could be driven up or the company may have to downsize again or come up with another ground-breaking idea or risk tanking.

Kinda stinks too, because it's great inventing something but when it becomes too popular that it slips out of your control, you gotta feel a bit like Dr. Frankenstein right? This also begs the question about mail period... Where will the U.S. Postal service be in 10-20 years?

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