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Internet Killed The Video Store, According to Yelp Data

Let’s rewind to 1979. The world was buzzing over the newfound technology that would change the world of entertainment forever. Video had hit the scene, and video rental stores became a go-to stop for a ‘far out’ Friday night.

Fast forward to today and, maybe not surprisingly, Yelp data and news sources such as the San Francisco Chronicle have found that video stores are well on their way out. The San Francisco Bay Area decline of video and game stores has been steep. No other category ever that had at least 50 Bay Area businesses has ever seen the number of open stores fall by a higher percentage since 2008, according to Yelp data.

From 2008 to 2017, the number of businesses in the ‘Video and Game Store’ category has dropped over 60 percent. In 2007, video stores seemed to be flourishing, with just over 800 shops in the Bay Area alone. However, with the rise of Redbox and the introduction of Netflix streaming capabilities that same year, video stores like Blockbuster and Hollywood Video began to close doors. In 2017, there are still 320 video stores functioning from Marin County to Santa Cruz. Check out some of these local legacies still dishing out rentals today:

Video Room in Oakland

Video Factory in Alameda

Lost Weekend Video in San Francisco

Captain Video in San Mateo

Take One Video in Walnut Creek

Our data showed other formerly popular categories in decline as well, including maternity stores, gay bars and media outlets. The known decline of newspapers and other traditional media sources can be seen through Yelp data, with a 30 percent dive between 2008 and 2017, coinciding with the rise in internet media such as BuzzFeed, Vice, and other online publications.

It may also be interesting that although video stores are starting to disappear as a main street mainstay, such business categories as videographers and video production companies are quickly growing in the Bay Area.

In case of nostalgia, take a walk down memory lane (in this case, the video aisle). Do a Yelp search and support your local video store.