Ep. 4 · Make It a Blockbuster Podcast with Alan Payne (Part 2)

WOW, what a difference! In this episode, Alan Payne joins the show to talk about the rise and fall of Blockbuster Video. Alan was one of the most successful franchisees in Blockbuster history. He literally wrote the book on Blockbuster -- Built to Fail: The Inside Story of Blockbuster's Inevitable Bust, which was released in 2021. Alan and Dan discuss the history of the video business, inventory management, new releases versus older movies, and other aspects of the Blockbuster story. Throughout the conversation, you will recognize many concepts and principles from the world of process improvement and operational excellence. And don't worry. You can listen to the show anytime you want! There won't be any late fees.

In this episode you'll hear about:

1:14 - The transition from VHS to DVD

6:00 - The retail price of DVD as opposed to VHS

8:06 - Opening a video store across the street from a Blockbuster

10:30 - The video-rental industry and customer data

12:43 - The early days of Netflix

18:52 - Redbox and the kiosk rental business

22:13 - The Last Blockbuster

23:55 - Closing stores and Blockbuster nostalgia

26:47 - What Alan is doing now

Additional Resources

Built to Fail: The Inside Story of Blockbuster's Inevitable Bust by Alan Payne

Alan Payne on LinkedIn

MoreSteam's Website

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MoreSteam's YouTube Channel

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Dan Swartwout


Dan Swartwout is the host of Quality Time with MoreSteam. A lifelong Central Ohio resident, Dan is a double Buckeye. He earned both a BA and a law degree from The Ohio State University. Before joining MoreSteam, Dan had a long career as a host, comedian, and master of ceremonies. For 17 years, Dan was the studio audience host for the Ohio Lottery game show Cash Explosion. Dan was also the host of CBuzz, which was a collaboration between the Columbus Chamber of Commerce, WWCD 92.9, and the Columbus Dispatch. On CBuzz, Dan interviewed some of the most prominent entrepreneurs in Central Ohio. From 2002-2020, Dan toured the country as a standup comedian. Tracks from his comedy CD have been played over 5,000 times on Sirius/XM satellite radio. Now, Dan brings his experience and enthusiasm to Quality Time with MoreSteam -- it's business and fun, together.

Alan Payne

Alan Payne spent thirty-one years in the movie rental business, the last twenty-five of those as a Blockbuster retail franchisee. He took over a small group of Blockbuster stores in 1993 and grew it into one of the largest and most successful chains in the company. He finally closed his last store in 2018, more than eight years after Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy. He also authored the book, "Built to Fail: The Inside Story of Blockbuster's Inevitable Bust."

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