When I completed the science fiction assignment for Module 4, I did a search on Amazon instant video for a movie based on a Philip Dick book. I had decided from the list in the course that I would watch one I had never seen. I paid $2.99 to watch this movie on my computer, which would have cost me more at the local Blockbuster store if we still had one. Indeed, Blockbuster itself now offers instant video. The Amazon instant video is also cheaper for me than Netflix, which only offers subscriptions, not individual movies.
The growth of video-on-demand versus stores where one rents DVDs is an example of a Red Queen, at least in our area. The viewing experience is very much dependent on the bandwidth in one’s local area. This is not a limitation for viewing DVDs. Both these technologies have been running head to head (at least locally) and the video-on-demand is just beginning to gain the lead against DVD stores, both offline and online. Another video-on-demand site, Hulu, is more popular with those in their twenties.
Thornburg (2008) characterizes a Red Queen as the rapid competition between technologies that seeks to draw customers by offering the best features. Blockbuster has given in to the customer demand for video-on-demand, closing stores and moving their business online.
Thornburg, D. (2008). Red Queens, butterflies, and strange attractors: Imperfect lenses into emergent technologies. Lake Barrington, IL: Thornburg Center for Space Exploration.