If you grew up in the 90’s and early 2000’s, a video store would have been a common occurrence. Video Ezy dominated the video rental market in Australia with over 500 stores and 40% of market share.
But what happened to Video Ezy?
What Was Video Ezy
At its peak, Video Ezy was a brick and mortar Video and Game rental store. It begun with VHS and Betamax tapes and then switched to DVDs when the formats switched. It also offered Game rental for console games. In the 90s and Early 2000s, visiting the video store and picking out a selection of movies was commonplace.
The length of rental depended on the movie. New releases were available for a rental period of 1 or 3 days where as older movies could be rented for a week. If you failed to return the movie in time you would be hit with late fees.
To rent movies and games from Video Ezy you needed to be a Video Ezy Member. You would get a membership card which you would use to rent movies.
Like all physical video stores, its demise is mainly attributed to online streaming.
When Was Video Ezy Founded?
Video Ezy was founded in 1983 by Kevin Slater. He opened the first store in Sydney where we rented out a small selection of VHS and Betamax titles. The first franchise store was opened in 1984. In 1986 there were 18 stores and by August 1987 there were 34, across NSW and Queensland.
The Downfall of Video Ezy
Video Ezy’s downfall was driven by the proliferation of high speed internet. As more and more people gained access to high speed internet, they began accessing video and gaming content via the internet.
Here’s what caused the downfall of Video Ezy and other video rental stores in Australia:
- Legal and illegal Internet Downloads – Before Netflix both the iTunes Store and Torrenting were common methods for buying or downloading movies.
- Streaming Services – Streaming services were the major competitor video rental stores. Sites like Netflix and Stan offered a rotating catalogue of movies.
- Price of DVDs – The average price of a DVD in 2013 was $16 compared to $20 in the early 2000’s. More and more consumers were choosing to buy a DVD as opposed to renting it.
- Increase of Movies on PayTV and Free to Air – Pay TV services like Foxtel increased their movie channel offerings as well as offering movies on demand.
Video Ezy failed to move into online streaming and as such saw a lack of demand for what they were offering.
The Video Ezy brand stopped operating in 2021.
Video Ezy Kiosks
Video Ezy operated a number of Video Ezy Rental Kiosks around Australia. These were often located in shopping centres. The kiosks would stock the latest blockbuster releases as well as a selection of favourites. The last kiosks were wound down in 2021.
When did the last Video Ezy Store Close
The last Video Ezy stores closed in 2019. The few remaining stores rebranded over 2018 and 2019.
Are there Still Video Stores in Australia
While there are no Video Ezy stores left in Australia, there are still independent Video rental stores in Australia. An ABC article in 2021 estimated there were approximately 500 video rental stores still left in Australia. For people who don’t have access to a good internet connection, renting DVD’s is still the easiest way to watch movies at home.