Physical Mediums Are No More.
It was a good ten years ago. I still remembered walking pass a Speedy shop, standing there intently as Woody Harrelson was frantically looking for a pack of Twinkies while Jesse Eisenberg stood guard, perplexed as to why this grown man made getting the equivalent of a pack of Gardenia Twiggies here the number one priority in a post-apocalyptic zombified world. The hours seemed to glide along as I stood in the middle of the corridor, fixated on what was to come. That is until my mother forced me to the supermarket to shop for her groceries. It did left me wanting however, and I was curious enough to bite the bullet and purchased the CD to watch it later at home.
And 10 years, seemed to just float pass right after that. I guess this was a long time coming. After the demise of Rock Corner, it was only a matter of time until shops like these had to call it a day and wrap up as technology progressed through.
You see, with the existence of streaming services, namely Spotify, Deezer, Joox, there wasn’t really any need for people to go to a record store and search for their favourite artist’s work. Everything could be done from your phone; simply typing up the name would bring up the search, and if you wanted to bring another song from another artist into the mix, all you had to do was create a playlist. It was cheaper too. At an average price of RM 15 per month, literally millions of songs are on your fingertips, just waiting to be discovered and probably never listen to as you continue on hoarding, keeping it in your head that someday you’ll EVENTUALLY get to it, but you know that’s a lie.
Little wonder then, that with the rise of streaming platforms, music stores faced a problem they never would’ve thought would take a huge bite out of their share. It was the start of the end.
And when Netflix arose with their giant marketing campaigns and aggressive push into the local audience, you can guess what happened after that. The problem is worsened with the fact that with smart TVs becoming more and more affordable, a lot more people can access Netflix’s entire library with just a single switch, wiping the previous steps of getting up from the couch, going to the CD player, switching out the CD, and walking back to the couch before plonking your arse on it.
Now you just flick the remote, go to which series you feel like watching (you’ll probably rewatch How I Met Your Mother because you’re too scared of trying out something else), and then proceed to binge 3 seasons in one night. Remember, that previously to do this, you had to buy a box set that, depending on how nice the box is, can cost you anywhere in between RM 100 to RM 600 bucks for the whole thing. Now, you just cough up 50 bucks per month and get a billion hours worth of content just like that.
Enthusiasts too, are starting to bow out to the new era. I remember reading this one audio engineer’s memoir that before this, he used to religiously collect CDs, vinyls, Blu-Rays and what have yous to get the best possible quality in sound, and visual. Now, he just puts on Tidal and plays it on his home stack, and that’s it. Much like TV killed the radio star, the advent of streaming, killed the physical medium. Not as catchy, but who gives a shit.
Part of the journey is the end. We are entering a new age. To all movie lovers, ramai-2 beri penghormatan terakhir kepada #Speedy / come to Midvalley they’re having mega kawkaw promotions before closing! pic.twitter.com/D9wFJ6yzEO
— putraadib. (@putraadibadham) September 8, 2019
Stores like Speedy then, are a reminder of days gone by as society progresses through each living day on this Earth, never stopping to smell the flowers, or in this case, appreciate the growing relic that is a video shop, trying to hold its ground in a tidal wave of streaming platforms; and with the impending arrival of Disney+ (who’s gargantuan list comprises of National Geographic, Star Wars, Marvel, Disney, and Pixar), the final nail on the coffin may as well have been placed.
So let’s take this time, and remind ourselves of the good old days, of the good times that played a major part of our own lives, and our families, and let it all go.