Goodbye, VHS: World’s Last VCR to Be Made This Month
Until I saw the headline on the BBC earlier this week, I actually had no idea that VCRs were still being produced. But apparently they are. Well, until later this month that is. So, as we wave goodbye to VHS, I wonder whether anyone will miss it, or if this is one piece of technology that most people will be only too happy to see the back of.
After debuting in 1977, VHS changed the world. For two decades the popularity of VHS was something to behold, with almost every household having a row of the chunky black cassettes placed on a bookshelf or mantelpiece. By giving consumers the opportunity to watch (relatively) new releases from the comfort of their homes as well as the opportunity to tape television shows for watching at a later date, VHS made revolutionised televised entertainment across the globe.
During the technology’s most heyday, Sanyo sold 15 million units per year. That figure reached an all-time low last year with only (in my opinion, a surprisingly high) 750,000 units sold. And thus the decision to discontinue the product was made.
But, unlike vinyl, which is growing as an industry due to some music fans’ belief that the format provides a deeper, richer sound, it’s unlikely that many people will miss the grainy picture quality, incessant fast-forwarding through adverts, and tricky recording procedures that VHS offered.
So, whilst some may have a nostalgic fondness for VHS, it doesn’t look like the format will enjoy a similar retrospective resurgence — we are, after all, three generations (DVD, Blu-ray, and VOD) away from VHS now, and I don’t think many of us have missed it (if we have even thought about it at all).
But the death of VHS is a reminder of just how quickly technology is changing at the moment, and of the fact that the time it takes for the one technological breakthrough to be replaced is getting smaller. All of which makes me wonder, how long will it be before we look back at YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu nostalgically, before switching on whatever futuristic technology has replaced them?
Will you miss VHS? And what do you think about the VCR industry’s demise?
Let me know your thoughts below.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Maria Hvorostovsky is the founder of HVO Search, an executive search firm helping clients within digital, retail, fashion, consumer and technology industries find the best international talent.
The firm focuses on recruiting exceptional leaders as well as helping to build the senior management teams across all functions.