Amazon's been playing around with physical stores for a while now, but what if the nearly half a billion products Amazon sells were all on display in one gargantuan physical store? Such a store would be over 435 million square feet (4 million square meters), covering more than 15 square miles (38.8 square kilometers) -- or about two-thirds the size of Manhattan. And that's without considering the space needed for parking.
Cloud news site Cloud Storage Buzz crunched the numbers on a handful of the biggest online services to figure out how large of a physical setup they'd need to peddle their entire inventory.
If you're old enough to remember what it was like to rent a movie back in, say, 1993, maybe you've heard of a company called Blockbuster Video that once dotted street corners and retail malls. If every single movie in the Netflix catalog were on display in a luxurious video store like the old Blockbusters, you'd need a building about 7 million times the size of the store where the cool high school kids in the '90s worked -- that's roughly the size of the city of Detroit.
But perhaps most stunning are the numbers for Spotify, which has certainly helped speed up the decline of the CD and other music shops some people used to waste hours of their youth perusing.
A physical store that could house at least one copy of Spotify's 2.5 million albums for each of its 100 million subscribers (250 trillion total CDs) in order to still be an on-demand service in the offline world would be larger than the entire nation of Greece at over 64,000 square miles (over 165,000 square kilometers).
The calculations also find that if Yelp were a physical paper travel guide it would have nearly 1.5 million pages. You can check the math on these crazy comparisons here in the methodology breakdown (PDF).
There's no calculation for what the world would look like if every tweet ever sent was posted on a billboard instead, but I think it's safe to say none of us would ever go outside again if we had to look at all that. #KeepTwitterOnline.
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