In April 2023, we reported that Netflix was ending its DVD Rentral Plan, followed in August that Disney was ending DVD and Blu-ray Releases in Australia and New Zealand. Now, it looks like more bad news for physical media buyers.
Reputable Blu-ray/DVD news and review site The Digital Bits, followed up by Bloomberg News and Variety, are reporting that they have been provided information from “reliable industry sources” that Best Buy plans to end the sale of physical media (DVDs, Blu-ray, Ultra HD Discs) in 2024.
This latest move includes both physical store and online sales for all physical media sales.
This also means no more Best Buy-exclusive Steelbook titles or titles with added bonus content exclusive to Best Buy.
Best Buy has indicated that it will sell movies and TV shows on physical discs through the 2023 holiday shopping season online and in stores, before discontinuing sales in the new year.
Tip: Best Buy has also indicated that will continue to sell video games both in-store and online.
What The Fall Out Might Be
With Best Buy ending DVD and Blu-ray Disc sales, that means that Walmart, Target, and Amazon will be retail and online sources in the US for physical media. For DVD/Blu-ray Disc rental fans, Redbox is still available.
However, Best Buy is a big player, and you can bet that Walmart and Target are looking at this move carefully. They may see an initial uptick in sales from former Best Buy customers, but how long will it be before Amazon becomes the only physical media source?
Also, that isn’t the only thing to keep track of. If Target and Walmart also decide to end physical media sales, that would provide less incentive for the studios to provide physical media releases for their movies and shows.
On the other hand, niche physical media companies, such as Criterion, Arrow Video, Kino Lorber and Shout! Factory may see a spike in sales, as long as they have access to films and can justify the cost to release them on DVD and Blu-ray Disc
Tip: According to the DEG (Digital Entertainment Group) U.S. physical media revenue in the first half of 2023 decreased to $754 million, compared with $1.05 billion in the same period in 2022 (that is a 28% drop).
2024 might end up being the year where the hammer finally falls on physical media. You can be sure that this will be a topic at CES in January.
Where This Leaves Physical Media Fans
Obviously, this will hit physical media fans the hardest as the benefits of owning physical media dwindle away.
Just a reminder:
- It is not guaranteed that your favorite movie or show will always be available on a streaming service. Most streaming services cycle content in and out on a monthly basis.
- If you buy a digital version of a movie, you don’t actually own it, you just own a license to watch it. As a result, it may not remain accessible after a period of time, despite assurances by the streaming service you “purchased” it from.
- In terms of streaming, the video and audio quality is not as good as on physical media. This is due to the compression used in order to fit the content into a delivery stream at a deliverable speed that most viewers can access. For example, a UHD Blu-ray disc might support up to 128mbps transfer rate, whereas some streaming services might deliver a 4K UHD stream at speeds as low as 17mbps (the high-end is about 25 to 30mbps).
- Unlike physical media, a streaming or digital version can be altered, censored, or removed for a variety of reasons including the changing winds of political or cultural standards.
- If you buy something on physical media you own it – and as long as you have a device that can play it on you can enjoy it.
With all that in mind, if you are a physical media fan, buy your desired releases as long as they are available and make sure you have something to play them on.
Stay tuned as this story develops. For now you can still shop for DVDs and Blu-ray discs at Amazon.com.
Credit : Source Post