Disney already announced it was to stop selling new DVD, Blu-Ray, and 4K UHD physical media in certain key overseas territories, starting with Australia. At the time, we knew this was the beginning of the end of physical media. Now another nail has been hammered into that coffin.
The Digital Bits reports that in the US, prime retailer Best Buy will completely exit the physical media market next year. Q1 2024 is mentioned as the final curtain. This is not just in-store, but online as well. Already major studios are planning to use Amazon as the sole, exclusive distributor of steelbooks and collectors editions.
Walmart, the largest physical media retailer, has already held talks with Studio Distribution Services (SDS) to explore them taking on the management of the retailer’s physical media distribution and sales, effectively outsourcing it.
The Digital Bits advises people to buy the titles they want to keep forever now as the end of physical media is accelerating.
Physical media is already largely phased out in many Asian and Latin American countries. It is not hard to understand why distributors are turning away from physical products. According to CNBC, between 2006 – a year after they peaked – and 2019 US DVD sales declined by 86%.
Recent high-profile cases have seen certain e-books retroactively and irrevocably altered. How long before the censorious go to work on movies they deem as “problematic” and the digital versions receive their attention, or are even made unavailable?
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