The sale of physical media such as DVD, Blu-Ray and 4K continues to shrink year on year, as more people shift from watching films on discs to streaming services and buying digitally from retailers like Apple and Amazon. According to The Digital Bits, retailer, Best Buy is going to be pulling out of the physical media business, both in stores and online, by the end of the first quarter of next year.
Best Buy currently has almost a thousand stores across the United States and is the latest retailer to pull out of the physical media business. Only last month, Netflix closed down its DVD-in-the-post business, and earlier this year, it was revealed that Disney was completely pulling out of the physical media business in Australia following the release of Marvel’s “Guardians Of The Galaxy: Vol 3” and closing down its Movie Club in Canada.
This move will leave Walmart as the biggest physical retailer in the US still selling physical discs, and recently, they’ve been in talks with DVD distributor Studio Distribution Services (SDS) to assume management of their own operations.
Sales of physical media continue to decline, down another 28% this year, compared to last year, which has recently seen a leading DVD distributor, Ingram Entertainment reveal it will be winding down its business after 35 years. Over the years, many retailers, including Target, and UK retailers like Tesco and Sainsbury, have also stopped selling discs, for movies, games and music.
Disney has been working with Best Buy for years, offering special limited edition versions of its physical home releases. For example, Disney only announced earlier this week that Best Buy will be offering a special limited-edition SteelBook design version of “Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny”. With Best Buy leaving the physical media business, Disney may find another retailer to fill this void, or simply reduce the amount of special retailer versions it offers.
Despite the decline in sales, physical media remains a popular way for many to watch movies and TV shows, as they often offer a superior image and sound quality to streaming services. While other collectors prefer physical media because they offer more bonus features, such as deleted scenes and commentary tracks, plus companies can’t remove films or shows from their collections, like can be done with digital collections or streaming services.
Best Buy has since confirmed in a statement to Variety that they are leaving the physical media business:
“To state the obvious, the way we watch movies and TV shows is much different today than it was decades ago. Making this change gives us more space and opportunity to bring customers new and innovative tech for them to explore, discover and enjoy.”
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Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom.