With the number of DVDs and Blu-Rays being sold each year shrinking, as audiences move to digital platforms and streaming services like Disney+, many Hollywood studios have been changing how they deal with their home entertainment physical releases.

It’s been revealed that Disney has outsourced its home entertainment division to Sony Pictures Entertainment, who will now manufacture, distribute and market Disney’s new releases and catalogue titles on DVD, Blu-Ray and 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays in the United States and Canada.

Disney will continue distributing its movies on digital platforms like Apple, Amazon, and Vudu.  In addition to releasing them on streaming platforms, including Disney+ and Hulu.

This new licensing model will allow Disney to continue to offer films and shows to customers through physical retailers while also reducing costs since Sony is much more efficient at creating and distributing discs due to it being a major part of their business. It’s unclear if this shift to Sony will result in any job losses.

Disney confirmed the details in a statement to Media Play News:

“We can confirm that our physical home entertainment business is in the process of transitioning to a licensed model via an agreement with Sony Entertainment. As part of our usual course of business, we regularly evaluate our go-to-market approach as the home entertainment business and the industry at large continue to rapidly evolve alongside consumer behavior. This agreement will allow us to continue to offer our films and TV shows via physical retailers/distributors and serve our consumers in a more efficient manner.

This shift is consistent with strategies we’ve implemented company-wide as we’ve also been undergoing these transitions in other markets.”

While there has been a slight resurgence in interest in physical media over the past year, following many of the studios removing shows and films from digital and streaming platforms, however, it isn’t expected to make much difference to the overall numbers.

Physical media sales have drastically reduced, and according to Digital Entertainment Group, physical media will drop below one billion dollars in revenue for the first time in 2024. To compare, in 2014, DEG revealed that $17.8 billion was spent on buying or renting videos, which was down from $21.2 billion in 2004.

Over the past year, Disney has been making many changes to its home video business, as only today, it was announced that the Disney Movie Club would be closing in May, and last year, Disney completely pulled out of selling physical media in Australia and New Zealand. Recently, many retailers, including Best Buy, have stopped selling discs, too.

With fewer people buying physical media, this shift in distribution to Sony will hopefully mean we continue to get not just new releases but also catalogue releases for a while to come.  Physical media is very important for many different reasons, but the reality of how much smaller this part of the movie business means studios have to adjust their strategies.  It’s better for Disney to outsource to another company like Sony rather than pull out completely as it has done in some countries.

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Roger Palmer

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. Email: Roger@WhatsOnDisneyPlus.com Twitter: Twitter.com/RogPalmerUK Facebook: Facebook.com/rogpalmeruk

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