Best Buy starts removing DVDs and Blu-rays from stores: Here’s why

Best Buy’s plan to stop selling physical media has begun to roll out

compact discs

Best Buy’s phase-out of physical media sales has officially begun.

According to a recent report by Discussing Film, Best Buy has started removing DVDs and Blu-rays of movies and television series from its stores. These physical media don’t include video games as the retail giant is reportedly going to continue to sell those items both online and in-store.

The end of an era

Best Buy’s decision to cease the sale of physical media in its store and online was announced in October 2023. At the time, the retailer indicated that the phase-out of physical media of films and TV shows would give the company “more space and opportunity to bring customers new and innovative tech.”

Man and woman checking out DVDs and Blu-rays
Man and woman checking out DVDs and Blu-rays

Why is Best Buy ceasing the sale of DVDs and Blu-rays?

“To state the obvious, the way we watch movies and TV shows is much different today than it was decades ago,” said an official Best Buy representation in October 2023. “Making this change gives us more space and opportunity to bring customers new and innovative tech for them to explore, discover and enjoy.”

It’s not clear whether Best Buy’s physical media phaseout is happening company-wide all at once or in waves, but it was previously reported that the retailer would stop selling DVDs and Blu-rays in “early 2024.”

Although Best Buy will also stop selling physical media of movies and TV series online, several DVDs and Blu-rays were still available for purchase on the Best Buy website, as of this article’s writing.

Has there been a resurgence of physical media in recent months?

While there are some encouraging signs and anecdotal evidence of potential resurgence, the overall trend of declining physical media sales continues.

DVD collection of movies and TV shows
DVD collection of movies and TV shows

Here’s a breakdown of the conflicting factors:

Evidence for a Potential Resurgence

Content Purges: The removal of certain movies and shows from streaming platforms due to licensing changes or corporate decisions has fueled some renewed interest in owning physical copies.

Collector’s Value: High-quality physical releases like Blu-rays with special features continue to hold value for collectors and cinephiles.

Anti-streaming Sentiment: Some consumers are expressing frustration with subscription fatigue and limited platform content, sparking interest in alternative ownership models.

Evidence Against a Resurgence

Continued Sales Decline: Despite some individual spikes, overall physical media sales continue to decline year-over-year. For example, the DEG Q3 2023 report shows a 27% decline compared to the previous year.

Limited Availability: Studios are releasing fewer titles on physical media, particularly for smaller or less anticipated films.

Shifting Consumer Habits: Online streaming remains the dominant form of media consumption for most individuals, and this trend is likely to continue.

Overall

While there might be some pockets of increased interest in physical media, it’s too early to declare a full-blown resurgence. The decline in sales and limited availability remain significant hurdles. However, factors like content purges and collector’s value could potentially contribute to a more stable niche market for physical media in the future.

 

Sources: Discussing Film, ComicBook.com
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