Best Buy could be saying goodbye to physical media — DVDs, Blu-Ray and 4K Ultra HD discs — for good, and fans are a little upset about it.
Farewell To Physical Media
It’s hard to imagine walking into a Best Buy with no library of movies and music that once dominated the center of most stores.
The consumer electronics retailer announced they will exit out of the physical media business as soon as the end of the first quarter of 2024, according to The Digital Bits.
According to Best Buy, “To state the obvious, the way we watch movies and TV shows is much different today than it was decades ago,” a spokesperson for the company said in a statement. “Making this change gives us more space and opportunity to bring customers new and innovative tech for them to explore, discover and enjoy.”
No more physical media means Best Buy will stop carrying DVDs and Blu-rays, ending maybe the last enjoyable place you could go to browse around.
According to the sources, Best Buy won’t even sell physical movies online, including 4K titles and special-edition steelbooks that collectors look forward to.
Best Buy’s media department used to have the largest footprint in every store, but the economics have changed.
Now, you see larger computer and smartphone departments, which are now the primary ways people consume media. There are still physical video games, but that might not even last as companies like Sony and Microsoft evolve systems to focus on digital distribution.
Best Buy stopped selling music CDs in 2018.
The move is another hint at the possible end of physical media as consumers gravitate towards streaming services and their extensive libraries, or digital downloads.
This comes as one of the largest distributors of DVDs and Blu-Rays, Ingram Entertainment, said it was exiting the business just as Walmart is looking to take over management of Studio Distribution Services (SDS), which handles the distribution of physical media.
According to Media Play News, Walmart is the largest retail seller of DVDs and Blu-ray Discs, “with an estimated market share in excess of 45%.”
Per the outlet, even Walmart has cut “floor space allocated to discs by about 20%,” but in August the company was reportedly in talks with Studio Distribution Services (SDS) to help “manage parts of its physical media business.” (SDS is a joint venture of NBCUniversal and Warner Bros. Discovery that provides “end to end packaged media distribution services including Sales, Trade and Retail Marketing, Finance and Supply Chain services,” per its website.)
Disney ceased selling physical media in Australia.
In other words, DVDs aren’t dead just yet, but the Best Buy news is another sign of the format facing extinction.
Film and television fans may want to grab copies of their faves while they can, because as we’ve seen over the last few years, a lot of media is disappearing from the streaming landscape without a trace.
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