If you haven't subscribed to one of the best streaming services yet, now might be the time: Multiple sources now claim that Best Buy will take Blu-rays and DVDs off store shelves and its online store in 2024.
The rumor was first circulated by The Digital Bits and was confirmed on Friday in a statement to Variety: “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.”
This is unfortunately the latest in a string of bad news for DVDs. Netflix shipped its last DVD to a subscriber of its physical media rental service back in September and, back in July, Disney said it would no longer ship DVDs or Blu-rays in Australia after the release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
For now, retailers like Amazon, Walmart and Target will continue to stock DVDs and Blu-rays, but recent trends don’t paint a promising picture for the future of physical media.
So just how bad is the decline?
While DVDs and Blu-ray movies have been in the spotlight these last couple of months, they're not the only physical media that's declining in sales; games and CD sales aren't looking so hot, either.
The agency that tracks sales for physical media is the Digital Entertainment Group (DEG) and, according to its last few reports, sales are dropping every year by around 20%.
To put that number in perspective, video disc sales hovered around $3.29 billion in 2019 — but that number dropped to $2.45 billion in 2020 and then down to $1.97 billion in 2021. According to the latest report, it's continued to drop closer to 30% year-over-year.
In stark contrast to the decline of physical media, digital sales and subscriptions have been climbing steadily and now account for $9.7 billion in US consumer spending.
In short, the golden age of DVDs and Blu-rays has come to an end, and now we live in the age of smart TVs and streaming devices. Thankfully, you can buy both of them for relatively cheap during Black Friday.