Best Buy is set to discontinue physical media sales such as DVDs and Blu-rays in its stores, reports The Verge. This move symbolizes a significant shift in consumer behavior, steering away from physical media ownership towards a landscape dominated by digital formats and streaming platforms. The transition, aligning with broader industry tendencies, is slated to commence as early as the first quarter of 2024.
Best Buy stood as a bastion for movie and music enthusiasts for years, offering an extensive array of films and music in physical formats. The stores were meticulously curated, allowing customers to explore, hold, and purchase a rich selection of Blu-rays and DVDs, an experience reminiscent of browsing through a library. This tactile interaction with media is something that the digital navigation of streaming services cannot replicate, and Best Buy’s decision signifies a significant reduction in spaces offering such an experience. Furthermore, the image quality of movies on Blu-rays is arguably better than the quality of ‘4K’ videos on streaming services. In contrast, the image quality of the film on Ultra-HD Blu-rays is unprecedented, and it will be years before streaming services come close.
But it looks like the consumer does not see the difference. The decision reflects a more extensive industry trend, marking a decisive move towards digital consumption. Notably, corporate giants like Disney have also recalibrated their strategies, prioritizing digital subscriptions and streaming services like Disney Plus and Hulu over physical media distribution. This industry-wide evolution is changing the paradigm of media ownership, emphasizing temporary access over physical possession.
The ramifications of this shift are profound, particularly concerning consumer choice and experience. The availability of physical media in retail outlets is dwindling, restricting options for consumers who prefer owning physical copies of movies and music. This move could leave enthusiasts and collectors with limited venues to explore and purchase physical media, underscoring the diminishing prevalence of such formats in the retail landscape.
The good news is that other retailers, such as Walmart and Amazon, continue to offer physical media. However, according to The Verge, Walmart's offerings and in-store experiences may not resonate with the same charm and variety historically associated with Best Buy. Yet, despite the evolving landscape marked by the diminishing allure of physical movie shopping, Amazon and Walmart will likely become primary alternatives for consumers seeking physical media.
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Anton Shilov is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Over the past couple of decades, he has covered everything from CPUs and GPUs to supercomputers and from modern process technologies and latest fab tools to high-tech industry trends.
It's a move that may backfire. With the prices of streaming services increasing sometimes year after year people may start going back to buying their favored series on physical media again. It makes sense to pull them from retail shelves, but they should keep them online.Reply
One less reason to even think about darkening their door.Reply
More reason to never visit Best Buy.Reply
The last physical media I bought there was some blu-rays, probably about 10 years ago. Back in the 90's and 2000's, they had some of the better deals on CDs. Most physical media I've bought was online, however.Reply
I'm a little surprised Best Buy wouldn't still stock physical copies of a handful of the latest games and UHD blu-rays. You'd think those would make good impulse buys, for people picking up a console with a UHD drive. Maybe last-minute gifts.
I guess we can't ignore the risk of theft, however. Perhaps that's what pushed them over the edge.
Once, I was on a trip and had issues with my laptop's wi fi. I went to a Best Buy and bought an Ethernet cable. However, it was so insanely overpriced that I couldn't bring myself to open it and so I returned it and just made do without.Kamen Rider Blade said:More reason to never visit Best Buy.
That was probably about 10 years ago, but it's basically my impression of Best Buy, these days. Unless I see something online that assures me I'm getting a good deal there, my default assumption is that I'm just going to be ripped off.
Back in the 2000's, you could sometimes find some decent deals on computer parts. I bought my ATI 9600 Pro there, on black friday, and probably a couple hard disks. That was probably about the first & last time I shopped black friday (early morning, at least). The checkout line wrapped more than half way around the inside of the store. At the front, they had a themepark-style switchback, and probably about a dozen registers open.
Movies aren't any good right now. They aren't worth watching for free, so forget about buying them.Reply
The last movie I bought on disc was probably Dune.Giroro said:Movies aren't any good right now. They aren't worth watching for free, so forget about buying them.
In my experience, a lot of movies from the 90's and before either didn't hold up very well or simply weren't as good as people remember them. Some might've won plaudits for breaking new ground, but now there have been movies which did the same things even better.
I bought a Blu-Ray a few weeks ago.bit_user said:The last physical media I bought there was some blu-rays, probably about 10 years ago.
Retail? I was talking about movies I bought at a physical Best Buy store.Kamen Rider Blade said:I bought a Blu-Ray a few weeks ago.
For a while, I bought lots of used blu-rays. There was a records & CD shop which had a good selection and I hadn't yet subscribed to a streaming service (plus, the quality wasn't comparable to blu-ray, back then). The prices were typically not much more than I remember paying to rent DVDs at Blockbuster, back in their latter days.
From onlinebit_user said:Retail? I was talking about movies I bought at a physical Best Buy store.
For a while, I bought lots of used blu-rays. There was a records & CD shop which had a good selection and I hadn't yet subscribed to a streaming service. The prices were typically not much more than I remember paying to rent DVDs at Blockbuster, back in their latter days.