Streaming services have increasingly cut into DVD and Blu-ray purchases over the past decade, and other physical media is having its moment in the spotlight. Now, your options for buying physical movies are slimming, as Best Buy is set to end selling discs.
Best Buy, a prominent consumer-electronics retailer, is set to exit the DVD business in early 2024, ceasing sales of DVDs and Blu-ray discs both in-store and online. The decision, which was apparently made about nine months ago but has just surfaced now, reflecitng the changing landscape of how we most people watch movies and TV. Best Buy acknowledged the evolving viewing habits, stating that people now engage with movies and TV shows differently. In other words, people are getting their movies and shows from the internet, not buying discs, so it’s not really worth it to keep physical media in stock if no one is buying it.
The retailer will continue selling movies and TV shows on physical discs throughout the 2023 holiday season, ultimately discontinuing sales in the new year. This decision doesn’t affect video games, which will continue to be available in physical discs — although the video game industry is also making the move to digital, so who knows if games will be next.
In a statement, a Best Buy representative said that “to state the obvious, the way we watch movies and TV shows is much different today than it was decades ago,” going on to add that “making this change gives us more space and opportunity to bring customers new and innovative tech for them to explore, discover and enjoy.” Walmart, Amazon, and Target continue to stock physical movies, and likewise, Redbox kiosks are still available for rentals if you’d rather go that route instead. However, this move by Best Buy might signal a trend across US retail stores over the coming months or years.
Funny enough, Best Buy is still selling vinyl records, and 2022 was the 17th straight year of increasing demand for vinyl records. It’s a bit weird to live in a world where 4K Blu-ray movies and TV collections are vanishing from store shelves while a (roughly) 50 year old audio format is still going relatively strong.