Best Buy is reportedly ending its sales of physical media, including Blu-ray, DVD and 4K Ultra HD sales in 2024 in yet another sign that the streaming industry is taking over physical media.
First reported by The Digital Bits, citing multiple sources, the retailer will exit the physical media business for good as soon as the end of the first quarter of 2024. In addition to in-store sales, Best Buy will also end online sales of physical media.
This includes not just their in-store Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD sales, which the retailer has been gradually phasing out for a couple of years now in their many store locations nationwide, but online sales as well. This means no more Best Buy-exclusive Steelbook titles, and no more titles from Best Buy period.
The fact that Best Buy is discontinuing physical media sales in their retail locations should come as no surprise; anyone who’s visited a Best Buy store location on a Tuesday recently will be all too aware that the retailer’s disc sections keep getting moved around and have gotten smaller and smaller. Our own experience here at The Bits is that some store locations don’t even bother to stock new-release titles on the sales floor anymore—even their exclusive ones. More than once, in their Southern California locations, I’ve had to ask for the titles and wait while a clerk checks the storeroom.
But the idea that Best Buy would discontinue online sales too comes as a bit of a surprise… though perhaps it shouldn’t. We’ve noted in recent months that Paramount has quietly shifted their Blu-ray and 4K Steelbook exclusive titles—titles that would normally have been released at Best Buy—to Amazon instead. And it seems very likely that other studios will follow Paramount’s lead in the months ahead.Register Now!The Digital Bits
The retailer on Friday confirmed the news to Variety, citing the changing ways in which people watch movies and TV shows, hinting that the streaming industry was the main factor.
This leaves Walmart, Amazon and Target as the top retailers of DVDs and Blu-ray discs, according to Variety.
The news comes just a few weeks after Netflix shipped out its last DVDs on Sept. 29 as the streaming giant begins closing down its DVD business. Customers won’t be charged for any unreturned discs. The Netflix DVD website will be available until the end of the month so former users can download their data.
According to the Digital Entertainment Group, sales of physical media have declined more than 28% through the first half of 2023 from the prior year period, while streaming has risen more than 20% over the same period.
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