Best Buy Is Out of the DVD and Blu-ray Business, and So Is Disney

Last year, Netflix finally stopped shipping those iconic red envelopes out; earlier this year, Best Buy disassembled its DVD and Blu-ray racks. And now Disney is taking a similar hike to a land far, far away from physical media.

Disney is in the process of transitioning its physical home entertainment business to a licensing model, an individual with knowledge of the decision told IndieWire. The studio will start with a licensing agreement with Sony, which will see Sony handle marketing, selling, and distributing physical media (4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD, etc.) of any new Disney releases and older catalog titles to consumers via retailers and distributors in the U.S. and Canada.

Don’t panic and think this means no more Disney movies on DVD — it’s simply a different company doing the grunt work and getting a cut. Disney will also still be handling home entertainment for digital media, such as anything released through VOD.

According to Disney, this move enables the studio to more efficiently offer its films and TV shows via DVD through physical retailers. It is currently unclear if there are layoffs to come in Disney’s home entertainment business. An individual with knowledge of the decision says Disney is conducting an internal assessment across all business functions supporting physical home entertainment. So, probably.

The news also follows an announcement from earlier on Tuesday that Disney Movie Club would be shutting down. The subscription service has been active for 23 years and offered users the chance to rent physical DVD copies of new, exclusive titles and other catalog releases at heavily discounted rates. The service also gave subscribers access to collectibles and other gifts. The last day to order through Disney Movie Club will be May 20, 2024 and existing users will have until September 20, 2024 as the last day to return titles they’ve rented via the service.

Before you write off DVDs as antiquated, let Professor Matt Damon explain how important the were to filmmaking. The actor said on “Hot Ones” that if it looks like people aren’t making movies the same way they used to, it’s because they’re not; more specifically, it’s because of the death of the DVD. In their heyday, DVD sales drove so much business that a movie didn’t need to rely solely on box office to make its money back. But under a streaming model, theatrical box office is even more important, and only certain movies can justify the marketing costs and exhibitor fees in order to turn a profit.

Damon made this astute observation while eating some serious mango habanero drumsticks. Watch here:

 

 

Best Buy may not be selling DVDs anymore, but you can still buy movies on a disc at Target or WalMart, as well as through Amazon or Redbox. We hear the Criterion release of “WALL-E” is pretty great.

SOURCE: IndieWire

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Founder and owner of Performer.com/Performer Media LLC, a multimedia content creator for a variety of national plus local print & electronic media affiliates.