I went to my local Best Buy this morning, one because it has been a while, and two because I wanted to add a Steelbook to my collection. Yeah, I could have ordered online, but things sell out so fast that they don't stick around for very long on the various sites. When I got there, I noticed something quite sad. Not only had the section for Blu-ray and DVD shrunk to only four displays, but almost all of them were also completely empty. The large section for films and tv shows that had been a staple of my physical media collection? Gone. The front display with new releases? All catalog titles and unsold copies of Tenet.
Okay, Maybe Blu-ray and DVD Are Not Dead…But They Are Niche Now
Now, I love Blu-ray and DVD as much as the next physical media junkie, but even I can admit that things are bleak. Sure, we will always have our specialty labels like Scream Factory, Shout Factory, Vinegar Syndrome, Arrow, and Criterion Collection. But as far as your run of the mill new releases and such, things are terrible. The pandemic rushed many things, and the death of physical media is one of them. With no new releases hitting theaters, they also are not hitting Blu-ray. All of the big 2020 disc releases were reissues, mostly films hitting 4K for the first time. As streaming becomes the preference for most, movie collectors will become the new vinyl collectors. I can't wait for Mondo to start offering special cover releases for Blu-rays.
Those of us who still love the look of a full shelf of films will never give up, but walking into Best Buy and seeing that today was eye-opening and sad. What do you think? Have Blu-ray and DVD become a niche thing?