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Disney Just Delivered a Potential Death Blow to DVDs and Blu-rays: Here’s Why

Source: Youtube
Source: Youtube

Disney recently announced that, due to declining sales, it will no longer be releasing DVDs and Blu-rays in certain regions. The sad truth is that physical media has been declining for years. But while this decision shouldn’t be all that surprising, it certainly is disappointing for some. 

Disney stopped selling DVDs in many Latin American and Asian countries several years ago, but the most recent decision will affect New Zealand and Australia immediately. 

From now on, no new Disney movies, including those from Star Wars and Marvel Studios, will be released on DVD or Blu-ray, including its most recent blockbuster release, Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3. 

All previously existing Disney DVDs and Blu-rays will remain on the shelves, but no new physical media will be made or sold. And it seems that while Australia and New Zealand are the first, Disney is planning on expanding the plan to countries all around the world, including the USA. 

 

Over the past few years, consumers have been buying fewer DVDs and Blu-rays. In 2021, disc sales brought in $1.97 billion in revenue, but in 2022, the total sales equaled only $1.58 billion, almost 20% less. And while that might seem like a lot of money, it’s nothing compared to what Disney can make with their streaming service, Disney Plus. 

 

In fact, in 2022, Disney Plus pulled in an incredible $7.4 Billion, which was a 42% increase from the year before. There are currently 160 million global Disney Plus subscribers, and studies expect membership and, therefore, revenue to continue to grow every year. So financially, it just makes sense to stop making DVDs and Blu-rays and focus on streaming instead. 

It’s not just Disney that has seen a significant increase in streaming sales. According to a study by the Digital Entertainment Group, 83% of all home entertainment revenue came from streaming sites in 2022, and less than 10% was due to DVD sales. 

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Disney’s announcement to stop selling physical media really couldn’t have come at a worse time. Not only are people responding poorly to the idea that they will never be able to own a copy of their favorite new Disney film, but it’s also shining a light on an important problem within the film industry. 

Many actors, directors, screenwriters, and those with various other jobs in the industry have taken to the streets of Los Angeles on strike against SAG-AFTRA, and one of their issues is the lack of royalty payments from streaming services. So without DVD and Blu-ray sales, and disappointing royalties for movies on its streaming site, members of SAG-AFTRA are explicitly calling out Disney for its negligent decisions. 

Although the general consensus is that people around the world are displeased with Disney’s decision, it’s an unfortunate side effect of the world we live in. Just like VHS tapes, cassettes, CDs, landlines, and various other technologies that are no longer on the market, it seems that DVDs and Blu-ray discs have likely seen their last days.

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Written By Lauren Wurth

Lauren Wurth is a content team member who is passionate about sharing engaging content! She has a history of writing content for retail, lifestyle, and entertainment verticals. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her family, stopping by Dunkin Donuts for a coffee, and exploring other parts of the world.

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