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Old 12-06-2019, 01:03 PM   #1
Funky54 Funky54 is offline
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Default Statistics of physical media decline?

I keep hearing gloom and doom over physical media. I know streaming has become a big deal.. but is there still big money to be maid for the industry to keep making physical available?

How much of a decline is there really? Most of my friends no longer buy or even own physical media. I’d say their average age is 30 something.

I still buy anything “good” on 4k. But in truth there is less and less I consider good anymore.
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Old 12-06-2019, 01:16 PM   #2
Rzzzz Rzzzz is offline
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My kids are all in their early 30s and late 20s (I have 4) and they think I'm nuts for buying movies when "I could just stream them". My grandkids who are 7 and younger however ( I have 4 of them as well) LOVE going through my movies and picking out ones to watch, mainly Disney, Godzilla and 50s monster movies. So maybe there is hope.....
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Old 12-06-2019, 05:55 PM   #3
hariseldon hariseldon is online now
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https://forum.blu-ray.com/showthread.php?t=273322

Steep decline is total mostly on the DVD side. BD is down from it's peak but declining at a much smaller rate. I actually thought this year BD would surpass DVD sales, but that's not looking possible though much of that goes to the fact that tons on items are still released on DVD without a BD.UHD equivalent. Titles released on both formats almost always skew (unit and dollar) to HighDef format
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Old 12-11-2019, 03:15 PM   #4
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I don't think there is big money unless the movie is a new smash hit (avengers, star wars etc.). I think physical media is here to stay though. Profit margins and stock will shrink over time but there will always be a small devoted market for it. I almost exclusively buy collectors editions from niche labels online. I think that is where physical media will live on. I do think people are going to want to hold on to their collections. The availability of relatively common films nowadays will change (most will be locked behind a subscription pay wall).
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Old 12-12-2019, 05:00 PM   #5
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Article: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/08/the-...-13-years.html

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Old 12-12-2019, 05:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dustin44 View Post
that says a lot............
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Old 12-12-2019, 07:58 PM   #7
Dynamo of Eternia Dynamo of Eternia is offline
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Quote:
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that says a lot............
It does say a lot, but I think we need to really look deeper into the meaning behind the chart. This actually more or less proves a few points that I've made regarding physical media over the last few years.

This link is to an article from January 2002, which states that in the prior year (2001), DVD sales beat out VHS sales for the first time ever.

https://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/...7/daily34.html

What is significant about that in regards to this chart is that, while this was, of course, during the time when DVD was on a big up-swing, it was still a good ways off from hitting it's all time peek a few years later.

Then if you look at the decline of DVD, it already started taking a pretty sharp dive before digital sales and especially subscription streaming started to really present any significant degree of competition.


What happened there was a combination of the "great recession" starting up and the natural decline of a consumer product that took off like wild-fire and could not possibly sustain those highs forever, regardless of what competition, if any, was in the marketplace.

DVD made purchasers/collectors out of people who would often rent in the VHS days and maybe just own a handful of movies (not everyone, but a significant portion). The picture quality was much better than that of VHS, and that was even obvious without upgrading any equipment like the TVs people had. Many had bonus features, and rightly or wrongly, it was being toted as a format that would last over time (in terms of not deteriorating like VHS tapes are known to do from just sitting there).


In addition to the recession hitting at that time, by 2008/2009, most major older catalog titles (i.e. the Star Wars OT as one example) had been released on the DVD format. People had collected most of their favorites, as well as many TV season sets, etc.

The thing about the average consumer is that they aren't likely to go out and buy something that they "already have." So when a new DVD release of a movie that they already had (now with new bonus features and maybe a new transfer) came out, they didn't exactly rush in large numbers to buy it again. As far as they are concerned, they can just grab the movie that they have from their shelf at no (new/current) cost, and watch it as they wish. The same holds true in terms of the "average joe" and the Blu-Ray format - many just didn't see a reason to buy titles that they already had.

Even if digital distribution, streaming, etc. had never come along, for the most part something along the lines of this tendency still would have happened. I'm sure having services like Netflix, Hulu, and now the likes of Disney+ have reduced the amount that many would have otherwise spent on physical media since they have so much content at their fingertips. But the extent to which that is a factor I think is often exaggerated by some.

DVD, at it's height (and even to a much lesser extent even now) had a lot of what I would call "throw-away" releases. Meaning releasing sold for relatively cheap prices of random episodes of random kids shows that parents could buy to keep their kids busy, etc. In other words, for the most part not the kind of things that would appeal to a collector, even one interested in a particular kids show, because they are going to likely want the whole series or as much of it as they can get. So if available, they are going to go for full season releases and not buy the cheap random episode releases and the like. This isn't exclusive to kids cartoons either... this is just one example of the sort of content released.

Releases along those lines are far fewer these days. They still happen at times, but the point is that with things like streaming and so forth, people don't need to buy discs just to have something to "keep the kids busy" or to "have something to throw on in the background."


Also, while the DVD sales have seen a very sharp decline in the past decade or so, if you look at the line representing Blu-Ray, things aren't nearly as bad.

Sure, Blu-Ray never came anywhere near the all time top sales of DVD, and has declined some in the past few years, but the line on the chart shows that sales have been relatively steady and consistent for several years now. There isn't some extreme, steep drop off in sales. For the most part it has been an enthusiast-focused format since it started and has more or less reamined there. Sure, there are cheap releases, and you have the bins at Walmart of cheap releases. And when it comes to big blockbuster titles (i.e. Marvel and the like), even a decent amount of average people who still want to buy them on physical media will opt for the Blu-Ray. But beyond those big blockbuster releases, the sales of it (as well as the 4K BD format now) is largely being maintained by enthusiasts who care about quality and watch to own the movies in a physical form in the best quality possible.

Even with the huge spike in subscription streaming in the last couple/few years, it's not like the decline in Blu-Ray sales have steeply gone in an equal, opposite direction.

I'm not super worried about physical media going away any time soon.
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Old 12-13-2019, 03:38 AM   #8
tangerinewolf tangerinewolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dynamo of Eternia View Post
I'm not super worried about physical media going away any time soon.
I think that the previous post by Dynamo of Eternia is a lot more informative than the article in the link that Dustin44 provided which, overall paints a pretty dismal picture of the future of physical media, though it talks mainly about the decline of DVD, which is to be expected. The fact that blu-ray has never come close to the popularity that the DVD once enjoyed doesn't worry me. And the above post re-enforces my beliefs. I do wonder, however, what the future holds for 4K UHD, as I've been considering adding a 4K player to my system.

Last edited by tangerinewolf; 12-13-2019 at 04:02 AM.
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Old 12-13-2019, 04:36 AM   #9
PenguinInfinity PenguinInfinity is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhysicalMediaNut View Post
I don't think there is big money unless the movie is a new smash hit (avengers, star wars etc.).
That's true of every format (streaming, downloads, DVD, Blu-ray, broadcast TV, and cable TV).
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Old 12-24-2019, 05:30 PM   #10
PhysicalMediaNut PhysicalMediaNut is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tangerinewolf View Post
I think that the previous post by Dynamo of Eternia is a lot more informative than the article in the link that Dustin44 provided which, overall paints a pretty dismal picture of the future of physical media, though it talks mainly about the decline of DVD, which is to be expected. The fact that blu-ray has never come close to the popularity that the DVD once enjoyed doesn't worry me. And the above post re-enforces my beliefs. I do wonder, however, what the future holds for 4K UHD, as I've been considering adding a 4K player to my system.
I agree with you. There are a lot of articles written by people who are perpetuating the idea that physical media is "dead" or "dying." I understand why that is with how big streaming is and how the retail media landscape has changed. I don't agree with people though when they say it is dead or will be dead in 2 years. Just because major retailers dump a video format, or there is some shiny new streaming service, doesn't mean people are going to stop buying physical media. It just means people will not be giving major retailers their money for physical media. I actually think that is a good thing because it might give smaller businesses a chance to make some money, or put the money directly into the pockets of the video distributors we love.
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Old 01-24-2020, 01:32 PM   #11
mrveggieman mrveggieman is offline
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The supposed "death" of physical media is a good thing for me. People are always dumping their collections at pawn shops, thrift stores or those free book kiosks and I am always getting new toys for my collection for pennies on the dollar.
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