Digital vs. Physical Media


As a huge film enthusiast, the future of the movie industry is always an interest to me. One aspect I am concerned about is the future of film distribution when it comes to Blu-ray/DVD and digital releases. One of my hobbies is collecting Blu-ray movies and a future of downloading movies as the only option saddens me. I have gone on iTunes and bought a few movies before but something about owning an icon on my computer rather than a disc with exciting packaging or exclusives saddens me. One of my absolute favorite things about Tuesdays is deciding which retailer to purchase the film from in case if one has an exclusive version. Going to the store and picking up a physical copy is entirely more gratifying than clicking “Download.”

Finding this article gives me a sense of hope though because physical media sales in Great Britain hold an overwhelming majority over digital sales. I see the future of physical sales following the trend of books. Something about holding an actual book is a feeling no Kindle can match and the same goes for putting a disc into a Blu-ray player and having a shelf holding your collection. I predict that, for the foreseeable future, consumers will have an option whether to download or shop retail because Kindles have been around for a while now and book stores are still alive and doing well (for the most part).

Streaming is a different story though. According to the article, “Although video streaming wins in popularity, 73% of the British video market is sold on physical discs. It appears owning a video, instead of paying for a stream or rental of a disc, is still something special for most consumers, with 70% of consumers paying to keep and just 30% paying to rent movies.” I am a huge advocate for streaming services like HBO Go, Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Video because they are the catalyst in killing off traditional cable services. Today’s cable model is antiquated with more and more people cutting off cable all together and using the money to invest in faster internet services in order to stream however much they want. I have been trying to convince my own parents to cut the cord and join the rest of the country in the wonderful world of streaming but they are waiting on Google Fiber to be installed in Nashville before they make the switch.

Although I will always prefer physical over digital media, having the option to decide which format you prefer to purchase is best for the consumer even though I will never understand how having a digital collection of movies is anywhere as satisfying as having to build yet another shelf for your next stack of movies.


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