Best Buy is saying goodbye to physical media. The retailer plans to phase out Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD sales in stores and online in early 2024. The Digital Bits broke the news, which Best Buy has since confirmed. The company said, “To state the obvious, the way we watch movies and TV shows is much different today than it was decades ago. Making this change gives us more space and opportunity to bring customers new and innovative tech for them to explore, discover and enjoy.”
Best Buy’s supply of physical media has been dwindling in stores of late anyway. However, the retailer did offer exclusive SteelBook titles. The premium metal case releases come with custom artwork. And also, the SteelBooks look cool on a shelf.
The end of DVDs and Blu-rays at Best Buy hasn’t arrived just yet, though. Best Buy will continue to sell physical media for the holidays, online and in brick-and-mortar stores. They will also keep selling video games. But as one of the last big retailers consistently offering DVDs and Blu-rays for all your favorite movies, this doesn’t seem like a good sign. Who knows how long Target, Amazon, and Walmart will keep stocking discs?
With the ephemeral nature of digital media, it’s reassuring to get your hands on tangible copies of the stories you love. It’s why people were excited to see the release of The Mandalorian, WandaVision, and Loki on Blu-ray. Shows and movies disappear from streaming services at an increasing rate. Even digital media you purchase can vanish into the ether. The lesson is, if you want to own a film or TV series, buy a physical copy when you can. Maybe from Best Buy before their physical media is gone.