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Josh Steinberg

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I can think of Vanilla Sky offhand, but I don’t think there are lots of other examples.
 

Blu Eye

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The numbers back you up. Ten years ago, sales of physical media totaled about $20 billion domestically. In 2019, sales of physical media came to a total of $3 billion. Digital sales had a total of $3 billion. Streaming subscriptions (services like Netflix) had a total of nearly $16 billion.

So not only has consumer spending on physical shrunken by a gigantic degree, but for the most part, that money isn’t being moved to digital sales, it’s being moved to digital subscriptions. Long term, Paramount having good digital assets will allow them to make their money back by licensing that content to different services or one day starting their own. Short term, the digital sales are an easy way to get them out to customers without being responsible for the overhead for physical items. They might be leaving some physical sales on the table but their bean counters must be making a determination that it’s not worth the risk.

Do you know what the physical media sales for Europe & Asia are?

I would like to know if they are more lucrative and whether the trends are the same as U.S.A.
 

Josh Steinberg

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I don’t offhand. My experience was working in the US market so I just don’t have the baseline knowledge to put European or Asian numbers in context. From what I’ve read, a combination of variances in internet service quality and a patchwork of rights issues has made the rollout of streaming a little clunkier in Europe than in the US. International subsidiaries also can have different sales goals than the parent companies back in the US, meaning that something that could be considered a failure here could be seen as a success there. I think the physical media decline internationally is playing out a little slower than it is in the US, but still heading towards the same direction.
 

Worth

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In its annual Theatrical Home Entertainment Market Environment report, the Motion Picture Association of America described an immensely sharp drop-off of physical media sales over the past five years. According to the data, global sales of video disc formats (DVD, Blu-ray, and UltraHD Blu-ray) were 25.2 billion (USD) in 2014 but only 13.1 billion in 2018.

https://www.spiria.com/en/blog/tech-news-brief/dvd-and-blu-ray-sales/
 

Blu Eye

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Seems it is in decline globally, then.

I am intrigued to find out where the physical market will bottom out in the U.S.A.

If it is at $3 billion now then it looks likely it will go below $1 billion and probaly sooner rather than later.

Don't know what number it will have to drop to before a lot of disc sellers start to really struggle especially the smaller firms.
 

TJPC

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The fear in Canada is that US culture will overwhelm Canadian culture. Therefore Canadian authors, music, movies etc. are protected.
For instance, for every US song played on the radio, there is a percentage of Canadian artists that must be played. Because of this, the roll out of streaming services have been stunted by US standards. We have no access to many US services mentioned here, and have other more regulated services like “Crave TV”. Out Netflicks and TCM have less offerings because of different copyright laws.
I don’t know what effect this has on Disc sales. I do know that places like Costco and Best Buy have pathetic inventory compared to a few years ago and I order almost everything from Amazon.
 

Blu Eye

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The fear in Canada is that US culture will overwhelm Canadian culture. Therefore Canadian authors, music, movies etc. are protected.
For instance, for every US song played on the radio, there is a percentage of Canadian artists that must be played. Because of this, the roll out of streaming services have been stunted by US standards. We have no access to many US services mentioned here, and have other more regulated services like “Crave TV”. Out Netflicks and TCM have less offerings because of different copyright laws.
I don’t know what effect this has on Disc sales. I do know that places like Costco and Best Buy have pathetic inventory compared to a few years ago and I order almost everything from Amazon.

I buy 100% of my discs online. The shops here in the UK only stock commercial stuff generally and there are not many retailers to choose from.
I think the UK having less than 25% of the US population is why this is so.

Also, I would suspect more people love films in the US than in the UK so those two things probably help with Americans having more choice.
 

AnthonyClarke

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I also buy all my discs online as there are no retailers at all within 50 miles.
My only packaging objection is that the wonderful Snapper cases are no longer available. When a Blu ray is issued for a title I have on DVD in a Snapper case, I throw away the new case and re-use the Snapper.
My commitment to physical media extends to audio too. I'm slowly updating my CD collection to HD audio (24-96) which I store on blank DVD-Audio discs using a great computer audio DVD program. I purchase many titles from the French HD outlet Qobuz, using a VPN to pretend I don't live in Australia, and I have a work-around which lets me purchase from a US site as well.. though I haven't found a work-around to buy from HD Tracks. Australians aren't allowed to purchase audio in HD from Europe or the US ... copyright laws make for a crazy world and the laws only encourage piracy.
 

Josh Steinberg

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Seems it is in decline globally, then.

I am intrigued to find out where the physical market will bottom out in the U.S.A.

If it is at $3 billion now then it looks likely it will go below $1 billion and probaly sooner rather than later.

Don't know what number it will have to drop to before a lot of disc sellers start to really struggle especially the smaller firms.

In the US that’s already happened. The big chain stores have significantly reduced their physical media displays; what once used to occupy half of a store has been reduced to a single aisle or less. Stores devoted to selling just physical media have either folded entirely or transformed into stores which sell a variety of pop culture knick knacks in addition to a small selection of discs. Stocking the right quantity and selection is absurdly difficult because stores have to compete with online shopping where you can get anything in a day, and streaming where you can get it this second, but stores have fixed amounts of floor space and fixed costs that make discs more expensive to buy in person, which then hurts sales further, and the downward spiral continues.
 

TJPC

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On Family Guy they go mattress shopping and pick out one. Immediately Lois takes out her phone. The clerk says “your ordering from amazon aren’t you?” She says yes. We see a drone fly by with a mattress attached to it. Hurry she says “we have to get home before it does”. They rush out the door.
 

Jesse Skeen

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It's a joy for me to go record and movie shopping, but now despite being the birthplace of Tower Records Sacramento now has NO regular media stores, other than a few small shops mainly focused on used LPs. Even Fresno has a better store now than we do- I recently drove 3 hours to shop there as well as deliver some stuff I'd sold to someone there.

Online prices aren't as ridiculously low as they once were, and I hate paying for shipping and waiting even one day for my stuff to get here- and then sometimes it arrives with minor cover damage and one time I even got the wrong thing then had to wait even longer for what I had ordered. If it's a big box I also have to wait til the weekend to pick it up at the post office, since I can't risk having it left by my door and getting stolen. Still it's just about my only choice now for anything other than huge mainstream new releases. True that I can usually find what I want somewhere rather than be at the mercy of what the store has in stock, but the fun of looking through stuff just isn't there online.
 

Blu Eye

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In the US that’s already happened. The big chain stores have significantly reduced their physical media displays; what once used to occupy half of a store has been reduced to a single aisle or less. Stores devoted to selling just physical media have either folded entirely or transformed into stores which sell a variety of pop culture knick knacks in addition to a small selection of discs. Stocking the right quantity and selection is absurdly difficult because stores have to compete with online shopping where you can get anything in a day, and streaming where you can get it this second, but stores have fixed amounts of floor space and fixed costs that make discs more expensive to buy in person, which then hurts sales further, and the downward spiral continues.

Yes.

Probably won't be long until the stores stop stocking them completely and discs eventually will only be available to purchase online.
 

Blu Eye

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It's a joy for me to go record and movie shopping, but now despite being the birthplace of Tower Records Sacramento now has NO regular media stores, other than a few small shops mainly focused on used LPs. Even Fresno has a better store now than we do- I recently drove 3 hours to shop there as well as deliver some stuff I'd sold to someone there.

Online prices aren't as ridiculously low as they once were, and I hate paying for shipping and waiting even one day for my stuff to get here- and then sometimes it arrives with minor cover damage and one time I even got the wrong thing then had to wait even longer for what I had ordered. If it's a big box I also have to wait til the weekend to pick it up at the post office, since I can't risk having it left by my door and getting stolen. Still it's just about my only choice now for anything other than huge mainstream new releases. True that I can usually find what I want somewhere rather than be at the mercy of what the store has in stock, but the fun of looking through stuff just isn't there online.

Depends what you are getting. I find online is significantly cheaper (like everything else?) than in a store on all titles.

The only discs I find that still command top prices online are generally Criterion. They are pretty much the same online than in the store.

Don't think there are any other movies where this applies.

I do live in the UK though so might be different if you live in the U.S.A.
 

Sam Favate

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Anecdotal observation: My local grocery store always carried DVDs and blu-rays; they were in bins near the gift card section. Newer releases had their own cardboard stands, with a big image on top for the movie, whether it was Endgame, Lion King, etc. I always saw the grocery store as the last refuge for these things, where people buy them on impulse or for a gift for their kids or when they need a birthday present for a relative.

Then, after Jan. 1, all the DVDs and blu-rays were gone. Nothing, not even left overs. I figured it was over.

But, last week, a new cardboard display popped up, with discs of The Joker in it, and a large image advertising Joker. So, it seems, at least, that new blockbuster releases are here for a while.
 

jcroy

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Anecdotal observation: My local grocery store always carried DVDs and blu-rays; they were in bins near the gift card section. Newer releases had their own cardboard stands, with a big image on top for the movie, whether it was Endgame, Lion King, etc. I always saw the grocery store as the last refuge for these things, where people buy them on impulse or for a gift for their kids or when they need a birthday present for a relative.

Then, after Jan. 1, all the DVDs and blu-rays were gone. Nothing, not even left overs. I figured it was over.

But, last week, a new cardboard display popped up, with discs of The Joker in it, and a large image advertising Joker. So, it seems, at least, that new blockbuster releases are here for a while.

The grocery stores nearby also did something like this too. Though this was several years ago.

For the past few years, all the dvds/blurays disappeared altogether.
 

KeithDA

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I do live in the UK though so might be different if you live in the U.S.A.
The grocery stores nearby also did something like this too. Though this was several years ago.

Well I would say that Sainsbury's is hanging in there. They carry about the top 20 in Blu Ray sales and include popular UHD versions too. They are at least the same price if not cheaper than HMV (also hanging in there in my local town) e.g. £25 for a new UHD as opposed to £26.99... Amazon etc. can be cheaper, but not always close to and immediately after release dates.
 

jcroy

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Nowadays I don't go out as much as I use to when I was younger, especially shopping for non-essentials. As I got older, I found that I was frequently walking out empty handed whenever I went shopping for stuff like cds/dvds/blurays at local retailers.

I don't have the interest anymore driving into town, paying for tolls and/or parking, etc ... just to look for cds/dvds/blurays.

I don't have the energy and time to do this 'driving around the town' thing anymore.


In contrast when I was younger, I use to drive to the next town over to check out indie record stores for rare cd (or vinyl) releases. This was years before amazon and other online cd retailers were around.
 

jcroy

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Nowadays I only bother checking for cds/dvds/blurays offline, if I happen to be shopping at Walmart or Costco.


In the end, it was less expensive (in total) and less stressful to just shop online at places like amazon for cds/dvds/blurays. My personal time is more important to me, than driving around town to find a cd/dvd/bluray for $10 or less. Otherwise it is just a waste of cash on gasoline, tolls, parking, etc .... and dealing with bad traffic.
 

jcroy

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The way I think about it now, is chasing after stuff just to save $2 is very much like repeatedly pushing buttons on a slot machine. Basically like a "BF Skinner box". I call it the neverending "deal chase" treadmill.

As long as I was holding out on getting that cd/dvd/bluray title for a good price (ie. less than $10), I will be completely obsessing over it. Similar to me repeatly hitting buttons on a slot machine, like being on a treadmill.

I have found that once I buy that cd/dvd/bluray title, regardless of whether the price was good or not, that particular addictive "slot machine" treadmill ceases completely. Then I'm on to the next cd/dvd/bluray title chase in a new treadmill.
 

The Drifter

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In the US that’s already happened. The big chain stores have significantly reduced their physical media displays; what once used to occupy half of a store has been reduced to a single aisle or less. Stores devoted to selling just physical media have either folded entirely or transformed into stores which sell a variety of pop culture knick knacks in addition to a small selection of discs. Stocking the right quantity and selection is absurdly difficult because stores have to compete with online shopping where you can get anything in a day, and streaming where you can get it this second, but stores have fixed amounts of floor space and fixed costs that make discs more expensive to buy in person, which then hurts sales further, and the downward spiral continues.

Yes. I remember the plethora of disks in brick & mortar stores in the 200X's. Best Buy, Wal-mart, Target, Fry's Electronics, etc. all had a great selection of DVD's & to a lesser extent Blu's. I started noticing the drop-off in the early part of the last decade (20XX's). Stores were still carrying physical media, but to a much lesser extent. Now, the physical media section in stores (if there is one) is a shadow of it's former self, and the prices are a rip-off.

I agree that online is the only place you will be able to find many of these movies/TV shows anymore - especially older/boutique/obscure releases.
 
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