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Variety article on demise of DVD: estimates sales will fall below $1B in 2024 (1 Viewer)

SultanOfWhat

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The DVD Biz Has Circled the Drain for Years. In 2024, It Goes Down the Tubes

[Excerpts]


DEG did not publish the exact split of Physical Product between sales and rentals, but rough estimates can be calculated based on the existing information. DVD rentals in 2022 were $502.35 million, so assuming the “more than 50%” decline in rentals from 2022 means roughly 55% of that number, that puts physical rentals revenue for 2023 around $225 million.


If you subtract that number from Physical Product (roughly $1.6 billion), that leaves 2023 physical DVD sales at around $1.36 billion — a 16% decline from 2022.

VIP+ projects 2024 will be the first year the DVD will be a sub-billion-dollar business. Truth be told, it could have very well crossed that benchmark this year had it not been for the successful Blu-ray release of “Oppenheimer” in the fourth quarter.

It’s easy to picture home video enthusiasts meticulously sorting through shelves of Criterion and Kino Lorber releases. But per DEG’s findings, the health of home entertainment is inextricably linked to the same films that lead the box-office charts.

This has bleak implications for the home market in 2024. Last year’s strikes pushed most of Disney’s intended slate and others to 2025, while hands-down home hits such as another “Spider-Verse” sequel and a new Jordan Peele film remain undated. March’s “Dune 2” and “Deadpool & Wolverine” in July are sure bets, but otherwise dependable franchises, including “John Wick” and “Mad Max,” will see spinoff films bow this year in “Ballerina” and “Furiosa,” respectively, making them tougher guesses among decades-late sequels to “Gladiator” and “Twister.”

For its part, DEG acknowledges the cloud the 2024 box office will cast over the DVD marketplace in this year’s report, stating, “Announced delays in 2024 theatrical releases due to the Hollywood strikes may have an adverse impact in the next few quarters.”

All in all, it’s going to make for a humbling final-stage collapse for a product that was once the toast of Hollywood. Introduced in 1996 as a digital, higher-quality replacement to the analog VHS tape, the DVD experienced an exponential rise in its heyday similar to what streaming is enjoying today.
 

Robin9

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I'm going to bury my head in the sand and ignore these predictions of doom. Instead I'll continue to buy new releases of films which I want in my collection; films like The Hell With Heroes and Meet John Doe. When the music does finally stop, I'll have a collection which I can watch whenever I want, which is pretty much what I do now. Most evenings, I watch a film on a disc I've had for years. Last night, for example, The Tall Target.
 

OliverK

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I'm going to bury my head in the sand and ignore these predictions of doom. Instead I'll continue to buy new releases of films which I want in my collection; films like The Hell With Heroes and Meet John Doe. When the music does finally stop, I'll have a collection which I can watch whenever I want, which is pretty much what I do now. Most evenings, I watch a film on a disc I've had for years. Last night, for example, The Tall Target.

This.

To use a famous quote the reports of the death of physical media have been greatly exaggerated for about a decade now and I expect to continue to buy discs for quite some time before they stop making them.

The last movie I watched was the Blu-ray of Angel Face from Warner Archive - glorious!
 

English Invader

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The decline of DVD actually strikes a chord with my recent experience. I recently got my first 4K TV and I feel that BR is the minimum standard I want for films to look and sound at their best. DVD definitely feels like it has become a lower tier with my new TV while with my old TV DVD was still very much a player. I could watch either a DVD or BR and, in many cases, not notice much of a difference either way but now that difference is very real. 4K UHD is king with BR following slightly behind it while DVD is something I'm only going to use when an HD quality alternative isn't available.

The other thing holding DVD back is that it doesn't have the nostalgia value of VHS. With VHS you have the old trailer reels and commercials that really make you feel like you're watching the film like it was in 1984 or whatever; you've also got the experience of using the VCR and the analogue picture but with DVD there is none of that.
 

OliverK

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The decline of DVD actually strikes a chord with my recent experience. I recently got my first 4K TV and I feel that BR is the minimum standard I want for films to look and sound at their best. DVD definitely feels like it has become a lower tier with my new TV while with my old TV DVD was still very much a player. I could watch either a DVD or BR and, in many cases, not notice much of a difference either way but now that difference is very real. 4K UHD is king with BR following slightly behind it while DVD is something I'm only going to use when an HD quality alternative isn't available.

The other thing holding DVD back is that it doesn't have the nostalgia value of VHS. With VHS you have the old trailer reels and commercials that really make you feel like you're watching the film like it was in 1984 or whatever; you've also got the experience of using the VCR and the analogue picture but with DVD there is none of that.

I think the cited piece from Variety was about all physical media sales on DVD, Blu-ray and UHD Blu-ray combined which for the well-informed "experts" at Variety can just be called "DVD".
This is my impression anyway but I cannot be bothered to re-read this little "the end is near run for the hills" piece of fluff again...
 

Desslar

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The other thing holding DVD back is that it doesn't have the nostalgia value of VHS. With VHS you have the old trailer reels and commercials that really make you feel like you're watching the film like it was in 1984 or whatever; you've also got the experience of using the VCR and the analogue picture but with DVD there is none of that.

Not sure if the practice has stopped, but I have seen many DVDs that have trailers for upcoming releases. Disney titles for sure.

Plus, the nostalgia value probably varies by generation. You can use your DVD player and early LCD flatscreen and feel like you're watching in 2004.
 

Douglas R

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I think the cited piece from Variety was about all physical media sales on DVD, Blu-ray and UHD Blu-ray combined which for the well-informed "experts" at Variety can just be called "DVD".
This is my impression anyway but I cannot be bothered to re-read this little "the end is near run for the hills" piece of fluff again...
That’s how I read it as well.
 

dpippel

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VIP+ projects 2024 will be the first year the DVD will be a sub-billion-dollar business.
That's literally impossible. I easily spent over a billion dollars on physical media last year, and I have no plans to slow down this year. You're WRONG VIP+!!!
 

Randy Korstick

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This.

To use a famous quote the reports of the death of physical media have been greatly exaggerated for about a decade now and I expect to continue to buy discs for quite some time before they stop making them.

The last movie I watched was the Blu-ray of Angel Face from Warner Archive - glorious!
Even if they stop making them in 5 years we still have another 3-4 years of selling off stock and closeout sales before everything is gone. So its safe to say we will be buying discs for another decade.
 

Capt D McMars

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I keep hearing this, but the ever increasing availability of fresh titles by a diverse selection of botique lables is in direct denile of that "end of the world as you know it" predictions. There may be a time when this happens, but from where I'm sitting...that sure isn't now!!!
I'm loving the diverse titles that are emerging and will continue to support phyisical media for as long as that flag waves!!!
 

Winston T. Boogie

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OK, I was surprised to read it but I just read an article recently that stated Blu-ray sales are up and are expected to rise in 2024. The article said the format was having a comeback, particularly with all the boutique labels releasing titles and scares about versions of films on streaming services getting edited (The French Connection) or disappearing completely from streaming.

I can't recall where the article was from but I recognized the media site that was putting it out there. I'll try to find it.
 

dpippel

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May I have a grant, please? ;)
1ff34487-a548-4dcc-8c15-0280d483b31d_text.gif
 

Sam Favate

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I've been buying these shiny discs since 1997 (well, since 1985 if you count CDs), and other than the glory years of DVD in 2002-2004, I bought more last year (2023) than any other. There were just so many great titles that kept coming. Yes, many were Kino, Criterion, etc., but a good number were from the studios too.
 

PatrickDA

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I'm going to bury my head in the sand and ignore these predictions of doom. Instead I'll continue to buy new releases of films which I want in my collection; films like The Hell With Heroes and Meet John Doe. When the music does finally stop, I'll have a collection which I can watch whenever I want, which is pretty much what I do now. Most evenings, I watch a film on a disc I've had for years. Last night, for example, The Tall Target.

oh yes...The Tall Target. The description of the assassination set-up is eerily similar to JFK's. Another great train film right up there with Narrow Margin and Silver Streak.
 

Mark Booth

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I will preface my comments by stating... 5 years ago, I didn't believe there was any chance that I'd type what I'm about to type...

Just as playing music from little round shiny discs is basically dead, so too is playing films encoded on little round shiny discs. Well, not quite as dead, but certainly with both feet in the coffin.

I don't blame anyone if they disagree with my comment. But you can't escape reality. The demand for shiny discs will continue to decline until we reach the point that studios will stop providing the films on shiny discs.

Me, I'm perfectly happy to watch the film via iTunes streaming. On my system and to my eyes, Apple's streams are indistinguishable from the shiny disc version. Yes, sometimes the audio is of lower quality compared to the disc version. But, frankly, it's simply not as noticeable as any decline in video quality. And I don't see ANY decline in Apple's streams vs. the disc. Not when we are talking the same basic transfer.

Those depending on services like Hulu or Netflix, etc. might have a different experience. But Apple's streams are solid and gorgeous.

Mark
 

cineMANIAC

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Are they still using the Brick & Mortar excuse to try to further bury physical discs? Because that would be silly. Most people buy physical media online now so they can count the B&M metrics out.
 

Mikael Soderholm

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I will preface my comments by stating... 5 years ago, I didn't believe there was any chance that I'd type what I'm about to type...

Just as playing music from little round shiny discs is basically dead, so too is playing films encoded on little round shiny discs. Well, not quite as dead, but certainly with both feet in the coffin.

I don't blame anyone if they disagree with my comment. But you can't escape reality. The demand for shiny discs will continue to decline until we reach the point that studios will stop providing the films on shiny discs.

Me, I'm perfectly happy to watch the film via iTunes streaming. On my system and to my eyes, Apple's streams are indistinguishable from the shiny disc version. Yes, sometimes the audio is of lower quality compared to the disc version. But, frankly, it's simply not as noticeable as any decline in video quality. And I don't see ANY decline in Apple's streams vs. the disc. Not when we are talking the same basic transfer.

Those depending on services like Hulu or Netflix, etc. might have a different experience. But Apple's streams are solid and gorgeous.

Ma
But just like Spotify, for me the main problem is not quality, although it exists, it's availability.
And so I want to hold the music or the movie in my hand, so it doesn't suddenly just disappears when I want to listen to it/see it again.
I have bought quite a number of films I saw on Netflix only to realize they were gone when I wanted to rewatch.
 

Indy Guy

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We are nearing 500 years since books were invented and although they are now available digitally, you can still get 100 yr old classics in paperback or luxurious leather gold edged editions.
Records are 100 years old and still available as upscale reissues as well as brand new albums.
Audio cassettes and CD's are available, though ease of making permaneny digital files has reduced their point of being.
Like books and records blu ray and UHD discs will be there for those who collect for quality of content.
Just look to eBay if you want a perfectly restored Reel to Reel audio recorder modified to work with your up to date wireless remote...its available 50 years after leaving the market. Prerecorded RtoR tapes are available with prices ranging from original release cost to hundreds for rare titles.They survive because sound quality often surpasses what we have today.

BR & HDR quality is similar in that regard and there is no reason they won't survive for the same reason.
The bigger concern should be how many of us will be here in 50 years!
 

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