Best Buy to End DVD, Blu-ray Disc Sales

UPDATED: Best Buy is checking out of the DVD business.

The consumer-electronics retailer will phase out sales of DVDs and Blu-ray discs both in-store and online in early 2024, according to industry sources familiar with the company’s plans. Best Buy made the initial decision to end DVD sales nine months ago, according to one source.

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Best Buy confirmed Friday that it is ending sales of DVDs. “To state the obvious, the way we watch movies and TV shows is much different today than it was decades ago,” a Best Buy spokesperson said in a statement to Variety. “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 will continue to sell movies and TV shows on physical discs through the 2023 holiday shopping season online and in stores, before discontinuing sales in the new year. The company will continue to sell video games. As of mid-2023, Best Buy had 1,129 store locations, with 969 of those in the U.S.

News of Best Buy’s ending DVD sales was first reported by home-entertainment blog The Digital Bits.

The move comes as Netflix, 25 years after launching its pioneering DVD-by-mail service, shipped out its last DVDs to customers on Sept. 29 (and let them keep their final discs if they chose to).

Best Buy’s exit from the market will leave Walmart, Amazon and Target as the top retailers in the U.S. stocking DVDs and Blu-ray discs. Also still in the physical-disc game is Redbox, now owned by Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, which maintains a network of about 29,000 DVD rental kiosks nationwide.

Amid the ascent of streaming video, sales of DVDs and Blu-Ray discs have been shrinking for years. U.S. physical media revenue in the first half of 2023 dropped 28%, to $754 million, compared with $1.05 billion in the year-earlier period, according to data from trade association DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group.

Ingram Entertainment, a leading DVD distributor, recently announced that it would wind down operations after more than 35 years in business. The company said it will “continue to provide catalog product” to customers into the fourth quarter of 2023.

Meanwhile, Walmart has been in talks with DVD distributor Studio Distribution Services (SDS), a joint venture of Universal Pictures and Warner Bros., to assume management of portions of its physical-media operations, Media Play News reported this summer.

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