Best Buy Stops Selling DVDs and Blu-rays Just as Disney Offloads Physical Media to Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

 Stack of DVDs.
Stack of DVDs.
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In October, Best Buy decided that physical media just wasn’t worth the lucrative shelf space it was taking up and announced that it would stop selling DVDs and Blu-rays altogether. “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 told Variety at the time. “Making this change gives us more space and opportunity to bring customers new and innovative tech for them to explore, discover and enjoy.”

Earlier this week, Barstool Sports reported that Best Buy had carried through on that pledge.

Meanwhile, The Walt Disney Co. reached a deal yesterday to license manufacturing and distribution of its physical media in the U.S. and Canada, including DVDs, Blu-ray Discs and 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays, to Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

The deal includes the company’s vast catalog of titles, along with any new releases.

As part of the deal, Disney is shuttering its subscription service and online store, the Disney Movie Club, which sold Blu-rays and DVDs of Disney films.

Disney informed a reported 10 million Movie Club members by email as well as on its website yesterday that the service will stop taking orders in late May and shutter entirely on July 20.

Sony will take over marketing and distributing the discs to retailers.

The move comes after Netflix mailed out its last rental DVDs in September, sending out random bundles of DVDs to all remaining customers and telling them to just keep them, on the house. It was one way to get rid of excess inventory. They probably would have just ended up in landfills otherwise.

That leaves Redbox as one of the last left standing in physical media with its DVD rental kiosks. But it’s now a big fish in a rapidly evaporating pond. Chicken Soup for the Soul purchased the struggling rental business in 2022 for $50 million, assuming Redbox’s $325 million in debt in the process.

But in its recent SEC filings Chicken Soup raised “substantial doubt” as to whether it can “continue as a going concern” largely due to that debt.

Last summer, Next TV reported that a tally from the Digital Entertainment Group, which gets sales data directly from studio suppliers, estimated the entire physical rental market in the U.S. at just $502 million for the previous year, with Netflix reporting $146 million in rental business in its final year in business.