business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

Axios reports that Best Buy plans to stop selling DVDs and Blu-ray discs in 2024, once it gets past the 2023 end-of-year holiday shopping season.

The decision affects both bricks-and-mortar stores and best Buy's online store.  Video games, however, will continue to be sold by Best Buy.

At the same time, a website called Comic Book Gaming reports that Walmart plans "to stop carrying physical games for select platforms next year."

According to the site, insiders say that "Walmart is getting rid of physical Xbox games next year and expects more cuts will happen deeper in 2024. It's unclear why Xbox is being singled out by Walmart, though it may have to do with the Xbox Series S being a digital-only console and therefore a portion of Xbox games aren't even able to be bought physically now. Nevertheless, it's likely the rest will continue to also be removed from stores in the future."

These moves take place at the same time as Target has stopped carrying DVDs and Blu-rays in its stores, and Netflix shut down its l20-year-old DVD rental business.

The fact is that at least in this sector, legacy businesses are under enormous pressure and often going away.  This trend is what has informed the strikes that continue to roil the entertainment industry, as management and labor struggle to find an acceptable economic balance that will work for both sides;  this is hard to find  at a time when big companies have invested so much money in streaming services that don't seem to have an economically workable business model.

That said, what is happening with DVDs and Blu-rays is an Eye-Opening indicator of how people want to consume content.  In the long run, these consumption trends will affect every sector - to varying degrees, but inevitably.