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If you’ve noticed that the amount of space major retailers are allotting to physical media has been shrinking lately, you’re not imagining things. In yet another sign that the physical disc is on its way out in this increasingly digital age, Best Buy has become the latest large retailer to trim its disc offering.
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According to Best Buy Chief Executive Brian Dunn:

“We’ll have another store reset before the holidays, which will include an increase in the space for higher-growth and, in the aggregate, higher-margin categories, like Best Buy Mobile, e-readers and gaming, with a heavy emphasis on new gaming platforms and pre-owned game titles . . . This will be enabled by our reorganization of the DVD and CD sections.
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The CD section in particular will shrink in space allotment.”

How does your physical media consumption now compare to a year ago?Will these disc space reductions by Best Buy and other retailers convince studios that the glory days of the DVD are gone forever? Leave your opinion in the comments.


19 Responses to “Best Buy to Reduce Shelf Space for DVDs, CDs”

  1. Visitor [Join Now]
    Farva [visitor]

    The physical disc is not going away.

  2. Visitor [Join Now]
    JBG [visitor]

    Good correction, Shane – albeit physical, the DVD disc is still digital ;-)

    Anyway, so, digital is good (as opposed to analog) but the question now is: “physical” as opposed to… what? Well, if you think about it, a good word is “volatile”. And that is exactly my problem with it (volatile is bad for me). And that is also the problem of the studios (physical is “bad” for them). Do you think they are so concerned about the consumer’s convenience? No, they simply want you to end up spending more, regardless if you will have the chance to watch, how, when, and so on. For example, you download a DRM-protected file, something doesn’t work, you don’t have time to mess with it – bottom line, you paid for it, you couldn’t watch it (at least not how you wanted to), so you rent it again later. As opposed to – you rent a DVD, you watch it (wherever you want – any DVD player will play it), you still have time, your neighbor borrows it and they watch it, too. Perfectly legal, less money for the studios.

    And their argument that it costs too much to print, distribute, sell, etc., physical media is invalid – why don’t they let you download an ISO and burn a DVD from it (or Blu-Ray, or unencrypted media file, or whatever)? No, it has to be DRM, or use their special proprietary software player, or hardware device (e.g., NetFlix). Why is all that? Oh, no – don’t try to fix what’s not broken!

    Of course, this is just one side of it but it’s definitely my side, and I’m sure I’m not alone.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      firstlawofnature [visitor]

      ‘And their argument that it costs too much to print, distribute, sell, etc., physical media is invalid’

      Who is making such an arguement? Sonic? The studios make it for $.50 and sell it for $14. Very hard for incremental VOD buys to make that up.

  3. Member [Join Now]

    If physical disc is on it’s way out, why the push for blu-ray? And what exactly is Best Buy going to use this floor space for? Last time I was in Best Buy they had shrunk the CD section and replaced it with … a rack of books – entertainment and software related. The rack was turned sideways to hide the empty space in the middle of the store.

    My physical media consumption will remain about the same. Until they get reliable, affordable high speed internet here I can’t use streaming video, VOD, etc.

  4. Visitor [Join Now]
    Steve [visitor]

    I haven’t purchased a physical cd or dvd in several years. Why pay $21.99 for a dvd if I’m not going to watch it more than 3 or 4 times? I can rent it for somewhere between $1.00 and $5.25 at a time and come out cheaper. As for music, I have a FM tuner in my computer and simply “tape” the songs I want.

  5. Visitor [Join Now]
    Mike [visitor]

    Let “Worst Buy” shrink their DVD/CD shelves… their prices are way too high anyway. As long as there is the Internet, there will always be a way to purchase physical media.

  6. Visitor [Join Now]
    Aiden [visitor]

    I think it’s important to note that the cost of the program is not simply the cost of the physical media and packaging. There are production costs, marketing, sometimes royalty fees. You have to pay the sales people and the advertising costs. Many retailers charge placement fees or marketing fees just for putting the product on-shelf, and it’s very expensive. Then you have to figure freight in, freight for returns, the cost of returns processing, the operations team, overhead from the warehouse…it’s not cheap. And many of those costs are still a part of digital content. Someone still had to produce the content, market, and sell it.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      firstlawofnature [visitor]

      To be fair once a movie is made most of the costs you mention are sunk and selling physical media is still the best way to cover those costs. Sure there are other costs but at the end of the day it is highly highly profitable to make and sell DVDs.

  7. Member [Join Now]
    Alan Smithee [8traxrule]

    Best Buy helped put stores like Tower out of business by undercutting their prices- now they want to cut back on media? I’m sure the remaining record stores are breathing a sigh of relief, as this’ll mean less business taken away from them.

    Best Buy’s main reason for having media in the first place was to get people in the stores to look at and buy electronics. If they stop being a place to go to to buy DVDs and the like, I’ll have less reason to go into their stores.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      MadRabbit [visitor]

      Um…what record stores are you referring to? Tower, Virgin, Wherehouse, Sam Goody’s: all names of the past now in regards to music. Borders still has a music section, maybe Fry’s, but I’d be hard-pressed to name many others. Even Wal-Mart is dedicating less space and interest in music (altho their movie commitment is still solid).

      Still, Amazon has a better selection than any of the brick and mortar stores listed above, with better prices. And there are always sites like Music Boomerang and to get music at a fraction of the cost of buying new.


  8. Member [Join Now]

    I’m not liking this idea. I still buy everything in physical copies. And if physical copies are going away, then why is Blu-Ray being pushed so much?

    One of the things that really makes me mad about this is the fact that because of digital, the “album” has died. New “albums” are just collections of songs now when back in the day they were more than that.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      rb [visitor]

      Agree, with everything except I don’t ‘buy’ movies, only rent them. HOWEVER, other people do buy as I was at Target today and the lady ahead of me was buying 3 of the new release dvds. Also, totally agree that I don’t understand all the talk of doing away with physical media completely when they are still pushing customer to switch from dvd to the blu-ray player. Doesn’t make sense to me either.

  9. Visitor [Join Now]
    Trademark [visitor]

    Took me time to look at all the comments, and love the article. It proved to be very helpful and I’m sure all the people on this blog!
    Always great to not only be informed, but also engaged! I’m sure you had a greate time writing this blog article.
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  10. Visitor [Join Now]
    Jamie [visitor]

    BB is trying to get out of the CD/DVD business because it has less profit margin then the bigger ticket items. Their CD prices are higher then Walmart anyways so I can see why they would dump them and just promote Ipods more.

  11. Member [Join Now]
    Casey4147 [casey4147]

    Wal-Mart’s already ahead of them, stores are cutting back on music CDs and using the space to consolidate their video discs, expanding on Blu-Ray and reducing DVD.

  12. Visitor [Join Now]
    hb [visitor]

    I love the comment about “best buy putting the record stores out of business.” REALLY?!?!? The store started out as a music store in the 60’s/ Compact disc was originally invented in the 60’s. BOTH of them evolved and started becoming what they are today in the 80’s.
    As people change and technology changes stores have to change to keep up. There will always be those who want a physical copy of what they buy so I don’t see it going out completly. It would be nice though if it would down size even more, for example from the CD to the memory card… Not only are they more viable, but imagine the storage that would be freed up.

  13. Visitor [Join Now]
    HP [visitor]

    It makes sense to me that Best Buy would reduce their CD/DVD selection. They are one of the last places that I would go to shop for discs.