Best Buy No Longer Selling Physical Media Is Sad For Everyone

Courtesy of Best Buy.

There’s a lot of pain and tragedy going on right now but the decision by Best Buy to no longer sell Blu-rays and DVDs is terrible.

I owe quite a bit of my physical media collection to the likes of Best Buy and Target. In the years before moving, my Sunday morning reading would consist of the Best Buy and Target advertisements. I wanted to see which movies were on sale and for how much. It was a great way to expand my collection.

It was with great sadness that I read the following statement in Variety after the news was first reported by The Digital Bits:

“To state the obvious, the way we watch movies and TV shows is much different today than it was decades ago. Making this change gives us more space and opportunity to bring customers new and innovative tech for them to explore, discover and enjoy.”

Unfortunately, they are not only limiting this to in-stores. They are also discontinuing online sales. What I want to know is what will happen to the Best Buy Exclusive SteelBooks? Will another store–like Target, Walmart, or Amazon–start selling the SteelBooks? They are almost always marketed as a collectable so I hope they stay around after the holiday season.

After moving to Chicago, I would check out the Best Buy at the John Hancock Center on the way back from downtown. Not as often, of course. The same went for Target. It’s always a big deal when a Target run does not include stopping by the electronics section and seeing the sales. This isn’t about going Targeting. However, something has changed in recent years. The amount of physical media on hand is dwindling and it is depressing. Ever since Best Buy closed its location on Michigan Avenue, I rarely step foot in there.

As for the location next to the kosher Jewel-Osco in Evanston, which I try to stop by prior to a shopping run. It doesn’t always happen. In fact, my last purchase was Forrest Gump back in June 2019. My last online purchase was Heat this past January because the $24.98 4K UHD disc was marked down for $8.99. You cannot beat a bargain price!

But what happened? Outside of the dedicated cinephiles who believe in physical media, it appears that there is a bigger push for digital. While digital can be helpful in terms of conserving space, it can also spell bad news. Whenever there’s an internet outage, it means that the only viewable options are whatever is owned on physical media. Otherwise, you’re just feeling like you’re watching paint dry. Speaking of digital, I believe that Walt Disney Home Entertainment has been pushing digital codes for reviewing products since 2020. I’m not gonna lie–because of my apartment setup, it is sometimes easier to watch something through Movies Anywhere or one of the streaming services. It’s still not the same.

Physical media remains important. Not everything is available through a streaming service nor online rental. I was in the mood to watch something recently and opted to go through the library. Why? The title was not available on Disney+ even though they own the brand.

I will miss reading about the movies on sale at Best Buy as much as I will miss walking inside the store to purchase said movie on sale. Thanks for the memories but I’m warning you, this is a mistake.

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Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.