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DRM Media Technology Entertainment

Physical Media: Down, But Maybe Not Out 116

jfruh writes: "For many tech-savvy folks, it may come as surprise that physical media like DVD and Blu-Ray still generate more movie revenue than streaming services. But PriceWaterhouse Coopers is predicting that the the lines will cross in 2017 as physical media sales and rentals decline; already, fully half of those revenues come from supermarket Redbox kiosks. Still, there are signs that physical media won't vanish entirely, including the obsessive needs of collectors and the music industry's increasing suspicions of digital sales."
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Physical Media: Down, But Maybe Not Out

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  • stupid premise (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Wednesday June 11, 2014 @05:38PM (#47217135) Homepage Journal

    Tech-savvy folks rip physical media and ffmpeg it into whatever format their device prefers. Fools spend money on DRM'ed downloads.

  • by Trepidity ( 597 ) <> on Wednesday June 11, 2014 @05:38PM (#47217139)

    There is definitely an aspect of obsessive collectors liking physical media, yes: they're more tangible, sometimes look nice (especially in fancy limited editions), etc.. But even people who are not really that big into collecting have a pretty big reason to still prefer physical media: you have some chance of actually keeping it. Your purchase of a book or CD will probably not be remotely "revoked" by the manufacturer, which is more than can be said for the currently popular methods of digital delivery.

  • by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Wednesday June 11, 2014 @05:41PM (#47217165) Homepage

    The problem with digital "sales" is that they aren't really a sale. They are effectively an extended rental. That rental can be revoked at any time and your entire collection can be made to go away.

    That said, what is going to kill physical media is the availability of cheap subscription options. If something can be had on Netflix for $8 it makes little sense to pay $20 or $60 for the DVDs.

    The comparison between physical media and expensive pay per view services is another matter though. Streaming doesn't have an obvious price advantage.

    Plus there's the question of whether or not what you want is on ANY streaming service.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 11, 2014 @05:42PM (#47217175)

    Steaming movies still is not an option in many rural areas of North American (not to mention developing nations). Until broadband connections are available in rural areas the only practical chocie for watching videos will be physical media.

  • Re:Meh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Black LED ( 1957016 ) on Wednesday June 11, 2014 @08:40PM (#47218473)
    I don't have a problem with digital distribution, so long as companies cannot remove access to paid for content, hold it hostage and/or prevent me from making my own backups. is the only service which has done this correctly, in that I can download what I buy and write it to whatever media I want, ensuring that I can keep copies for as long as I please.

    It's unfortunate that there are no video services that allow people to do the same. I suppose you could vidcap your purchases and burn those, but you shouldn't have to do that.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 11, 2014 @09:09PM (#47218667)

    Drive north of Boston to Dartmouth College. Home of the 1st remote computer connection (from Bell Labs, 1947ish). Oh, and BASIC. There's a bit of tech in the area. Those living in most of the towns nearby can get comcast cable. Many roads don't have cable but there's a wireless internet provider.

    But there are still local DVD rental stores. Remember those? Drive 20-30 minutes out, away from interstate 89 & 91 and you cannot get internet except by Satellite or dial up. Your cell phone will be intermittent. 4G? 3G isn't available out there. There are cell towers on the interstate, but there are still dead zones along the way. Heck, when the iPhone came out, some Dartmouth students found their contract canceled because they were always roaming, even on campus. And the iPhone is only 5-6 years old.

    If you want to watch a movie, you drive 20-30 minutes back into town for the theatre or you get a DVD rental.

    This is most of the US. The people in dense areas and on the coasts can stream, but for the rest, it's DVDs or VHS.

You will never amount to much. -- Munich Schoolmaster, to Albert Einstein, age 10