Last week, Dish Network Corp., the parent company of Blockbuster - the once dominant force in the home movie business - announced that it will be closing 300 brick and mortar Blockbuster stores this year and eliminate 3,000 jobs. Blockbuster’s decline is undoubtedly related to the growing popularity of digital entertainment providers such as Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, and Hulu. Why trek to the video store when you can just stream a movie instantly on your computer? But does the ubiquity of these streaming services mean physical copies of movies on DVD and blu-ray disc will go the way of the vinyl record?
Even Coinstar, the parent company behind the RedBox DVD vending machines, is jumping into the digital streaming game by partnering with Verizon to offer ‘Redbox Instant by Verizon.’ Redbox’s new streaming video service is currently undergoing consumer testing, but Coinstar and Verizon expect RedBox Instant to be available to the public by the end of March.
Are DVDs and blu-ray discs already obsolete? What will the future of digital home entertainment look like? Will blu-ray discs live on as a niche high-end product for videophiles?
Ryan Lawler, digital media reporter for TechCrunch
Amy Jo Smith, Executive Director, DEG: Digital Entertainment Group, a nonprofit corporation that advocates and promotes physical and digital media and helps provide information and perspective about the home entertainment industry