Major Blow to Physical Media: Disney Ends DVD and Blu-ray Sales in Australia

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(August 1, 2023) In what would appear to be a milestone event, Disney has opted to discontinue sales of DVD and Blu-ray discs in the land down under. Yes, Australian home theater fans, the last Disney-owned disc release in your country will be Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 3.

This is certainly an "end of an era" moment that further accelerates the industry's migration toward streaming and digital downloads, forcing both Australian and New Zealand movie collectors to source Disney's physical titles from foreign retailers. The move includes catalog titles from Disney's array of studios, including 20th Century Fox and Marvel.

According to news.au.com, Disney's decision was driven by "dwindling physical sales and the increasing popularity of online home entertainment, such as the company’s in-house screening platform Disney+." While that comes as no surprise, speculation concerning physical media's longevity has remained somewhat optimistic. Most collectors have assumed that discs will continue to ship for the forseeable future. This announcement, however, certainly doesn't do much to bolster confidence. And it might signal the beginning of the end for other studios as they assess how best to distribute media.
 

austinblackboxspace

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(August 1, 2023) In what would appear to be a milestone event, Disney has opted to discontinue sales of DVD and Blu-ray discs in the land down under. Yes, Australian home theater fans, the last Disney-owned disc release in your country will be Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 3.

This is certainly an "end of an era" moment that further accelerates the industry's migration toward streaming and digital downloads, forcing both Australian and New Zealand movie collectors to source Disney's physical titles from foreign retailers. The move includes catalog titles from Disney's array of studios, including 20th Century Fox and Marvel.

According to news.au.com, Disney's decision was driven by "dwindling physical sales and the increasing popularity of online home entertainment, such as the company’s in-house screening platform Disney+." While that comes as no surprise, speculation concerning physical media's longevity has remained somewhat optimistic. Most collectors have assumed that discs will continue to ship for the forseeable future. This announcement, however, certainly doesn't do much to bolster confidence. And it might signal the beginning of the end for other studios as they assess how best to distribute media.
crazy/sad news.. :oops: hopefully it won't last. then again, could this be a catalyst that a lossless streaming option is on the horizon?
 

SRW1000

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Consider it an early warning shot, folks.

If there are movies you always want access to, start thinking about buying them when you can. The final days of physical media may be upon us.
 

Todd Anderson

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I agree, @SRW1000. If this isn't a canary in the coal mine, I don't know what is. Tho, Australia/New Zealand might be uniuqe due to dwindling sales and difficulties/expense of shipping and distributing media to the region.

Ultimately, this is consumer driven. If the market were strong, Disney wouldn't pull the plug.
 

austinblackboxspace

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I agree, @SRW1000. If this isn't a canary in the coal mine, I don't know what is. Tho, Australia/New Zealand might be uniuqe due to dwindling sales and difficulties/expense of shipping and distributing media to the region.

Ultimately, this is consumer driven. If the market were strong, Disney wouldn't pull the plug.
It is always important to remember the history of physical media. All of the previous formats thought long dead have returned. We've lost count of how many boutique and mainstream video companies are out there selling out all Blu-ray/4k preorders. I'm 55 and LP sales have never been higher. We see some 8-track tapes and lots of cassettes bands are selling at almost all of the gigs we attend each week. New VHS tapes of films and prerecorded open reel tapes are for sale in Austin video and music stores. We just had a massive new video rental store We Love Video open this month in Austin. DAT is back apparently?? It is impossible to keep up with all of the physical media format numbers these days....
 

SRW1000

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It is always important to remember the history of physical media. All of the previous formats thought long dead have returned. We've lost count of how many boutique and mainstream video companies are out there selling out all Blu-ray/4k preorders. I'm 55 and LP sales have never been higher. We see some 8-track tapes and lots of cassettes bands are selling at almost all of the gigs we attend each week. New VHS tapes of films and prerecorded open reel tapes are for sale in Austin video and music stores. We just had a massive new video rental store We Love Video open this month in Austin. DAT is back apparently?? It is impossible to keep up with all of the physical media format numbers these days....
So you're saying there's a chance . . . that we'll soon be able to buy laserdisc versions of all the new releases? ;)
 

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Is this possibly a Bud Light moment for Walt Disney? Go woke go broke... Seems all of their properties are down...
 
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austinblackboxspace

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So you're saying there's a chance . . . that we'll soon be able to buy laserdisc versions of all the new releases? ;)
oh, these days i would not at all be surprised to see the return of LD and RCA Selectavision! everything old is hip and new again! :laugh:
 

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hopefully Apple buys them.
What a nightmare, I can't imagine that apple would want their theme parks, hotels, cruse lines... Maybe the content creation properties like feature animation, the old pixar and lucas guys... Been a while since I played in this M&A space... We live in interesting times...
 

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As a 4K Blu-ray steelbook collector I am hoping this stays down under and does not get to our shores or The UK.
 

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I'm with you, @MusicManLen. I hope this is a market-specific situation. And, if mainstream distribution stops, I hope they leave a secondary source option open (direct to consumer)
 
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