Over the past week, I’ve spent most of my entertainment time watching movies and television shows either on demand, through Netflix and Hulu Plus, or streaming over my home network. And along the way, it got me thinking: why do I really need discs?
DVD and Blu-ray mean big money for studios. After all, the companies develop blockbuster hits, and then after printing some discs, charge a boatload of cash just so you can get your hands on them. It’s a great deal for those companies.
For us, however, I’m not so sold. The fact is, I don’t like dealing with storing DVDs and Blu-ray discs. And getting up to sift through my library, find the show or movie I want to watch, and then pop it into a player is just a pain. It’s about time physical media just dies.
Of course, I understand that what I’m saying is something that many of you might already feel. But why hasn’t the death of physical media come quicker?
For one thing, it might just be the speed of our Internet connections. Unfortunately, certain countries, like the U.S., are still far behind in terms of broadband speeds than they should be. And despite promises from Washington, I’ve yet to see a single indication made by politicians that would lead us to believe that’s going to change anytime soon.
Beyond that, I’m suspect of the cloud-based services we have now. Sure, Netflix and Hulu Plus work, but they’re not ideal. And the companies that actually own the content aren’t so willing to play nice.
Which, of course, brings us to our next issue: the content companies.
Unfortunately, for years now, the studios have decided that making services, and thus their users, the enemies is just fine. The studios seem to reason that by doing so, they’ll be able to make far more cash. And in the process, consumers will just accept that and move on.
But why should we accept that? As far as I’m concerned, it’s best for everyone to accept that discs are a thing of the past. The sooner we can all accept that and start doubling down on the digital craze, the better. It’s not only in our interests, but I would argue that if studios actually took the time and put real effort into developing a digital strategy, over time, they could make it quite profitable.
Still, we sit here hoping for a day when physical media will die a cold and lonely death. After all, once that happens, we’ll be able to throw out our entertainment centers and save space in our living rooms for furniture. And with all of our favorite shows and movies in the cloud, ready for the taking, we can reduce all of the time we waste just to find what we want to watch, pop it into a player, and then wait for it to load.
The future has been, is, and forever will be digital. It’s about time we and all of the studios accept that.