The age of the giant DVD collections in our homes certainly appears to be coming to an end.
According to Deadline, Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman was speaking at the Nomura Securities U.S. Media Conference when he said that all of Viacom’s divisions – which include Paramount Pictures, MTV, Nickelodeon and many more – were going to have to review the “overhead” in their home video departments as DVD sales are in a decline. This is usually corporate speak for, “It’s time to fire a whole bunch of people.”
The death of physical media has been written on the walls for ages now, but yet the Hollywood studios continue to act shocked by the concept that people no longer want to buy all of their favorite movies on DVD and Blu-ray. These are the same companies signing deal after deal with the likes of Netflix, Hulu and Vudu to stream their content, and then they wonder why sales are falling in the old format. Add in digital downloads, which are sales, and the picture gets even worse as to why people would continue to purchase shiny discs.
Hollywood has had a magnificent run with DVD, but all good things eventually come to an end, and instead of trying to squeeze every last penny out of the format, they need to face facts and move on. While Blu-ray will have some life in it for a while when you factor in the amount of bandwidth it takes to download a movie in HD, you have to imagine the days of selling complete TV seasons on DVD are quickly coming to a close. Instead of buying all six seasons of Xena, Warrior Princess on disc now, you can just flip on Hulu Plus and watch it whenever you want. (Yes … I knew this off the top of my head)
Companies such as Viacom have to realize that consumers have entered an age of instant gratification, and that is something physical media just simply can’t touch. With streaming media, I am about two to three button pushes away from watching a movie, I’ll take that any day over finding the DVD, popping it in, waiting for the menu to come up, watching it and then probably forgetting to put it back in its case let alone remembering to put it back in the drawer.
It’s too bad people will probably end up losing their jobs in all of this, but welcome to the world of streaming video, where there is a whole lot less “overhead.”
What do you think? Have you given up on physical media yet?