Samsung has chosen to suspend the production of Blu-ray 4K players and not invest any means or efforts in renewing the HD line with updates of their current models. A consistent movement, because the sales estimates point to a decrease of 5.6% -equivalent to four million devices- for 2023.
It does not need a thorough investigation to determine the main responsible for the decline of the physical format is none other than streaming; the only domestic distribution system that experienced an increase in US territory in 2018 -both in subscription and video on demand platforms and in the online sale of digital copies-, as opposed to Blu-ray and DVD that suffered a decline among the 13% and 20%.
The digital audiovisual distribution has two main advantages: the immediacy of access to content through WiFi or mobile networks and infinity of different devices, ranging from computers to tablets, through our inseparable phones; and the low price of monthly subscriptions that allows you to enjoy the catalog of platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Filmin or HBO in full.
Of course, everything that glitters is not gold, and it is precisely in the content of these online services, notable in terms of quantity, but very poor in variety, where lies its most prominent weak point and which, probably, is the main reason that continues to drag many buyers to buy their movies and series in traditional stores.
In spite of everything, more and more premiere cinema will be running out of distribution in physical format – there are already visible signs of this phenomenon -, in part, because it will always be more profitable to upload a feature film to a server after an economic agreement with the streaming platform, than invest in the manufacture of discs, boxes and graphic material. Again, even if we do not like it, logic reigns in detriment of the tangible.
On the other hand, the videogame sector, which is decisive when it comes to promoting new film distribution formats – let’s not forget the embrace of the DVD and Blu-Ray that arose as a result of the release of systems such as Playstation 2 and Playstation 3 respectively – it seems aimed at abandoning disks and cartridges permanently within a couple of generations, which would be a point of no return.