DVD: The Short Goodbye?

By  |  Friday, October 9, 2009 at 7:09 pm

Rocky IIIOver at Yahoo Tech, my friend Chris Null blogged about an interview the Motley Fool did with Netflix CEO Reed Hastings in which the DVD-by-mail tycoon says he thinks DVD has two years left as the primary delivery format for movies. That’s a little like hearing the president of McDonalds opining that burgers are on the way out. But it also sounds like as sensible a prediction as any.

As Chris says, Hastings didn’t make clear what he thinks will replace DVD, but the likely scenario presumably involves the format suffering at the hands of both digital downloads and Blu-Ray short-term, and virtually all distribution being digital over the long haul. (At least I’m assuming that we’ll all look back at Blu-Ray as a stopgap.) There’s still lots of work to do–relatively few of us have any way to watch content from the Internet on our TVs, for instance–but an awful lot can happen ¬†in very little time.

I suspect that I’ll still pull out DVDs from time to time for years to come–for one thing, I have hundreds of them and no interest in repurchasing or recreating all of them in purely digital form. (Hey, I even watch VHS from time to time.) But I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if I buy my last new DVD in 2011. And I look forward to seeing how Netflix works to reinvent itself as the neat idea the company was founded on becomes obsolete. (Its Watch Instantly feature is a fun start.)

Your forecast, please:



5 Comments For This Post

  1. Keith Shaw Says:

    If Netflix offers a plan where you can watch Instantly (either on the computer, Roku box or Xbox 360) without having to pay for the DVD delivery, then it will accelerate the demise of the DVD delivery. The DVDs from Netflix currently sit on the entertainment system, yet we don’t want to cancel the service because we enjoy the Watch Instantly feature.

  2. Steve K Says:

    I can see Bluray pulling ahead as the dominant physical medium for movies by 2013 (see http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=3494), but whether or not online distribution takes off really depends on the selection. Currently, Netflix streaming is no substitute for physical media distribution due to its paltry selection.

  3. Dave Barnes Says:

    1. DVDs are cheap. Blu-ray disks are not.
    2. Broadband speeds/access in the USA are lousy.
    3. 5+ years, but it is the last physical medium for motion pictures.

  4. Chris Donahue Says:

    Heck, you can still buy videotape(blanks anyway). The point is bluray is not growing as fast as DVD, and direct download or streaming just doesn’t work. I think Netflix is talking out of their A**es. so at least 10 to 15 years.

  5. Tech Says:

    I think DVD has less than 2 years. Blu Ray players are getting cheaper and cheaper. Once burning with Blu Ray becomes cheaper DVD will be a distant memory.

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