The Death of Physical Media

An old college buddy of mine, Adam, who also has been a creative partner for me over the years, created an awesome video essay.

It’s about the end of physical media, what it might hold for the future of media consumption, and how collectors might be dealing with this change. At 12-minutes long, it’s the perfect video to watch while having lunch or taking a break from work.

If I’m being honest, this kind of stuff wrinkles my brain in all the right places. I think Adam hit the nail on the head about why physical media is going away and had some good ideas about where it might live in the future.

One thing that I think isn’t talked about enough though is the extra features and bonus content like deleted scenes, bloopers, director’s commentary, and more. I don’t consume nearly as much of that kind of content anymore because of streaming services. It is because I own Hulu, Paramount+, Disney+, and more subscriptions that I don’t shell out the money for a physical disc. That being said, if I didn’t have that kind of access right at my fingertips I would most likely have bought The Batman on Blu-ray, or lined up to buy Oppenheimer today.

I remember renting DVDs from Blockbuster and rewatching Clerks with the commentary track on and eating that shit up like it was gospel. I loved hearing what the creators had to say about their work and the things they had to do to make certain shots happen. Hell, even some of the best video essays I have seen use commentary tracks on them.

My hope is that streaming services find a way to offer bonus content like this more frequently. I know that some services do have some of the stuff I mentioned above, but it certainly isn’t guaranteed, which I think is a shame.