Who knew that discs would become obsolete so soon? Then again, when was the last time you actually bought a Blu-Ray disc in the last few years? Samsung has quietly been abandoning its commitment to the Blu-Ray market in recent months as it focuses solely on how streaming will impact home entertainment in the future. The company confirmed to Forbes this week that it’s cancelled plans to introduce a new Blu-Ray model later this year. The company has announced that it will no longer order any model of its 4K Blu-Ray players.
Samsung didn’t technically provide a reason for why it will get rid of its Blu-Ray products. With companies like Netflix and Disney’s new streaming service to appear later this year it’s pretty obvious that streaming is probably to blame. A study released by the Digital Entertainment Group (DEG) showed that disc sales declined as much as 14% in 2017 while brick and mortar sales of discs were even less. Kiosks and physical stores dropped in sales to just $2 billion in 2017.
Decline In Sales
The same study showed that people are simply ditching their disc players in favor of smart TV’s and streaming services. Sales of 4K TV’s are also going up despite the decline in disc sales. This shows that more people are investing in home entertainment, but updated versions of it. It’s a no brainer, considering that discs take up so much physical space and can quickly become expensive. Approximately 15 million 4K TV’s were sold in 2017, with numbers that suggest that the sales will steadily rise.
Samsung is abandoning the Blu-Ray market to focus on technology that has a more promising financial return in the future. The company is preparing to launch its new line of mobile phones in the coming weeks. The rumors surrounding the release suggest that Samsung will take the leap into a new hardware design for its new mobile phones. It will also be rolling out technology that can support 5G speeds. Samsung first teased these products at CES, where members of the company discussed the reality of a world with 5G accessibility. Consumers can reportedly expect the arrival of 5G speeds as early as a few months from now.
The Future of Entertainment
The most surprising information regarding Blu-Ray sales in the US is that DVD is still doing better in sales. The film industry reports that DVD sells as much as 57% of film sales while Blu-Ray sells just 5.3%, reports Forbes. Shocking, I know, but unsurprising—since no one was going to upgrade to a Blu-Ray player when they had the option of simply switching to streaming services instead.
At the prices that Blu-Ray costs right now, it shouldn’t be too long until companies like Sony and Panasonic begin abandoning the platform as well. Netflix is migrating toward more in-house production, as evidenced by its heavy presence at Sundance Film Festival, to prepare for the arrival of the Disney streaming platform coming this year. At this rate, cable companies will be lucky to still be in business within five years.
Julia Sachs is a staff writer at Grit Daily. She covers tech, entrepreneurship and entertainment news and is based in Park City, Utah.