Does streaming availability hurt 4K physical disc sales? Disney isn’t making any more catalog physical discs

We haven’t pondered the question in the headline here yet, but it’s a good one to ask considering Disney’s recent rumored decision not to make 4K physical discs for their own catalog or the recently acquired 20th Century Fox.

In essence, my sources said, beyond new release theatrical titles, animated fare from Disney and Pixar, or Star Wars and Marvel-related projects, there were no plans at the studio going forward to release titles on physical 4K Ultra HD—future releases would be 4K Digital only.

Yes, it appears that Disney currently has no plans for more live-action catalog on physical 4K

To clarify, this means only new theatrical releases? What about VOD? What about Mulan, which is going to be at Disney+ and a $30 VOD rental? Will that ever make it to 4K physical disc? It’s not a theatrical title, so based on the quote the answer would seem to be no.

Why is Disney making this decision? Do they think that streaming hurts the 4K physical disc sales? Or is the reverse true? If enough people own all the movies they want in physical format, why would they subscribe to Disney+ streaming?

From our experience owning hundreds (almost 1,000 at one time) DVDs and some amount of Blu-ray, owning the physical discs makes zero difference on the streaming channels we subscribe to today. Sure, our collection has diminished, but it’s just not that convenient going for the discs vs. grabbing the remote and pulling up the title on streaming.

The quality mostly isn’t there for the most part in streaming. Unless it’s 4K streaming, of course.

Rather, I think this move has everything to do with Disney wanting to limit their vault offerings (see: Smaller Theaters Are Frustrated over Disney’s Movie ‘Vault’) and make it more appealing to subscribe — and stay subscribed — to Disney+. Then they can rotate in/out vault titles that they aren’t licensing to competitors. The longer the time period since the last physical disc was made available, the more incentive people might have to resubscribe or stay subscribed longer.


2019 VUDU- Thanksgiving and Black Friday 4K UHD 50% Off BUY – LIMITED TIME OFFER

Vudu – Thanksgiving Sale

For those of you not out and about this morning in the United States, braving the Black Friday crowds, there are some online Black Friday deals worth mentioning. These are, of course, very time sensitive, so if you’re viewing this post after Black Friday 11/29/2019, no idea how many of these prices, if any, will hold up. Also, all prices in $USD.

If you are planning on buying movies and have a 4K-capable TV, there are some good deals at Vudu for Black Friday. Look for the orange header on the movie titles to find scattered other HDX format movies on sale as well, but didn’t see any that were 50% off. There were a few sales that stuck out to me. The movies below are all to buy price (streaming), not rent for HDX format:

  • IT (2017) $7.99
  • Alita: Batle Angel $9.99
  • Deadpool $6.99
  • Deadpool 2 $7.99
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming $5.96
  • Minions $6.99
  • Diehard $7.99
  • Despicable Me 2 $6.92
  • Long Shot $7.99
  • Hellboy $6.99
  • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay (Part 1) $5.00
  • The Hunger Games: Catching Fire $5.99
  • The Peanuts Movie: $4.99
  • The Martian $4.99
  • Wonder Woman $7.99
  • How To Train Your Dragon $6.99
  • How To Train Your Dragon 2 $6.99
  • Pitch Perfect $6.99
  • Kong Skull Island $6.99
  • Olympus Has Fallen $4.99

Again, this list is incomplete, just some titles I surfed around and noticed were decent deals, $5 is a pretty good price point to buy a movie these days. Although there are places selling physical media (Blu-ray and DVD) for $5 or less, so keep that in mind.

You might also want to check out Amazon Prime Video. They are having sales on buying movies too. They have some channels on sale with prices slashed for the next three months (none of the main premium ones yet, maybe those will be saved for Cyber Monday deals?): CBS All Access, Epix, britbox, Bet+, Nickhits and more.

See any good deals to buy channel streaming subscriptions (especially premium channels like HBO, Showtime, etc), movies and/or TV seasons on streaming or physical media? Use the comments, let us know.