It should be no surprise that the plastic disc business is languishing. In a piece in the Guardian, Adam Sherwin documents the DVD industry crisis. The reasons for the decline range from the proliferation of streaming through Netflix, the fledgling need of consumers to buy a TV show box set to view a missed episode, and the rise of Redbox $1 rentals. Movie piracy is obviously a concern too, but it's actually the least empathized cause in the article.
Like the record industry, the movie studios built a huge economic engine around an idea that's going away. In viewing my own behavior, it's easy to see why the DVD is destined for decline, because I don't own any discs and never plan to. I have Netflix and stream everything they have. Then, since there's a Redbox in every Wal-Mart – and there's plenty of those around here – I just rent from them.
On occasion, I'll go to a movie in the local theater, because I enjoy watching a show without being distracted. By no means am I movie junkie, but there are few shows that I haven't seen. It makes no sense for me to go into the depths of Wal-Mart and come out with a plastic disc. Others are coming away with the same conclusions and he greatest cash cow of the movie industry is decaying.
"Everything, everywhere, all the time," writes Chris Suellentrop in the latest Wired issue. "That’s the dream of the Rentership Society. And we’re almost there. If you want to be able to possess some things, in some places, some of the time, well, keep on buying." He votes for "infinite abundance, on demand." It's utopian. However, in purchasing an iPod Touch, I can't say that I don't share Suellentrop's sentiments. I already own around 250 plastic discs and don't desire to obtain another. My journey into music subscriptions may begin soon. I'll be sure to share my thoughts here once I do. So many services to choose from... or not.