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  • Writer's pictureAaron Fonseca

Disney Sells a Major Part of Its Movie Business to Sony

Fonseca is out sick but be back with new shows and more in March...

Sony and Disney will come together after a major deal has been struck between the two titans.

Per Variety, Disney will soon be outsourcing the distribution of its home entertainment media to Sony Pictures Entertainment. The new deal will see Sony manufacture, distribute, and market DVDs, Blu-rays, and other physical media of Disney-owned releases. Sony will only be selling all of Disney's new releases and catalog titles on physical media through various retailers in the United States and Canada, while Disney will continue to manage the digital versions of its media. There is speculation in the report that the switch could lead to layoffs at Disney, but it's noted that the House of Mouse is "expected to conduct an internal assessment across all business functions that support physical entertainment amid the transition to Sony."

Reportedly, Disney has suggested that the Sony deal was done as a way to allow the company to continue selling physical copies of their movies and TV shows in response to consumer demand more efficiently. This follows previous reports that Disney would be shifting away from selling physical media, which led to a lot of criticism on social media. Even with the online outcry, however, it's true that the sales of physical media have dropped in recent years as streaming viewership has only continued to rise. Reportedly, physical media sales in the United States dropped in the first half of 2023 by 28% compared to the same period of time in 2022.

Other Companies Are Moving Away From Physical Media 

The effects of declining physical media sales have also been seen with the changing of strategies in other major companies. Best Buy recently discontinued the sales of Blu-rays and DVDs, both in-store and online, in early 2024. In 2023, Netflix also finally put an end to their DVD-by-mail business after seeing heavy drops in interest with each passing year. Despite the decline, there is still a certain market for physical media, and some filmmakers have recently encouraged filmgoers to support the format, ensuring they'd always have their own copies of the films they love.

"The Dark Knight was one of the first films where we formatted it specially for Blu-ray release because it was a new form at the time," Christopher Nolan said at an Oppenheimer screeningin 2023. "And in the case of Oppenheimer, we put a lot of care and attention into the Blu-ray version […] and trying to translate the photography and the sound, putting that into the digital realm with a version you can buy and own at home and put on a shelf so no evil streaming service can come steal it from you.”

Source: Variety

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