Last year when Warner Bros. rolled its plans to release its entire slate of movies in 2021 both in theaters and its streaming service, HBO Max, the decision was met with much resistance and drama. But apparently, the production doesn’t scare easy and it is already gearing up to bring about another revolution by completely phasing out Blu-ray and DVDs if a recent report by animation historian Jerry Beck is to be believed.
In a tweet, which is now unavailable, Beck claimed that in 2022, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will start phasing out physical media, which includes DVDs and Blu-ray. While his comments began with Warner’s print-on-demand service, Warner Archive, he went on to detail the changes en route for the company’s home entertainment options.
In his tweet, he shared that the company is already slowly transitioning away from physical media like DVDs and Blu-ray. Allegedly, the company will be extending this new policy to classic cartoons as well, which won’t be available on DVD or Blu either. He mentioned a project in the pipeline that may or may not have the chance of existing in the form of physical media.
While no official confirmation from Warner Bros. has cemented these claims and Jerry Beck is not in any direct association with the company, he is still a famous, legitimate historian and has always been a credible insider. He went on to explain that even though physical media has churned out profits this year and while there will be some new releases from both Warner Archive and Warner Home Video this year, the bigger picture that Warner Bros. has planned includes different things for 2022. There will be more focus on their streaming platform, HBO Max, which is not doing so great in terms of subscribers compared to its competitors.
The claims by Beck have also been investigated by ComicBook.com whose source pegged the historian’s report as being “overly pessimistic” as even though the market is constantly shifting and changing, Warner Bros. currently has no plans to end the long-running era of DVD and Blu-ray releases.
Whether Beck’s report about DVD and Blu-ray being phased out is true or not, the fact remains that Warner Bros. has been relentlessly trying to amp up the popularity of HBO Max that is still trying to find its feet in the sea of streaming platforms out there. While its recent decision of releasing films on HBO Max was partly because of the raging coronavirus pandemic, the primary reason was its long-term plans for HBO Max. So even though the company underwent some major losses due to its decision and was panned by many directors, including Christopher Nolan who pegged it as the worst streaming service, it was an investment for its streaming platform’s future growth.
But as per reports, in 2019, Warner Bros. brought in a profit of over $14 billion for WarnerMedia and while a portion of it was courtesy of the box office success, a major percentage was through DVD and Blu-ray purchases. Thus if Warner Bros. is indeed planning to phase out physical media, it should be ready to incur more losses initially. Only the future will tell whether they will be able to bear them or not.