Target Helps Kill Physical Media With New Removal Notice

By Brian Myers | Published

target physical media

Retail giant Target is the latest department store chain to announce its intention to back away from its physical media offerings in its aisles. The announcement was made last Wednesday, signaling to consumers that the writing is on the wall for the eventual end of DVD and Blu-ray purchases from big box stores altogether. But while Target is moving away from these forms of physical media, the announcement doesn’t mean that the locations will be totally void of these products.

They Won’t Disappear Completely

target physical media

Target stated that while it will severely reduce the DVDs and Blu-rays that are available in stores that these forms of physical media will still be available online for now. Additionally, Target will still stock new, popular releases in stores in limited quantities and have a limited line of DVDs and Blu-rays available for gift purchases at holiday time. The cutback from Target is certainly not the first blow to physical media, as retailer Best Buy announced last fall that it will cease selling DVDs and Blu-rays entirely.

Best Buy

Best Buy’s announcement marked the first in what could be a wave of big box retailers eliminating physical media from their brick-and-mortar locations. Unlike Target’s plan for a large-scale back-up, Best Buy’s move is to halt stocking these items altogether by the end of 2024. The amount of content available across a multitude of streaming platforms has certainly fomented these new policies, but a growing concern for the environment has also been a consideration.

What Could Fall Through The Cracks?

target physical media

Used DVDs, Blu-ray, and other forms of physical media wind up in landfills across the nation each year in shocking amounts. Halting the production of something that will eventually end up as trash seems to be a good way for a retailer to show their support for green energy efforts as well as protecting their bottom line. But the moves that Target, Best Buy, and others are making aren’t without their critics.

Though there is a great deal of content available through streaming services, there are still a shocking number of titles that are absent from these companies. The fear that some film fanatics have is that moving away from DVDs and Blu-ray will eventually mean that some titles will be forever lost in the dustbin of cinematic history. Target’s offering of limited titles certainly won’t make a dent here, and it might mean the beginning of the end of physical media offered by the chain.

Physical Media Advocates

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Academy Award-winning director James Cameron has advocated for the importance of films being released on physical media, as this form has less limitations than streaming and helps keep what is considered a “film” truly defined. And he’s not alone, as Guillermo del Toro and Christopher Nolan have both publicly made comments in support of keeping physical media production working.

Video Games

Sony PlayStation

Target’s plans might include ridding its shelves of much of its physical media, but that doesn’t mean that every form will be fading away. Video games in their traditional physical forms will still be able to be purchased in person and online at Target locations. As there are more and more game titles available for streaming each year, it might only be a matter of time before this physical media is slowly faded out as well.

Source: IGN