North Texas Daily

Physical media should be valued over digital media

Physical media should be valued over digital media

Physical media should be valued over digital media
July 26
14:00 2021

Streaming services have taken over the entertainment world, presenting a unique set of pros and cons. “Black Widow” wrapped up its opening weekend at the box office, raking in $158 million. Sixty million of it came from Disney+ alone, showing we are truly in the era of digital media thriving above everything else.

Physical media is slowly starting to become overlooked. Owning physical copies of movies and books will always be a reliable way to consume media, and physical media will outlast digital media in the long run.

Physical sales in movie discs have dropped every year for the last nine years, according to The Digital Bits. As streaming continues to dominate, physical media takes a bigger punch. The heavy-hitting streaming services, like Disney+ and Netflix, have only grown over time. Disney+ is at over 100 million subscribers and Netflix at over 200 million, according to Newsweek. Part of it comes from people getting so eager to watch these shows and movies the day they come out. The instant access aspect of streaming could steer people away from physical media altogether.

There is something therapeutic about collecting physical copies of media. Streaming services have a variety of titles at your disposal, but when you collect books and Blu-ray Discs, you get to be selective and curate the collection you want. Shopping for movies online, and collecting special editions of certain movies is a rewarding experiencing.

The constant growth of streaming services makes it difficult to support them. Movies and shows rotate in and out of streaming services on a monthly basis, and with millions of titles, there is no time to truly explore and find what you love most. I have found myself halfway through a series on a streaming service, before I know it, it has vanished. Physical media does not rush you to binge your favorite shows or cram a movie in your schedule before it is replaced.

There are also too many streaming services out there. Every major entertainment company seems to be creating its own streaming service, which makes audiences pick and choose which ones they like the most. It used to be simple when Netflix had basically every show and movie ever made, but now there are too many moving parts, and streaming is becoming overwhelming for many.

The biggest factor that knocks digital media a notch below physical media revolves around internet connection. Not all people have access to the internet and for those who do, if the internet is down, or even if the connection is just average, video playback loses its quality. All of the doors that were once opened by streaming services are now closed shut because of a shaky Wi-Fi connection.

Steaming services are likely to continue to thrive and provide entertainment for millions, but it is important to consider the positives to consuming media physically.

Streaming is convenient, but that does not mean it is the best way to consume entertainment. Whether you are collecting as a hobby or are tired of streaming services multiplying by the day, physical media is the better route.

Featured Illustration by Miranda Thomas

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Jaden Oberkrom

Jaden Oberkrom

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