Disney inks a deal with Sony to take control of a majority of the House of Mouse’s DVD and Blu-ray business

Disney enters a deal with Sony to manufacture, distribute, and market Disney’s DVDs, Blu-ray discs, and other physical media.

Last Updated on February 21, 2024

Disney, Sony, Blu-ray, DVD

Disney is handing Sony the reins of its physical media business over after striking a deal to outsource most of its home entertainment division. According to the agreement, Sony Pictures Entertainment will manufacture, distribute, and market Disney’s DVDs, Blu-ray discs, and other physical media. The pact includes plans to distribute all Disney’s new releases and catalog titles on physical media to audiences, retailers, and distributors in the United States and Canada. Disney’s digital media arm remains untouched after the deal, with the company maintaining control over its streaming platform, Disney+, and premium video-on-demand releases.

Disney won’t say if the pact will result in layoffs, though an internal investigation into the studio’s physical media divisions and functions is forthcoming. Layoffs have hit the entertainment industry hard in a post-pandemic arena, with video game developers laying off thousands of workers in 2024 alone. Disney recently invested $1.5B in Epic Games, the makers of Fortnite, to build a new social gaming space alongside plans to “interoperate” Disney intellectual properties with the always-online multiplayer shooter Fortnite.

Physical media sales like DVDs and Blu-rays have declined for quite some time, with hardcore collectors keeping hope alive one disc purchase at a time. According to data from trade association DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group, revenue for physical media in the U.S. dropped 28%, to $754 million in the first half of 2023, compared with $1.05 billion in the prior year.

The decline in physical media sales has prompted retail outlets like Best Buy to discontinue sales of Blu-rays and DVDs in their brick-and-mortar stores and online. Mail-in DVD and Blu-ray services are also going the way of the dodo, painting a grim future for consumers who wish to add their favorite films to a shelf.

The future of DVDs and Blu-rays remains to be determined. It will be interesting to see if handing responsibility over to Sony yields positive results for Disney or if this is simply a way to avoid dealing with a dying form of media.

What do you think about the state of DVDs and Blu-rays? Do you prefer physically owning your films and video games, or have you fully converted to digital libraries? Let us know in the comments section below.

Source: Variety

About the Author

Born and raised in New York, then immigrated to Canada, Steve Seigh has been a JoBlo.com editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. He started with Ink & Pixel, a column celebrating the magic and evolution of animation, before launching the companion YouTube series Animation Movies Revisited. He's also the host of the Talking Comics Podcast, a personality-driven audio show focusing on comic books, film, music, and more. You'll rarely catch him without headphones on his head and pancakes on his breath.