Those who like physical media might take a big hit next year. According to animation historian Jerry Beck, Warner Bros. begin phasing out DVD and Blu-ray releases from 2022. This means that future movies and TV shows are unlikely to be released physically, with the focus shifting to streaming. Specifically, HBO Max.
The news recently started circulating on Twitter. While Jerry Beck hasn’t tweeted from his personal account in a while, some screenshots of what appears to be a Facebook group have been circulating recently. In the screencaps, Beck says that Warner Bros. has no plans to commemorate a number of historic anniversaries in the animation world next year. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
“At this point, there are no plans to commemorate Daffy or Tweety’s anniversaries next year or ever. The company is slowly moving away from physical media. project we’re in the middle of, due out later this year … or not). Anything is possible … we’ll just have to wait and see. “
Jerry Beck is not directly affiliated with Warner Bros. but is considered a trusted insider in this area. He is a legitimate historian and has quite a bit of credibility. So while this is not coming straight from the horse’s mouth, it is well worth keeping an eye out for. As he continued speaking, he explained the following.
“It includes both Warner Archive and regular Warner Home Video. You will still see some new releases of both in the rest of 2021, but those were scheduled last year. Next year (2022), this year’s changes will be noticeable. Yes, the Tex Avery sets sold well enough for the Archive Collection division with low overheads. But in general they are peanuts … and the focus there is now on streaming (HBO Max). ”
It’s worth noting that Jerry Beck specializes in animation and, more specifically, he could be talking about that arena. In any case, the shift away from physical media with a focus on streaming makes sense. So many movie buffs still love Blu-rays, the market has been shrinking for years. Relatively speaking, it is a niche market. Streaming, meanwhile, is seen as the future of entertainment, representing potentially billions in reliable monthly revenue.
This is also important as companies like Apple and Amazon are currently facing lawsuits related to digital film and TV purchases. These purchases are not so much proprietary as they are rented as long as the company decides to bring these titles to platforms such as iTunes. With that in mind, Blu-rays and more recently 4K Ultra HD releases are of great value to those who want to make sure they can watch certain movies indefinitely. Admittedly, at worst, this would just be Warner Bros. to be. But it would be easy to see Disney and other studios follow suit to double the streaming. You can view the screenshots yourself, as shared by the peng Twitter account.