Opinion: I’ve read a lot of articles lately about the death of physical media, the death of Blu-ray, the death of CD, and the resurgence of vinyl and cassette tapes. And you’ve probably read the same issue (write some) about issues with streaming services. Instead of these things being certain, everything is in flux.
At the moment, the trend is moving in the direction of digital media, an area that will continue to grow. Physical media isn’t in the midst of its death, and won’t evaporate to a tuft and float away in the wind, but it’s likely that the massively popular mass-market days of the early 2000s are behind it.
Digital media has replaced physical media (replacing it is not really the term) but it has come at a price. The news about this column was announced in July, so it’s not really new, but it didn’t go into effect until August 31. The news was that the PlayStation Store would remove StudioCanal movies from its German and Austrian stores due to licensing issues.
Of course this is nothing new, licensing agreements are always evolving, but the constant here is not that you will not be able to download StudioCanal content from the store anymore, but that you will lose access to the movies you have purchased, i.e. you will not. You can no longer watch these movies Absolutely.
This is, quite frankly, ridiculous. The fact that you lost access to the content you paid for is confusing. It’s a problem exacerbated by these gated content gardens, and the inability to transfer these elements from a single platform due to digital media rights. As noted before with digital content, you don’t own it, you effectively rent it and the rug can be pulled from under you all of a sudden.
I’ve heard about issues with the iTunes Movie Store where content purchased in one market cannot be transferred to another, so if you move countries, there is a chance that you won’t be able to watch the movies and TV shows you have stored on. Digital media was intended, at least for me, to provide more freedom and flexibility: all your favorite programs can be accessed on your laptop or tablet. It now appears that this concept is something of a utopia.
It highlights the obvious and obvious problem with digital content, which was exacerbated by the fact that in the statement on PlayStation Store from 2021 about its move to stop movie and TV purchases, the post said “Users can still access the movie and TV content they’ve purchased through the PlayStation Store.” For on-demand playback on PS4, PS5 and mobile devices.” Well, that’s not true now, and it only leads to a feeling of mistrust.
The streaming wars haven’t made anything easier, with content now spread over many services where viewers sign up to watch what they want and then unsubscribe when done. With how much money is being invested in streaming services, it’s not a good case, but you look at it.
So I’ll stick with physical media, and keep investing in my Blu-ray 4K collection. While physical media is by no means perfect; It is less dangerous than digital media.