Physical media moves closer to extinction as Tesco pulls plug on CDs and DVDs

Blu-rays and games are thought to avoid the cull, at least for now.

There’s bad news on the horizon for those who still enjoy growing their CD or DVD collection.

A Tesco insider, speaking to Film Stories, has disclosed an internal communiqué revealing the supermarket chain’s plan to remove such forms of physical media from store shelves.

Though CDs and DVDs are specifically mentioned as facing the axe, there’s no word on whether Blu-rays or games are likely to be held in meaningful quantities.

The relentless shift to online streaming has resulted in a drastic decline in sales of physical media. According to market research firm Omdia, global physical video transactions have plummeted from 6.1 billion in 2011 to 1.2 billion in 2021. In stark contrast, the number of subscribers to video streaming services has soared from 39 million to over a billion during the same period.

This year, a mere 300 millions DVDs are expected to be sold worldwide; a far cry from the 2 billion annual sales during the medium’s height of popularity.

Tesco’s decision to free-up shelf space follows a similar move from Sainsbury’s in 2021, which resulted in a mass sell-off of existing DVD and Blu-ray stock. If history repeats itself, the next few weeks could present some movie and music bargains at the nearest Tesco.

According to the report, in-store stock is being reduced as we speak, culminating in CDs and DVDs disappearing entirely by the week commencing February 28.