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Disney Begins To Wind Down Physical Media, Starting In Australia

DVDs and Blu-Rays are ending. Soon everything will be digital-only.

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In a world where major studios such as Disney have been censoring and editing older works, physical media has been important for those that want to preserve history and watch works that haven’t been censored for modern sensibilities. But now, physical media from major studios could soon be a thing of the past if Disney has its way, signaling a move towards a digital-only future.

In a staggering move reflective of the rising streaming and digital era, the Walt Disney Company has declared the discontinuation of physical disc production for its movies and TV shows in Australia, effective immediately.

Halting the production of DVDs, Blu-rays, and 4K Blu-ray discs, the media giant intends to drive the focus towards digital releases and its streaming service, Disney+. The initial phase of this transition is slated to begin post the release of Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3, which will be the last in-line movie to be released on physical discs in Australia and, although not confirmed, could be a sign of things to come in other countries.

The implications of this shift are far-reaching, as it encompasses more than just the enchanting princess tales and Marvel’s extravagant blockbusters. Disney’s expansive portfolio includes globally renowned franchises such as Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and The Simpsons, in addition to National Geographic and the complete 20th Century Fox content catalog, among others.

The entire array of intellectual property associated with these franchises is now destined for a digital-only existence without any physical home video disc releases in Australia. This includes new releases as well as re-releases of older content, including 4K remasters.

The gateway to a fully digital entertainment sphere seems to have opened with the first nail in the coffin being the perceived demise of 4K Blu-ray. Given that this transformative step has been initiated by the world’s leading entertainment conglomerate, there is a palpable sense of unease.

This stride in the realm of entertainment distribution might not be viewed as a welcome change universally, as it raises serious questions about accessibility, censorship, and free speech. Global conglomerates like Disney have the power to control narratives and influence people on a scale that few others can do, by deciding what content is accessible, thus possibly creating a threat to unbiased intellectual discourse and freedom of speech, especially in countries with minimal technological access. However, only time can unveil the true implications of this shift.

While this fundamental change in the entertainment landscape might be a bitter pill to swallow for some, to others, it signals a new era of digital dominance. Nonetheless, the question we all must ask is – at what cost does progress come?

If you're tired of censorship and dystopian threats against civil liberties, subscribe to Reclaim The Net.

Tired of censorship and surveillance?

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