Opinion: Should you still buy physical media?

Physical media is in a weird time right now. While there are many streaming services like Netflix and Hulu that contain a vast number of TV shows at their disposal, they do have one issue that physical media does not; consistency.

Take, for example, the popular TV series “The Office” has been a sensation on Netflix for years. However, it will be moving to NBCUniveral’s new streaming service Peacock in January 2021

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Meanwhile, if someone were to purchase “The Office” complete series on DVD, they would not have to worry about which streaming service it was on.

I do think the value of physical media is going to increase due to America’s cancel culture that it has going on.

One TV show that I own all the seasons of FOX’s “Last Man Standing.” This is a particularly special one to me, but the general public does have its issues with it.

All of the seasons of “Last Man Standing” that I own.

The top issue the public has with the show is that Tim Allen’s main character in the series, Mike Baxter, is a very right-wing politically conservative Republican person and is not afraid to showcase his views on the show.

My fear is that one day, the show will be removed from syndication and streaming services once it finishes airing on FOX. It may not be within the next year or five years, but I believe it will happen at some point.

It is with that reason that I purchased all seasons of the series due to that looming fear.

However, there is a part of me that does see the need to focus more on getting TV shows and movies digitally through iTunes. It with this logic that I have purchased TV shows like “Sports Night” select episodes of shows like “Doctor Who” and have the entire series of “Silicon Valley.” For movies, I have “Office Space,” “Stuck In Love,” “The Intern” and “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.”

The entire series of HBO’s “Silicon Valley” on DVD that I was able to get on my Apple TV app library thanks to these purchases.

I do have plans to get more movies and TV shows in the future through iTunes since it enables me to not only have them on-hand, but I can access them on my Apple TV and my other Apple devices, as well as other devices like my mom’s Amazon Fire TV Streaming Stick thanks to the Apple TV app being on it.

Even when it comes to music CDs, most of us have either Apple Music or Spotify, so that has solved all of the problems with that. You could even say that they have both put “1,000 songs in your back pocket,” as Steve Jobs said about the original iPod.

The question still looms though, should you still get physical media?

I’m going to say there are certain scenarios where buying physical media is still viable in our modern digital society. Those would be for political reasons such as cancel culture. Of course, another one is whether or not a TV show or movie is not available on digital platforms, but is available on DVD, then you would go and purchase it. If it is possible to buy on a digital platform, buy it there because space is a finite thing.

Yes, physical media can be nice to have for one reason or the next, but with streaming and digital options for TV consumption, there is no need to be buying DVDs at every single chance.

As for CDs…unless it’s a rare one, you’re probably best to get rid of it somehow. Somehow find a way to sell it on eBay or donate it to a local Goodwill.

David Becker
Author: David Becker

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