Disney Inks Deal for Sony to Take Over Its Home Media Production

According to Deadline, Disney has reached a licensing deal with Sony under which the latter’s home entertainment division will handle all Disney releases on DVDs, Blu-ray as well as all physical media production.

As part of the deal, Sony will market, sell, and distribute all Disney’s new releases and catalogue titles on physical media formats to consumers through retailers and distributors in the United States and Canada. The Mouse House will continue to manage its own digital media.

Revenue for physical media in the U.S. dropped 28%, to $754 million, in the first half of 2023, compared with $1.05 billion in the prior year, according to data from trade association DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group. It’s projected that 2024 will be the first year revenue drops below one million dollars.

Disney, Sony

The deal enables the studio to continue to offer films and TV shows through physical retailers and to adapt to consumer demand more efficiently. Disney stated that the shift is consistent with strategies it’s implemented companywide, as well as transitions in other markets.

Sadly, the deal between Disney’s exit from physical media production signifies the ongoing deterioration in the home media market. Physical disc sales show no signs of recovering amid the industry’s ongoing efforts in capitalising the streaming boom. Last fall, Netflix put an end to its disc-by-mail service, a business model in which customers rent DVDs and similar discs containing films, television shows, video games and the like, ordering online for delivery to the customer by mail.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Although majority of consumers have shifted towards the convenience of streaming media, there are still many benefits when it comes to owning media in a physical format. Whether it’s media preservation, accessibility to media, disc ownership ensures the longevity of media as movie studios are fighting against one another viciously during the streaming wars. Furthermore, streaming services means risking your favourite show or movie getting dropped or moved to another service. Disney Plus, for instance, removed a number of shows in the last few months.