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This article was published on December 4, 2009

DVDs Are Done – Metallica Just Showed Us

DVDs Are Done – Metallica Just Showed Us
Alex Wilhelm
Story by

Alex Wilhelm

Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected] Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected]

nimes_coverIt’s always a funny moment when you realize that a major change has happened. I proclaim it now: DVDs are a dead format, and should be treated as such.

The laptop that I am typing on has no DVD/CD drive in it, something that is becoming more and more common. I really doubt that it will ever bother me. What disc would I want to put into it?

When you are looking for music or software, two of the things that discs have for long carried, where do you go? The store? Of course npot, you go online, and purchase what you want, and download it.

This is now mainstream, but  people have tended to continue to use DVDs for movies. It made sense for a while, given that people did not have fast enough internet connections to handle streaming in the past. And people had invested so much money into their televison setup, that using it had a monentum in and off itself.

But this has been in decline, as we all know. Netflix brought new life to the physical medium by mailing you discs, removing the need to actually go out and rent a movie, something that I will never do again.

But then Netflix began to stream movies. And that was the beginning of the end. It put real time streaming into the hands of the mass market consumer for the first time, ever. You use Netflix to rent movies for your home TV? Now just stream them.

Hell, even YouTube is getting on board with streaming movies. You can watch full length films on YouTube here, if you don’t mind the ads.

foxtrot floppy

This trend will continue, unabated, until physical storage mediums will become, finally, moot. The body is dead, we are just seeing the death-twitches. Let’s bring in Metallica to show off exatly what I am saying.

Metallica is currently on tour everywhere, and has just released two DVDs of taped concerts. One in an ancient arena in France, and one filmed at a gigantic soccer stadium in Mexico City. You can buy the DVDs, and then have them shipped to you in a neat box. Metallica is a mega-act, and people all over the world want to see these concerts, including your humble blogger.

What was the consumer reaction? To upload the files to YouTube (well worth your time to watch), and based on a quick search around the internet, torrent them to no end. The content is racking up downloads and views in the tens of thousands. It is a safe wager that the (albeit illegal) streaming content is going to steamroll the physical product.

Question: would you rather watch it in three minutes, or wait for a week, plus shipping fees? The market has spoken. The convience of streaming over the wait of a box of Metallica-goodness.

Now, if Metallica had a purchase-to-download option, that would be a different story. I would have purchased that in a second, but am stuck with YoutTube instead. The bad actually is quite progressive there, recording all their shows for consumer download. But to only sell physical copies of the DVD is archaic.

Point is, consumers are demanding that content be streamable, now. The internet has killed off physical conveyance of data. Hats off to Al Gore everyone, the change has happened.

tl;dr, have a great weekend everyone.