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such a nasty woman | by maryann johanson

question of the day: When was the last time you bought a CD, DVD, or blu-ray in a bricks-and-mortar store?

I stumbled across an article yesterday at Crave Online about how author Erik Norris’s quest for a new blu-ray at a Best Buy store turned into a moment of new-media frustration:

Apparently, Best Buy has begun preparation for the digital revolution, downsizing their physical media–that means CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray–due to the increasing consumer interest in digitally distributed content. The space left over from compacting these mediums will be allotted to video games, namely motion control devices, and other electronics.

Upon some internet searching, and because I didn’t believe the lowly Best Buy floor employee, I did manage to find an official press release issued by Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn confirming the “store reset” restructuring, although there is conflicting terminology.

While the Best Buy employee informed me that the three above mentioned media formats would see a cutback in stock in all Best Buy retail stores, Dunn makes no mention of Blu-ray’s stock being cut at the knees, only mentions of CDs and DVDs. Specifically, Dunn says, “[Best Buy] will include an increase in the space for higher-growth and in the aggregate higher-margin categories — like (mobile phones), e-readers, and gaming – with a heavy emphasis on new gaming platforms and pre-owned game titles.

“This will be enabled by a reorganization of the DVD and CD sections. The CD section in particular will shrink in space allotment,” says Dunn.

Norris goes on to explain why streaming blu-rays won’t work (the files are too massive for today’s bandwidth to handle. But, more pertinently to today’s question, he vents his his despair at how such restructuring will make it that much harder to find, in a store, the particular DVD or CD you’re looking for. (Similar restructurings are sure to be taken by other retailers: Wal-Mart has already cut back on the CDs it carries; U.K. retailer HMV has seen slumps in DVD and CD sales, too, which could lead to a restructuring of their shops as well.)

I know that the last time I tried to find a certain DVD in the few stores left in Manhattan that sell DVDs, it was an exercise in aggravation: I had to run to a couple different places before I found it, because these places have a terrible selection, with only the latest releases and biggest hits. It taught me to plan better in the future, so I didn’t have DVD emergencies and could wait for a shipment from Amazon.

When was the last time you bought a CD, DVD, or blu-ray in a bricks-and-mortar store? Will it be a great loss if we no longer are able to walk into a physical shop and buy such things?

Oh, and another thing: I cannot remember the last time I bought a physical CDs. I pay to download lots of music. But it’s been years and years since I had a new CD in my hands.

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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