Disney Teaming With Sony to Handle Disney’s Physical Media Business – CNET

After announcing plans to discontinue the Disney Movie Club, the Walt Disney Co. is partnering with Sony to handle its physical media operations. 

Disney plans to implement a licensing agreement to enable Sony to manage this arm of its home entertainment business. As first reported by Variety, Sony will take over sales, manufacturing and distribution for the House of Mouse’s “new releases and catalog titles on physical media to consumers through retailers and distributors in the U.S. and Canada.” 

Customers who purchase Disney titles as DVDs, Blu-ray discs or other tangible media items will have fewer options to get them as the market for such goods is shrinking. Streaming is the primary way for viewers to see films and TV shows. With the Disney Movie Club subscription service officially ending in July, it is unclear if older titles from the Disney Vault will still be available through retailers. Not every title is available on Disney Plus — or other streaming services — so it’s possible movie buffs may need to find alternatives for physical copies of films and shows. 

Disney is not the only entertainment giant changing how it manages physical media. Netflix shuttered its DVD business last fall, and Best Buy decided to phase out DVDs and Blu-rays this year. Both companies cite the shift in how video content is consumed. 

While Disney aims to serve consumers who still want physical media, growing its streaming subscriber base is top of mind. Disney has expressed its intent to focus more on its digital platforms, which includes Disney Plus, ESPN Plus and Hulu. During its first-quarter earnings call, CEO Bob Iger discussed the company’s collaboration with Epic Games, and its new joint sports streaming venture with Fox and Warner Bros. Discovery. He and CFO Hugh Johnston called out Disney’s recent success in streaming — such as Moana being the most-streamed movie of 2023 — and paid sharing as examples of future wins.