As Netflix loses TV favorites like ‘The Office’ to new rivals, DVD and Blu-ray sellers see a big opportunity
Category : entrepreneur
First, we learned “Friends” would leave Netflix for the upcoming streaming service, HBO Max.
Now, “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation” are on their way out, as NBCUniversal prepares to launch its new streamer, Peacock.
With legacy media brands like Disney, WarnerMedia, and NBCUniversal launching streaming services of their own, Netflix and Hulu subscribers face losing access to the shows they’ve grown accustomed to binge-watching to their heart’s content.
But there’s an industry that is embracing that uncertainty: stores that sell DVDs and Blu-rays.
Blake Lindberg, a manager at Academy Records — one of the few shops in New York City that still buys and sells second-hand DVDs — told Business Insider that even though streaming services continue to bring in significantly more money than DVD sales, some of his patrons are frustrated with the increasingly fleeting nature of content on streaming services.
“What we notice from talking to clientele is that these items might be on Netflix or Hulu this month, but they might not be next month,” said Lindberg, who’s worked at Academy Records for over 20 years.
Academy Records mostly carries uncommon films and niche finds for dedicated collectors, Lindberg said, but the store keeps box sets of classic TV shows and new releases that might not be streaming yet available as well.
‘No one can take it away from you’: The perks of DVDs
Despite the growing market of streaming services, Lindberg said be believes people will continue to see the value of owning physical media like DVDs. Physical discs of your favorite shows won’t become unavailable and they often come with added features like director commentary that aren’t included elsewhere.
“When you have a hard copy it’s a done deal,” he said. “You own it, and no one can take it away from you.”
READ MORE: NBCU shared details about its upcoming Netflix competitor, Peacock, which will become the streaming home of ‘The Office’
Kevin Murray, the social content manager at SecondSpin, a site that buys and sells pre-owned DVDs and Blu-rays, said TV shows from newer hits like “Game of Thrones” and “Arrow” to classics like “Seinfeld” and “Friends” bring in consistent business.
“TV shows are one of our top categories both in sales and in trade-ins,” he said. “People trade in older seasons, but they go right back out the door so quickly.”
In addition to benefits like bonus features, Murray said DVD enthusiasts also value packaging because it puts a unique twist on their favorite content, like the “Charmed” box set he bought just because it was packaged as a replica of the “Book of Shadows” from the show.
Some SecondSpin customers, who range from 30 to 50 years old on average, find DVDs easier to use than streaming services, Murray said. International customers in particular tend to favor SecondSpin over streaming, likely because not all US-based streaming services are available in other countries.
Murray said streaming has not affected business at SecondSpin, but the company plans to capitalize on the reliability of discs as more streaming services launch and swap content.
“We’re going to keep our eye on those TV shows to see what the interest level is and see if we can capture that over the next few months once these platforms start to launch,” he said.