Owning Your Favorite Media Forever

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 2 min read

Torie Bosch: My Husband Was Right About DVDs All Along

I like to rewatch my favorite shows and movies, often as background noise while I do something else. And the idea that platforms are now removing even their original programming—which I had assumed was sacred—makes me worry about the future of other digital content, too. So I’m glad we hauled all of those DVDs and Blu-rays (even if I still think we could remove them from their cases and organize them some other way to save a bunch of space).

I chuckled when I saw this article come across my feeds today because I had just been working on a post about how much I appreciated physical media, but as I wrote that article, the more I realized just how amazing digital is.

But I do sympathize with the idea of owning the things you really love. Ideally, you'd own them in a DRM-free format that you can know you'll always have no matter what, but the next best ways are via DVDs, BluRays, or digital copies from somewhere like the iTunes store. Personally, I worry about how easy it will be to watch a movie or TV show on discs many years down the line (how useful is a VHS collection today?), but at least it's something you know that you can play it whenever you want, as long as you have the right hardware.

Personally, I'm very happy to stream or rent 99% of the things I watch, but that 1% is stuff that really resonates with me and I want to own forever. Sometimes that's physical media, other times it's digital, but being able to own my favorite things is important to me.

Torie continues by raising this point:

But I also wish that streamers would create Blu-rays of their original content. I should be able to purchase the complete Bojack Horseman on Blu-ray to hold on to it forever—what if something happens to Netflix? But I can only find Seasons 1 and 2—and most streaming originals don’t have any physical media for sale at all.

I think it's extremely frustrating that streaming services generally don't let people buy permanent copies of the shows they offer. Coda won Best Picture at the Oscars last year and there is no way for someone to buy that movie and know they'll be able to see it whenever they want in the future. That's nuts.