First Video tapes, now DVDs?

DVDs were the entertainment of the future. But thanks to Netflix and Hulu, are they on the way out? (Photo courtesy of Matt Wiener)

Home entertainment has skyrocketed within the development of technology over the 21st century. Transitions in platforms of how people watch shows and events to entertain themselves have largely shaped the current era of entertainment.However, we all started somewhere in our entertainment journey, whether you were born in 1965 or 2005. My journey started when I was born in December of 2001.

As told to me by my mother, I always had the TV remote in my hand as soon as I learned how to grab any kind of object. My first memories of shows mainly include the cast of Sesame Street and Barney. During the holiday season, I received countless video tapes of the shows and watched them over and over.

From my pre-school years up to beginning grade school, kids classics like Barney and Sesame Street were the shows that became the backbone of my entertainment journey..

The VCR was the key reason I was able to enjoy my favorite shows without too much of a hassle. As a younger kid, I truly understood the power of VCRs. Any piece of entertainment that I owned was accessible to watch, just by sliding in a video tape.

As I was in the midst of grade school, around second or third grade, my parents introduced me to a whole new realm of intriguing, at-home entertainment, known as DVDs (digital video discs). DVDs blew away the world with its straightforward design, easy to use features, and simple storage. When I was first shown DVDs, I became amazed with the pure convenience of the product.

At this point in time, I had moved on from kids shows and into TV shows with a true plot. I looked to channels such as Disney, who mainly broadcasted family friendly sitcoms like The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. Other channels were Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon, who contained a good mix of sitcoms/animations.

When these shows released for DVDs, I immediately bugged my parents to get them for my entertainment. Astounded by the fact I could play these shows whenever I pleased while never having to wait for the TV time slot, I was the happiest kid alive.

For years and years, I used DVDs for entertainment, family togetherness, or even as an escape from reality when I needed it. The collection of TV shows and movies piled up in my DVD shelf.

Nowadays, as a 16-year-old teenager, I no longer rely on DVDs as my main form of entertainment. Streaming networks such as Netflix and Hulu include many TV shows and movies of the past as well as new shows on demand, whenever the customer wants it.

Compared to the price of an average cable television service, these streamers companies offer a lower monthly fee, around $8 to $10 a month. Top satellite TV providers such as DirectTV and Dish charge within a range of $50 to $100, depending on certain package types.

The difference in price becomes a huge factor when a customer is deciding how to watch their entertainment. For most, the price is the deciding factor.

The rise of on-demand streams in turn affects sales of DVDs. According to Thenumbers.com, a steady decrease in DVD sales across the United States has occured from recent years. Starting from 2015, the number one DVD in the USA decreased an average of 313,832 copies.

To put it in perspective, the number one top selling DVD across the United States in 2010 was Avatar, selling a total number of 10,173,099 copies. This year, the number one top selling DVD is currently Black Panther, and as of Mid-October, sold roughly more than 1,353,000 copies across the nation. The franchise does not look to be on pace to break 2,000,000 through October.

Though Netflix and Hulu continue their streaming success, other companies are transitioning to a more modern approach of entertainment. Child entertainment giant Disney announced a new streaming service, to be released late next year.

Disney is soon to pull out of their deal with Netflix, which allowed Netflix to stream various amounts of Disney TV shows and movies. As an added bonus, according to Cnet.com, the price of the Disney streaming service is told to be cheaper than Netflix.

Currently, the addition of original shows created by Netflix and Hulu add an element of individuality, which gains the companies an advantage over cable or satellite television. These shows can only be seen on the specific companies subscriptions.

All in all, DVDs are most definitely on the decline. Though it looks like a slow process from straight numbers, DVDs are fading quicker than customers may think. Unless an extraordinary change is made to the discs that contain hours of entertainment, customers in the future may find themselves in the store for gift cards to streaming services, not DVDs.

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