In the not too distant past, if you wanted to own your favourite TV programme, you had to wait a few weeks for the DVD/Blu-ray to be released after the last episode had aired. There is a certain thrill in the anticipation of receiving a physical product which is part of the joy. Once received, you can delight in the artwork that graces the front cover and feel excited at discovering that it has a wealth of bonus content such as interviews, booklets and trailers, allowing you to learn more about your favourite show. DVDs/Blu-rays make great gifts, can be lent to friends and can be taken anywhere. If displayed on shelves, they reveal your tastes and provide a talking point for when you have visitors over.


I feel that there is something communal and social about phyiscal products; watching programmes digitally is a solo activity and less social. Your friends may not have watched as many episodes/or have watched more, so you can’t discuss together. Popular streaming service Netflix produces their own shows, which are not available to watch on TV, yet they are still released on DVD; ‘Orange is the New Black’, ‘Grace and Frankie’ and ‘The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ being a few examples which demonstrates that DVDs are still in demand.  Also, having content available on-demand, it can be argued, has turned us into impatient, greedy consumers.


The advent of programmes being made available digitally allows audiences to watch programmes almost as soon as they have aired and gives them access to programmes that will never air on television (a subscription or account may be required). There is a certain feeling of importance knowing that programmes are waiting for you, ready to fit into your schedule rather than having to wait for the physical product to be released.


The programmes you have purchased or bookmarked are linked to your account, so in the unfortunate event that a device experiences a malfunction, they will still be there waiting for you, rather than having to purchase your collection again. Furthermore, being a digital viewer allows you to watch programmes on a multitude of devices such as laptop, mobile and tablet anytime and anywhere you like - without having to carry a bulky portable DVD/Blu-ray player!


Charity shops are overflowing with DVDs, digital customers don’t need to worry about space or selling unwanted programmes. Lest we forget that services such as iTunes allow you to pre-order programmes before they have broadcast which can unlock special features not available on other formats and allows viewers to watch episodes before their physical product-owning counterparts. Amazon, a website which is a key destination for home entertainment has launched Amazon Video, their digital streaming service which proves they no longer want to be known as the go-to destination for books and DVDs/Blu-rays and see the importance of digital.


Are you a fan of owning a physical product or are you purchasing content digitally? Let us know in the comments.