Question: is it reasonable for me to trade in my DVDs for cash and rely on Netflix’s “Watch It Now” streaming video selection to always have the movies I want to watch available?
I foresee a future where we’ll stream all movies to our HDTVs. Selling my DVDs now, while they retain what will likely be the highest resale value, is probably a smart thing to do. The physical copies only take up space. I’ll probably move in the next year, forcing me to pack these items up once again. And the quality of streaming videos will only improve over time, eventually to the point that DVDs will have inferior picture and sound.
However, Netflix doesn’t hold the rights to movies in perpetuity. At any point, the copyright holders could yank the licensing agreement(sort of like the battles we’ve seen between media companies, such as NBC and ABC, and content distributors, like YouTube or iTunes). Although I don’t watch the movies I own with any regularity, if I did have the urge I wouldn’t want to wait for the movie to arrive a few days later in the post. If I could be assured that some movies would always be available, I’d pare down my collection.
In my opinion, the time of streaming video hasn’t reached us yet. We still need more bandwidth. ISP’s that meter their Internet service as we increase the amount of data we consume (meaning we’ll be billed more for streaming movies) will likely affect the usefulness and adaptation of these high-data consumption technologies.
What do you all think? Are people ready to do away with physical copies? Or is there still a stigma about purchasing or renting intangible items?