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Physical vs. Digital distribution

Doc

Trust me, I'm The Doctor.
V.I.P.
I chose to put this in Divisive Issues because there's further implications beyond the simplicity of a format choice.

We're starting to see the world shift to digital media distribution. Movies, music, and video games are all starting to be delivered by digital means. I think that the switch to digital media will only harm our economy. Big-box stores like Best Buy may survive based on appliance and home theater sales. Stores like Gamestop and EB games are going to go down. That will cost the economy lots of jobs. FYE will become a thing of the past. Border's and Barnes and Noble will cease to exist.

The online means of distribution will never be able to provide the jobs that the stores do. They simply do not require the amount of manpower that a store does. The entire corporate structure will be out of work.

The media companies will benefit from not having as much overhead, and so will the consumer. I just feel that digital media distribution will do more harm than good to the future economy.
 

Crouton

Ninja
V.I.P.
I personally have started buying whichever is cheaper. I still buy a lot of hard copies of games and for a long time I only bought hard copy, but Steam games are just so much cheaper, sometimes by dramatic amounts.

I do feel bad for the stores though. I love going and browsing through EB games and other stores like it and would hate to see them go because of digital distribution.

When it comes to movies and TV shows I generally download first, buy later. This is mostly due to my limited channels and how few shows actually air for me. I still buy the bulk of my movies on DVD and even blu-ray. I love having big collections.

As for books, I own no ereader and love having real actual books. Ereaders don't have that smell that comes with real books and they never will. I can't see myself switching to digital books anytime soon.
 

Konshentz

Konshentz
I still buy physical copies of my video games. But I've switched over for music and TV shows. Movies, well, that actually depends on the price. I'm not sure why video games are my exception but I've actually bought the disc over a digital download, even though digital was cheaper. That's not to say I always avoid them. I have a dozen or so that are on my PS3 harddrive... mainly because they were free. Haha.
 

dDave

Well-Known Member
V.I.P.
Unless I'm buying Steam games (or games that aren't available in physical form) I will go for a physical copy every time. I like the way it looks on my shelf and like being able to install the game with the disc.

Music is sort of 50/50 for me. If I'm buying a single then I'll definitely get a digital copy. The physical copies can be uploaded in lossless format though. While 256kbps does sound good to me, there is a difference between that and lossless, especially if you've got the ear and the equipment for it.

100% of the movies I own are on a physical copy, I would like to see the next standard be on digital copy. I'd love it if home theater computers became the future, I've always wanted to have one.

Books are also 100% physical copy for me. I like the feel and smell of paper. I know eReaders take up less space and all that but it doesn't matter to me. Nothing will ever replace a book.


I would prefer for everything in the future (except for books) to move to digital. My only issue with it is piracy, they need to find a good way to stop it before that ever becomes a reality in my mind.
 

sunrise

aka ginger warlock
V.I.P.
I remember when the camera firm Jessops here in the UK shut down a year or so ago. When it happened a certain poster was put in the stores and flooded the internet with regards to exactly this topic, the poster was this:



Many people laughed it off and found it slightly amusing but the truth is that Jessops had no-one to blame but themselves. They were always an expensive shop where if you did not know everything there was to know about cameras you were not welcome so frankly they really only had themselves to blame.

There are still two types of consumers out there, ones who like online shopping and those who do not, for a lot of people half the fun of shopping is the experience of going to a shop and looking for something, I went into a discount DVD/CD store this weekend and got 5 DVDs for 10 pounds! There is no way I would get that sort of deal with Amazon and for the matter I probably wouldn't have found the dvds to begin with but being in a shop makes you look and think "oh that could be good".

The high street is not dead and if you don't believe me go to a city centre on a saturday around lunch time for proof but it is changing and places like the mentioned Jessops need to realise this and change something or risk vanishing entirely.
 

Hilander

Free Spirit
Staff member
V.I.P.
I would hate to be stuck with buying cloths on line. The sizes on women's cloths aren't very uniform and shoes in another thing I would have to be stuck with buying on line. Just because its your size doesn't mean its going to fit or be comfortable. I also wouldn't make a major furniture purchase on line. I like to see it and judge the quality myself before buying.

But yes I can see how video games and like merchandise would be better purchased on line. That has hurt many places, on line stores don't need near as many employees nor do they have to have the same quality building. That could hurt the economy in the long run especially in some places because online stores don't hire locally.
 

dDave

Well-Known Member
V.I.P.
I would hate to be stuck with buying cloths on line. The sizes on women's cloths aren't very uniform and shoes in another thing I would have to be stuck with buying on line. Just because its your size doesn't mean its going to fit or be comfortable. I also wouldn't make a major furniture purchase on line. I like to see it and judge the quality myself before buying.

But yes I can see how video games and like merchandise would be better purchased on line. That has hurt many places, on line stores don't need near as many employees nor do they have to have the same quality building. That could hurt the economy in the long run especially in some places because online stores don't hire locally.
Yeah, media goods being distributed over channels like eBay and Amazon usually work very well. They're sort of standardized and everyone knows what to expect.

Things like furniture can be expensive to ship and many times you have to match measurements, color, style, etc.

Retail stores will always be open for this very reason. I don't think we'll ever see a society that shifts over to being completely online without some incredible advancements in technology that would make shopping for things such as clothes and furniture easier.
 

idisrsly

I'm serious
V.I.P.
I hear your argument about this shift hurting the economy, but don't we ultimately want whatever offers best value to us, the consumer? A shift like this would force stores that sell such products to offer the best service and best products and the best prices in order to compete in the market.

There will always be people who prefer a tangible product and human customer service, so stores like these won't ever go down entirely. I too still prefer real books over ebooks, as do many people. And the same goes for other products as well.

I am a travel agent myself. I remember years ago when even my customers at the time asked me whether I wasn't scare that I would lose my job due to the market shifting to online bookings. I was slightly concerned for a short time till I realized this will never happen. 8 years later, I still can't keep up with my work load, and that is with encouraging every client that contacts me to go make their own bookings online. There will always be a need for people to do a job, even with things becoming more digital.
 
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