Get ready for the coming dark age of streaming-only movies. DVD delivery services are on the way out, and streaming is in. That's great for convenience but horrible for selection. DVDs are the new VHS, as Netflix's aggressive anti-disc strategy, with its price hikes and recent splintering of its delivery and streaming services, shows. The future is streaming, which in theory sounds kind of great, since as we've noted before, people like that kind of instant gratification. But, don't expect a digital renaissance quite yet. As DVDs phase out, we're going to be stuck with online-only services and they just won't have the same offerings.
Marrying DVD delivery with streaming provided a world of movie options, due to legal complications digital-only services just won't have that draw. One of the reasons Netflix won the movies-by-mail game was that it offered pretty much anything that had been put on a disc. And it also attracted a lot of watchers with its premium streaming offerings, many of which came from its contract with Starz. As DVD's become defunct, relationships with premium content providers will determine the movies you'll have access to on streaming services. But these types of relationships are complicated and don't last forever, as we've seen recently with Starz walking away from its contract with Netflix, meaning you won't have every movie you could possibly want at your fingertips.