The dematerialized content does not belong to us. This is the first rule of digital shopping that consumers easily forget. When purchasing a game, movie or even music, the reseller “loans” the content in question supposedly indefinitely. However, the first excesses of dematerialization are being felt by buyers. Recently, server closures on certain Nintendo consoles caused debate. From now on, a large part of the 3DS and Wii U catalog as well as some of their features have simply disappeared. It has become impossible to obtain DLC and other exclusive games by legal means.
If these concerns mainly concerned the video game industry, it is the turn of the audiovisual industry to undergo the same treatment. At the end of 2023, PlayStation shared a worrying email to consumers of Discovery content. The American group, recently merged with Warner Bros (not without some difficulties) did not wish to renew the exploitation rights for its programs on the Sony console. But against all expectations, the disappearance of content from the PlayStation store is also accompanied by an outright deletion of content among consumers who have paid to access it.
The importance of physical media
“Starting December 31, 2023, due to our content licensing agreements with content providers, you will no longer be able to watch any Discovery content you have previously purchased and the content will be removed from your video library” declared Sony in an email that was solemn to say the least. Unfortunately, no recourse is possible: buyers will not receive any compensation in this situation.
Disgusting behavior pic.twitter.com/qSTxzp82yL
— JayRock (@JAAY_ROCK_) December 1, 2023
As pop culture slowly continues its transition towards everything digital, this scandal at Sony is worrying. What future awaits players and spectators who will want to rediscover their favorite works in a few years? For now, it appears that this annoying event is only an isolated case. While the merger between Warner Bros and Discovery continues internally with the development of the Max platform, the new group is seeking at all costs to highlight its SVOD service. Thus, users affected by this new measure will have no other choice than to take out a subscription to find their favorite films and series. All this nevertheless remains revealing of the dangers of dematerialization, a practice which will undoubtedly impact efforts to preserve works.