RIP DVD: John Lewis ditches DVD players with sales down 40%

The death of DVD: John Lewis ditches DVD players

In case you hadn't realised, the DVD player has officially become old technology. While many of us may have moved on to Blu-ray and Ultra HD Blu-ray, or ditched the discs altogether, the annual John Lewis consumer trends report shows it was only in 2018 that the demise of DVD players truly went mainstream. 

This year saw sales of DVD players fall 40% according to the never knowingly undersold retailer, enough for John Lewis to confirm it wouldn't be restocking DVD players once those currently in market are sold (however long that might take).  Blu-ray players will continue, though. 

It wasn't just DVD players that took a dive; smaller TVs also fell by the way side as more and more people opted for super-size screens. Sales of 60in TVs were up a whopping 249% in 2018, helped no doubt by the football World Cup, while small TVs suffered a decline.

Back in 2010 the best-selling screen size at John Lewis was a 36-inch TV, compared to 55-inch in 2018. In fact, during the World Cup the retailer reports 70in TVs were the "fastest growing vision category". Of course, John Lewis is only one segment of the market, and we're sure plenty of smaller TVs are still selling, not least at the entry-level end of the market. 

But it's not a huge surprise that DVD is out of favour. Last year streaming video revenues overtook DVD sales for the first time, and with HD discs and streaming services easy to come by, we see no reason to settle for anything less. And of course any 4K Blu-ray player can still play your old DVD collection. 

If it is the beginning of the end for DVD, then it's not the only disc having a hard time, as CD sales also plummeted in 2018...


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Joe Cox
Content Director

Joe is the Content Director for What Hi-Fi? and Future’s Product Testing, having previously been the Global Editor-in-Chief of What Hi-Fi?. He has worked on What Hi-Fi? across the print magazine and website for almost 20 years, writing news, reviews and features on everything from turntables to TVs, headphones to hi-fi separates. He has covered product launch events across the world, from Apple to Technics, Sony and Samsung; reported from CES, the Bristol Show, and Munich High End for many years; and written for sites such as the BBC, Stuff, and the Guardian. In his spare time, he enjoys expanding his vinyl collection and cycling (not at the same time).