“Studios would love to eliminate the massive cost of having to produce hard-copies of their films to send to awards voters,” The Hollywood Reporter‘s Scott Feinberg has written, “but will streaming completely replace DVDs or Blu-Rays anytime soon? Say, within the next five years? The overwhelming consensus among awards strategists is that they will not — unless the Academy updates its rules again and demands that all studios make the transition at the same time.

“Understandably, no studio wants to be the first to make that transition, because doing so would inherently limit the audience of their films to some extent, since not all voters presently have the ability to stream films, and many like — and have come to expect — having hard copies.”

Streaming video will never become popular until there are remotes that make it easy (as opposed to difficult or incredibly tedious) to choose and identify films for streaming. The keyboard on my Samsung Bluray remote is completely unsuited for this. I would rather die of lupus than try to streamload another film via Netflix or Hulu Plus or BooBoo or YeeHaw with this doofusy remote of mine.

“I’m told that the Academy is, in fact, exploring a partnership with iTunes (which, as previously mentioned, is handing streaming for SAG) and the Deluxe Entertainment Services Company (which is handling streaming for the Visual Effects Society), and that something of this nature is actually quite possible in the not too distant future.

“One strategist granted, ‘There’s gonna be a natural attrition that happens as more and more people get savvy.’ But another emphasized, ‘I don’t see that day arriving anytime soon. It’s like when DVDs replaced VHS — it’s gonna take a while.'”