Netflix Will Finally Stop Sending DVD Rentals in the Mail - Nerdist

Netflix Will Finally Stop Sending DVD Rentals in the Mail

It’s officially the end of an era at Netflix. You just might have assumed that era ended years ago. The streaming giant has announced this fall it will retire its DVDs-by-mail service. Yes, Netflix will finally stop sending customers red envelopes with movies, the very business model that helped it become a global entertainment phenomenon.

Two-and-a-half decades after Netflix realized not everyone loved going to a video rental store only to discover the film they wanted wasn’t available, it will stop sending movies via the mail. The very company that (twice) helped kill Blockbuster has now come to claim a final victim: it’s original concept.

Co-CEO Ted Sarandos explained why and when the DVD-by-Mail is ending in a press release:

After an incredible 25 year run, we’ve decided to wind down later this year. Our goal has always been to provide the best service for our members but as the business continues to shrink that’s going to become increasingly difficult. So we want to go out on a high, and will be shipping our final discs on September 29, 2023. 

A red Netflix envelope

We haven’t had Netflix mail us a DVD in a long time. So long in fact we’re not sure about the exact DVD rental policy anymore. But hopefully the old rules apply and customers who order a movie that day can keep that disc as long as they have a subscription. Blockbuster did not let us do that. It would be downright hypocritical of Netflix to use those rules now.

The streaming giant also shared some stats on its red envelope program. It’s more than five billion shipments kicked off on March 10, 1998. The first movie someone rented via mail was Beetlejuice.

An inofgraphic with a DVD disc next to stats for Netflix's DVD rental stats

Good job, that person! Imagine if it was something like Bio-Dome? They probably wouldn’t have mentioned that in this press release. At least we hope they wouldn’t have. Every pre-streaming Netflix customer had some embarrassing rentals in their history. Hopefully Netflix deletes those when they stop shipping DVDs.

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