Netflix Plans on Ditching DVD-by-Mail Rentals

This marks the end of a service that began 25 years ago
By Steve Huff,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 18, 2023 6:34 PM CDT
Netflix Plans on Ditching DVD-by-Mail Rentals
A Netflix DVD envelope is shown on Nov. 17, 2022, in San Francisco. Netflix is poised to shut down DVD-by-mail rental service.   (AP Photo/Michael Liedtke, File)

Netflix announced in a blog post Tuesday that it is stopping its DVD-by-mail rental service, ending an era that began 25 years ago. The company said it will shutter, its physical rental division, because diminished demand for physical rentals is making it tough to continue a quality service. The last discs will go out on September 29th. Netflix launched in 1998 with a shipment of Beetlejuice. Since then, the company sent more than 5 billion movies in its distinctive red envelopes to over 40 million customers. The company transitioned to digital in 2007. Two years later, digital was its main service. An effort to run a separate mail service called Qwikster floundered and Netflix ultimately transitioned that service to seven years ago.

Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos signed the Tuesday announcement, writing that the "iconic red envelopes changed the way people watched shows and movies at home—and they paved the way for the shift to streaming." The company feels "so privileged to have been able to share movie nights with our DVD members for so long," Sarandos continued, and "so proud of what our employees achieved." He concluded by saying Netflix is "excited to continue pleasing entertainment fans for many more decades to come." (More Netflix stories.)

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