Netflix, the streaming giant that reshaped the entertainment industry, is bidding adieu to an iconic era as it ships its final batch of DVD rentals. On September 29, 2023, Netflix mailed its last DVD, bringing closure to a chapter that played a pivotal role in the company’s evolution into the streaming behemoth we know today. The red envelope of Netflix DVDs, a symbol of countless movie nights, will forever remain a testament to Netflix’s enduring love for entertainment.
The End of Netflix DVDs Rentals
Netflix’s decision to discontinue its DVD rental business, announced in April of this year, reflects the changing landscape of media consumption. The dwindling demand for physical rentals has made it increasingly challenging for Netflix to maintain the level of service it aspires to provide. Since mailing its inaugural disc, “Beetlejuice,” in 1998, Netflix has dispatched an astonishing 5.2 billion movies in those iconic red envelopes, delighting more than 40 million loyal customers.
Netflix will mail its final DVD on September 29, 2023.
But the red envelope remains an enduring symbol of our love of entertainment. pic.twitter.com/vVdjuhJvrb
— Netflix (@netflix) September 28, 2023
Catalyst for Streaming Dominance
DVD rentals served as the stepping stone that enabled Netflix to introduce on-demand streaming in 2007, a move that would ultimately define the company’s trajectory. By 2009, streaming had eclipsed all other offerings, setting the stage for Netflix’s meteoric rise. Today, with over 238 million subscribers worldwide, Netflix has evolved into a content production powerhouse, while DVD rentals, now housed on DVD.com, have become a relatively minor facet of the company’s operations. The decline of physical media is evident as global sales dropped by 19 percent from 2021 to 2022, further accentuated by Disney’s decision to halt DVD and Blu-ray production in Australia.
Although it marks the conclusion of a cherished era, Netflix has offered a silver lining to its DVD subscribers. In a summer announcement, the company revealed that those still in possession of rentals can retain their discs and even request up to 10 additional movies to help Netflix clear its remaining inventory. This gracious gesture ensures that the memories of DVD rentals will live on in the hearts of movie enthusiasts for years to come.