HomeEntertainmentNetflix to ‘wind down’ its DVD rental service later this year

Netflix to ‘wind down’ its DVD rental service later this year

Netflix is going to “wind down” its DVD rental service, the company’s co-chief executive Ted Sarandos has announced.

The DVD service, which still delivers films and TV shows in the red-and-white envelopes that once served as Netflix’s emblem, plans to mail its final discs on 29 September.

This decision has been made due to struggling growth.

In a blog post titled “Netflix DVD – The Final Season”, Sarandos hailed the “iconic red envelopes” as having “paved the way” for the shift to streaming.

Last year, Netflix announced a cheaper ad-supported subscription tier and began attempts to clamp down on customers sharing accounts with other households.

Its DVD service allows customers to rent films online and have them sent to their homes for viewing.

“After an incredible 25-year run, we’ve decided to wind down later this year,” Sarandos wrote in a post on Tuesday (18 April).

“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 29 September, 2023.”

He continued: “Those iconic red envelopes changed the way people watched shows and movies at home — and they paved the way for the shift to streaming.

“We feel so privileged to have been able to share movie nights with our DVD members for so long, so proud of what our employees achieved and excited to continue pleasing entertainment fans for many more decades to come.

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“To everyone who ever added a DVD to their queue or waited by the mailbox for a red envelope to arrive: thank you.”

The DVD service’s history dates back to 1997 when Netflix co-founder Marc Randolph went to a post office in Santa Cruz, California, to mail a Patsy Cline compact disc to his friend and fellow co-founder Reed Hasting.

Randolph wanted to test whether a disc could be delivered through the US Postal Service without being damaged, hoping eventually to do the same thing with the still-new format that became the DVD.

The Patsy Cline CD arrived at Hastings’ home unblemished, prompting the duo in 1998 to launch a DVD-by-mail rental website that they always knew would be supplanted by even more convenient technology.

With just a little over five months of life remaining, the DVD service has shipped more than five billion discs across the US – the only country it ever operated.

Additional reporting by agencies

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