Netflix Announces End to DVD Rental Service
Back before it became the biggest name in streaming services, Netflix was known for its unique DVD rental service.
That service allowed customers to pick which DVDs they wanted, get them by mail, and send them back to receive another set of DVDs to watch. It was a game-changing innovation in the movie-rental business and was at least partially responsible for the decline of the video rental chain Blockbuster.
But now, the iconic red envelopes are being retired, the company says. The DVD-by-mail service will sunset in September of this year.
Via the Wall Street Journal:
The streaming service said in a Tuesday blog post that the mailed DVDs changed how people watch content at home, giving them choice and control over what they watched. Mailed DVDs “paved the way for the shift to streaming,” Netflix’s co-chief executive, Ted Sarandos, said in the blog.
“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,” Mr. Sarandos said. The company will wind down its DVD.com website later this year.
The service is 25 years old, which Netflix celebrated earlier this year. But DVD sales around the country have lagged as streaming services have taken over homes. While people are watching DVDs and even cable less often than they were, Netflix has remained king by being one of the earliest and biggest streaming companies out there.
That has allowed the company to stay afloat while other DVD rental services lagged over the years.