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Netflix’s long-form DVD rental service is coming to an end, it was announced today in conjunction with its first quarter 2023 earnings call. Netflix’s US-based DVD rental service was the business Netflix’s mainstay for over two decades before its great transition and reinvention into the streaming giant it is today.

According to Netflix official site «about us», in 1997, “Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph come up with the idea of ​​renting DVDs by mail. They prove the concept by mailing each other a DVD. The DVD arrives intact and the idea of ​​Netflix is ​​born.”

The Netflix.com website was launched in 1998, which was followed by the launch of the «movie recommendation system» in 2000. A year later, Netflix officially adopted the red color mark associated with Netflix to this day. In 2011, marking the move to streaming, Netflix changed the name of its DVD rental service to DVD.com. In the early days, you could rent DVDs directly from the Netflix streaming website, though eventually, that functionality was removed.

the netflix story dvd

Image: Netflix About Us Page

The most recent major news to come out of Netflix’s DVD platform was the fact that celebrated the shipment of its fiftieth billionth DVD as of September 2019. In 2019, according to reports, 2 million members were still receiving DVDs from DVD.com.

However, it has been no secret that Netflix’s DVD service had been declining in subscribers and popularity for many years. The service made $146 million in revenue in 2022, down from $183 million in revenue in 2021 and $239 million in 2020.

The DVD rental service continued to add new releases on a monthly basis (check out our roundup of April 2023 releases here), adding the latest theatrical releases from all the major distributors including Disney, Warner Bros, Universal, A24 and Sony. It also housed a large assortment of boxes from all the major TV distributors.


Netflix DVD will shut down in September 2023

in a official blog post Netflix Co-CEO Ted Sarandos said: “The goal has always been to provide the best service to our members, but as business continues to shrink, that will become increasingly difficult. So we want to go out on a high and we will ship our final albums on September 29, 2023.”

Netflix also posted an FAQ on its DVD.com website, which states that they will continue to accept returns through October 27, 2023, with all subscribers’ final invoices for rentals due in August.

The various social networks of Netflix, including that of the Netflix DVD service, confirmed the news:

Along with the announcement, Netflix also announced some statistics:

  • Beetlejuice was the first DVD shipped on March 10, 1998.
  • The Blind Side has been the best-selling DVD in its history
  • 40 million unique subscribers since its creation.

Your last chance to rent from Netflix’s DVD service is until the end of September 2023, and the service will stop sending new mail on September 29, 2023.

reed hastings netflix dvd

Reed Hasting, president and CEO of Netflix Inc., poses at a Netflix distribution facility in Sunnyvale, California. Photo by Kimberly White/Corbis via Getty Images.

Netflix DVD RIP.