Netflix officially terminates DVD rental service with final mailings: 'End of an era'

Netflix ends DVD rental service with final shipments on Sept. 29

Netflix officially said goodbye to its DVD rental service today.

The multibillion-dollar streaming service announced it has shipped its final DVD on Friday, Sept. 29, marking the end of the company’s 25-year run as a DVD lending company.

In April, Netflix notified the public and its customer base that it would ship its final discs before the end of 2023.

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Netflix started as a DVD rental company in 1998 and shipped movies and series to homes, which enticed customers who no longer wished to travel to video rental stores in person.

Netflix red envelopes

Netflix red envelopes carrying DVDs arranged on a desk in Queens, New York. (Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

"For 25 years, we redefined how people watched films and series at home, and shared the excitement as they opened their mailboxes to our iconic red envelopes," Netflix wrote on Friday. 

"It’s the end of an era, but the DVD business built our foundation for the years to come – giving members unprecedented choice and control, a wide variety of titles to choose from and the freedom to watch as much as they want," the company continued.

Customers who relied on Netflix’s rental service – DVD.com – will no longer be able to place orders on the platform.

In light of Netflix’s final DVD shipment, the company published a list of facts and statistics on its rental service.

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The first DVD it shipped was "Bettlejuice," which was mailed on March 10, 1998, according to the streaming giant.

Netflix claims it shipped red envelopes to 239,000 mailboxes throughout its run. 

The company reportedly reached one million DVD rental subscribers in 2003 and grew its subscriber base to 20 million by 2011.

Netflix also claims the company shipped its five billionth DVD in 2019.

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Throughout its two-plus-decade run, Netflix’s DVD rental service has offered its customer base "20 main genres" and "530 subgenres" to choose from.

Netflix

The Netflix logo is seen on the Netflix, Inc. building on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, California on October 19, 2021.  (ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images / Getty Images)

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The news of Netflix’s shuttered DVD rental service comes nine years, eight months and 17 days after Blockbuster – a former video rental competitor of Netflix – closed its corporate-owned stores.

Netflix started its streaming business division in 2007.

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As a popular streaming service, Netflix has approximately 238.4 million paid subscribers worldwide, according to the company’s second quarter earnings report for 2023.

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