The success story of Netflix, now the world’s leading movie rental company, began in 1998 with a brilliant idea. One year after the introduction of the DVD as a storage medium, Californian entrepreneurs Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph combined the model of a mail-order book club with that of a video rental store.
Today, after 25 years, Netflix is discontinuing mail-order movie rentals on DVD. As the business continues to shrink, DVD.com will ship its last discs on September 29, 2023. “These iconic red envelopes changed the way people watched shows and movies at home – and paved the way for the shift to streaming,” the Netflix DVD team said in a press release. “From the beginning, our members loved the choice and control that direct-to-consumer entertainment offered: the wide selection of titles and the ability to binge-watch entire series.”
DVDs that have already been delivered will not need to be returned. Subscribers will be able to download a PDF of their order history and personal movie ratings from the company, which is also known for its “data collection mania,” until October 27.
Short films played a minor role in Netflix’s DVD catalog. Highlights included Pixar shorts, Tati shorts and shorts by the Quay Brothers.