Netflix has confirmed that it will be closing down its DVD service later this year, bringing to an end to a service that’s been available for the past 25 years and the service that pretty much made Netflix the powerhouse it is today.
For those unaware, Netflix first started life as an online DVD rental service. The website first launched back in early 1998 and, according to the company, the first DVD it ever shipped was Beetlejuice.
Now, 25 years later, Netflix has confirmed that it is winding the service down later this year with the last red envelopes heading out to renters on September 29, 2023. In a blog post confirming the news, Co-CEO Ted Sarandos explained how Netflix’s “red envelopes changed the way people watched shows and movies at home — and they paved the way for the shift to streaming.”
Along with the confirmation that the service is shutting down in September, Netlflix provided some additional stats on how the service has evolved over the years.
For example, and in addition to Beetlejuice being the first DVD shipped, Netflix shipped more than 5.2 billion DVDs to more than 40 million unique subscribers over the years. When it comes down to that one DVR, it seems as though The Blind Side was the most popular overall.
For those that do remember the service, this is likely to be sad news, and certainly the end of an era. However, many of those same people probably stopped using the rental service a long time ago in favor of the streaming version. While some people probably still do use the online rental service, that number is probably fewer today than ever before.
Netflix announced the shuttering of the rental service at the same time that it released its latest quarterly results where it confirmed the total number of paid subscribers around the world is now more than 232 million, with more than 74 million of them based in the US and Canada.
If you are suddenly feeling nostalgic and yearning for one of those Netflix envelopes, maybe considering heading over to DVD.com and get yourself one last delivery before the September 2023 deadline.