Netflix to End DVD Rental Service After 25 Years

A pile of Netflix DVDs.

The Week

A pile of Netflix DVD’s.

Sophia Cooper, Associate Editor-in-Chief/ News Editor

   After 25 years, Netflix’s DVD rentals are coming to an end. This program has been a part of Netflix since the start of the company in 1998 and for many people, this is the end of an era.

   The service allows Netflix users to rent DVDs of both TV shows and movies. Just like the streaming service, subscribers are able to select one of three plans, each plan increases in price but allows for a customer to rent and have more DVDs at a time. The service runs on a monthly basis and each month the users receive their DVDs, watch and return them through the mail. In addition, this service has a more extensive list of DVDs that are available to watch, while the streaming service has only a limited amount of titles available. 

   This year is a major milestone for the company as it celebrates 25 years and although most of us today know it as a multimillion dollar streaming service, originally, it was a DVD rental service. Users could log in online and select what DVD they wanted sent to them and the company would send it through the mail. It was not until 2011 that Netflix split into two, its streaming platform and its DVD service. 

   The DVD service took a major hit in 2007 when Netflix launched its streaming platform making it much more efficient and effective. People are able to decide in the moment what they want to watch and just watch it whereas the DVD takes one or more business days to arrive. Although the damage was substantial, it was not until recently that the service was not unprofitable, retaining millions of subscribers.

   In general, DVDs have become increasingly less popular and less common to find in households since streaming platforms became the new normal, and Netflix is not the first DVD rental company to suffer from this technological innovation. Although some people will be sad to see Netflix DVDs go, others think it is time. The company announced that the last classic red Netflix envelope will go out on Sept. 29.