It's a 'Bittersweet' Day for Netflix

Streaming service mails out its last DVDs to subscribers, who'll be allowed to keep final discs
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 28, 2023 8:21 AM CDT
Updated Sep 29, 2023 5:52 AM CDT
Netflix to Customers: Keep Those Unreturned DVDs
A Netflix DVD envelope is shown on Nov. 17, 2022 in San Francisco.   (AP Photo/Michael Liedtke)
UPDATE Sep 29, 2023 5:52 AM CDT

Friday's the big day for Netflix's remaining DVD subscribers, as the company's five US distribution centers ship out the red-and-white envelopes bearing discs for the last time. And those customers will be getting a bonus: They'll be allowed to keep up to 10 of those final discs as "a goodbye present," reports the Guardian. "We knew this day was coming," co-founder Marc Randolph, who headed Netflix when the company shipped its first DVD, Beetlejuice, in 1998, tells the AP. "It is very bittersweet." Netflix has sent out more than 5.2 billion discs since that first shipment. The company's DVD business, which was broken off from its streaming service in 2011, brought in just $146 million in revenue last year. Its streaming service, however, raked in $31.5 billion. At its peak, the DVD service had 20 million subscribers; that number as of Friday stood at less than 1 million.

Aug 28, 2023 8:21 AM CDT

After a quarter-century, Netflix is shutting down its DVD-by-mail rental service. As for what it plans to do with all those DVDs, the last of which will be mailed to subscribers by September 29, Netflix says customers can keep the discs from their final shipments and will not be charged for them, Business Insider reports. Subscribers can also enter for a chance to be shipped 10 mystery DVDs after the service shuts down. Fewer than 1 million

In a tweet on the matter, Netflix's DVD department called the news "a happy clarification in response to all the news headlines out there," explaining, "We are not charging for any unreturned discs after 9/29. Please enjoy your final shipments for as long as you like!" The Netflix DVD feed on X, formerly known as Twitter, is full of subscribers posting about their attempts to #GetThroughMyQueue before DVDs stop being shipped.

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Based on the replies to Netflix DVD's tweet about final shipments, it's apparently not too late to jump back on the physical media wagon, sign up for a Netflix DVD subscription, and get some free DVDs. "Watch as Netflix DVD subscriptions spike by a billion percent so that people can get cheap movies," one commenter wrote. But the top-tier plan, which allows for three DVDs out at a time, will set you back $19.99 for this, your first and last month of service. (More Netflix stories.)

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