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Netflix posts final DVDs to customers today

Netflix will send their last DVDs on September 29  (PA)
Netflix will send their last DVDs on September 29 (PA)

Subscribers to Netflix’s rental-by-post service have been told they can keep their final DVDs as the service winds down after 25 years.

The business now has 238 million customers as a streaming service but it started life as a venture to rival Blockbuster in 1998 and sent out videos and DVDs to rent.

Although nearly all of the 40 million people to have hired films by this method will have converted to streaming, Netflix by post still had almost one million subscribers. The business traded as dvd.com — which now has the message, “thank you for watching”.

Ted Sarandos, of Netflix, said: “After an incredible 25 year run, we’ve decided to wind down DVD.com.

“Our goal has always been to provide the best service for our members but as the business continues to shrink that’s going to become increasingly difficult. So we want to go out on a high, and will be shipping our final discs on September 29, 2023.”

The first DVD sent upon commencement in 1998 was Beetlejuice and the most requested over the years was The Blind Side. More than 5.2 billion titles were shipped over the quarter-century.

The service has spawned copycats over the years, with Lovefilm by post and Odeon Direct setting up. In the UK, thousands subscribe to a DVD postal service called Cinema Paradiso, which is still up and running.

 (Netflix)
(Netflix)

DVD Netflix subscribers could select different options for how many they could receive in the post, with up to 10 being allowed at home at one time. Users were charged per month and could keep a certain number at any time. It means that with users being allowed to keep their final discs, some would be allowed to keep 10.

Mr Sarandos added: “We feel so privileged to have been able to share movie nights with our DVD members for so long, so proud of what our employees achieved and excited to continue pleasing entertainment fans for many more decades to come.

“To everyone who ever added a DVD to their queue or waited by the mailbox for a red envelope to arrive: thank you.”