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  • Voltaire Staff

Netflix ends its DVD rental service after 25 years



On September 29, Netflix brought the curtains down on its DVD by mail service, 25 years after it was first started.


Netflix Co-CEO marked the end of an era announcing the shipping of the firm's last DVD, used to come daintily draped in red envelopes.


“After an incredible 25 year run, we’ve decided to wind down DVD.com later this year. 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,” Ted Sarandos posted on Netflix.com.


Netflix was started in 1997 by Marc Randoph and Reed Hastings in Scotts Valley, California. Hasting flush with money from the sale of Pure Software, a Unix debugging software, wanted something on lines of mail order delivery business pioneered by Amazon.


The two chose DVDs as their product, a new invention then, discarding the idea of renting out VHS tape because they found them too fragile, prone to damage, and expensive to stock.


In 1998, they began their website with a stock of 925 titles and 30 employees. Tim Burton’s 1988 comedy fantasy Beetlejuice became the very first DVD to be shipped by the nascent firm, which was going to stay on the firmament in its sector for years to come.


By 2005, Netflix owned 35,000 titles of movies and series and was shipping 1 million DVDs out every day.


In its 25 years’ run, Netflix rented more than 5.2 billion DVDs across 20 genres to more than 40 million users. Sandra Bullock-starrer Blind Side has been the most popular shipped out by the company.


Co-founder Marc Randoph few days back reminisced the early days of the iconic DVD service, which he claimed killed Blockbuster, its closest rival, and ushered in the era of Netflix and chill.


“On April 14th, 1998, a dozen of us working out of an old bank building with dirty green carpet mailed out the first Netflix DVD. Later this week, a similar size team will mail the last.


“Along the way, we accomplished some things I never imagined possible. We disrupted an industry, brought down Blockbuster, launched the streaming era, completely changed the way the world consumes video content, and reshaped the way movies and television are produced,” Randolph said in a long post on X.











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