Netflix, the popular streaming platform, is closing down its DVD mailing service after 25 years of operation. Although the majority of its 238 million streaming customers may be unaware of its origins, Netflix actually started as a DVD rental service. Currently, less than one million subscribers continue to use the DVD service, and the remaining five distribution centers in the US have shipped out their final discs to customers.
The farewell includes a gesture of allowing customers to keep the DVDs rather than returning them, with some potentially receiving up to 10 titles. Marc Randolph, Netflix’s co-founder, expressed mixed emotions about the closure. He acknowledged that they anticipated this day but noted the remarkable progress the company made in the last 25 years.
Since the first disc was mailed in 1998, Netflix has sent out a staggering 5.2 billion DVDs. The streaming giant’s most popular title was the Sandra Bullock film, The Blind Side. Despite the success of the DVD rental service, Randolph always knew that DVDs would eventually be overshadowed streaming films and TV shows through the internet.
In 2011, Netflix decided to separate the DVD business from the streaming business, just a year after Blockbuster went bankrupt. Interestingly, Blockbuster had turned down the opportunity to purchase Netflix in 2000 for $50 million, and instead chose to compete against it. Today, Netflix is worth approximately $166 billion.
While the closure of the DVD mailing service marks the end of an era for Netflix, it also signifies the company’s successful transition into a dominant force in the streaming industry.
Sources: Associated Press