Hey…would you like to feel old? Just think back to the mid noughties, when you would hear the letterbox flutter and realise that your Netflix order was here. That’s right, the movie you’d been waiting weeks for, because that random person on the other side of the country just couldn’t quite be bothered to send it back.
Or, perhaps you’d been sent a suitable ‘alternative’ instead, which would teach you the life lesson that romance movie Y tu mamá también isn’t quite the same film viewing experience as Harry Potter movies. Oh well.
We’re, of course, talking about the days of Netflix where DVD orders were king, way before the era of instant gratification and option gluttony that we have today. It was a weird time. But in an even weirder twist, were you even aware that Netflix is still shipping out DVDs to this very day?
Or at least, they are until later this year. That’s right. The streaming service giant has finally given up the ghost on the tangible media front and announced that, as of September 29 this year, DVDs will no longer be an option on the platform.
In an official statement from Ted Sarandos, co-CEO, Netflix reflected on the years soon to be behind them.
“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,” it reads. “Those iconic red envelopes changed the way people watched shows and movies at home — and they paved the way for the shift to streaming.”
It’s something of a bittersweet moment. It marks the transition to complete digital media, and also serves as a reminder for the legacy that the platform has built in the form of its many Netflix movies and Netflix series. However, in its success, it also ended up taking away the legacy for the video rental industry — most notably, Blockbuster.
Though Netflix’s DVD delivery model provided convenient access to some of the best movies and best TV series of all time, it subsequently ended up rendering Blockbuster to be outdated, serving as the final nail in the coffin. So, when you pour one out tonight for those classic red envelopes, make sure you pour one out for Blockbuster, too.
If you’re still a Netflix devotee, check out our guide on the current Netflix price. And for other options, have a look at all the best Disney Plus shows and the best Apple TV shows you can watch now. Don’t forget about all the new movies this year, too.