Netflix to end DVDs by mail in September

Netflix has its headquarters in Los Angeles. Photo courtesy of Netflix
1 of 5 | Netflix has its headquarters in Los Angeles. Photo courtesy of Netflix

April 18 (UPI) -- Netflix announced Tuesday it plans to end its DVD by mail service. The final shipment of DVDs will be Sept. 29.

DVDs by mail was the original business model when Netflix began in 1997. Before that, one had to venture out to a video store to rent a VHS or DVD.


Under the Netflix subscription, members could keep a designated number of discs at a time, from one under the least expensive plans to three or more. Subscribers kept a queue online of movies they wanted.

Netflix would mail DVDs in a red envelope. When finished, members could ship the movie back to Netflix in the same envelope, with postage included in the membership.

Once Netflix received the return, it would ship the next movie in the member's queue. Netflix began streaming in 2007.

The original streaming service required a disc to access the server, which Netflix sent to streaming customers in the same red envelope. Now, Netflix has an app for Roku, Apple TV, Playstation, Xbox and it is built in to most Smart TVs.

Early Netflix original streaming programs included House of Cards, Lilyhammer, Hemlock Grove and Orange Is the New Black.


Netflix considered eliminating DVD mailers in 2010, but reversed that decision by 2011. Now, Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos made the announcement in a press release.

"Those iconic red envelopes changed the way people watched shows and movies at home -- and they paved the way for the shift to streaming," Sarandos wrote.

"From the beginning, our members loved the choice and control that direct-to-consumer entertainment offered: the wide variety of the titles and the ability to binge watch entire series."

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