Netflix is ending DVD rentals


After 25 years of loyal service, Netflix is ending DVD rentals. Launched in 1997, the American company started out by renting movies on DVD before achieving international success through video streaming. Netflix will mail its last DVDs on September 29, 2023.

Red envelope for Netflix DVD mail-based rentals
Netflix’s famous red envelope is experiencing its last few months. On September 29, 2023, the American company will stop this historic division.

Netflix, a global success inherited from DVD rental

Netflix is about to turn a page in its history next fall. Twenty-five years after the first red envelope containing a DVD movie was mailed, the American company will cease its activity. Bundled into the branch, DVD rentals first helped Netflix build a national reputation.

Netflix compatible TVs selection banner

As the rental business is in its final months, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos revealed some figures illustrating the success of DVD rentals. The first DVD (Beetlejuice, by Tim Burton), was shipped on March 10th 1998. Almost three decades later, has mailed over 5.2 billion DVDs and has approximately 40 million subscribers. That’s almost 600,000 DVDs shipped every day for 25 years! And surprisingly, the most rented film is The Blind Side by John Lee Hancock (2009).

Illustration of DVD collection
Fallen into disuse, the DVD has been gradually replaced by Blu-ray and video streaming.

The DVD has become obsolete and unprofitable

As is often the case, there is an economic reason for the end of this activity. By 2022, the DVD rental service would have generated $145 million in revenue, compared to $239 million in 2020. Faced with the multiplication of streaming offers such as Paramount+ and the recent Warner Pass, Netflix is looking to consolidate its place as leader of the VOD market.

Netflix has become the world's leading VOD platform
The Netflix original series Stranger Things is one of the platform’s biggest hits.

From now on, the streaming giant will focus all its energy on the development of its VOD platform, which now has more than 231 million subscribers, and on the production of original content like Stranger Things, The Playlist and The Witcher.

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