End of an era: Netflix will shut down its DVD and Blu-ray mail rental business September 29

Netflix dvd rental

In 1998, an upstart company decided to offer a way for people to rent DVD (and later Blu-ray) discs for a monthly fee, with no late fees. It was called Netflix, and that business model slowly but surely led to the end of nearly all physical video rental stores, including the massive Blockbuster chain.

Today, Netflix is an even bigger force in entertainment, with its streaming video service that includes tons of its own original movies and TV shows, along with mobile games and plans to launch high-end multiplatform games. However, the part of Netflix that started it all will be shutting down soon.

In a Netflix blog post, the company's co-CEO Ted Sarandos revealed that its disc rental business will be shut down on September 29. He stated:

Those iconic red envelopes changed the way people watched shows and movies at home — and they paved the way for the shift to streaming. 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.

The blog post also has some interesting facts about Netflix's disc rental business. In its lifetime, it shipped over 5.2 billion discs in the mail. The first movie to be shipped was Beetlejuice on March 10, 1998. At its peak, over 40 million people had a subscription to the disc business, and the most popular rental movie was The Blind Side.

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