Netflix to close the curtains on its once-mighty DVD business that helped put Blockbuster in the grave

April 18, 2023, 8:17 PM UTC
Netflix DVD mailers.
Netflix is ending its DVD business.
Andrew Harrer—Bloomberg/Getty Images

Netflix is shutting down its original business of delivering DVDs by mail, 25 years after introducing a revolution in at-home TV viewing.

The company will ship its final discs on Sept. 29, according to a statement Tuesday. 

“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,” Co-Chief Executive Officer Ted Sarandos said.

The business, hatched by co-founders Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph, became a ritual for tens of millions of subscribers who got the red envelopes containing the discs in the mail. Some of the company’s earliest original productions were created in the DVD era. 

In 2007, the company launched its streaming business, helping to put Blockbuster Entertainment, the largest DVD rental chain, out of business.

Netflix shipped its first DVD, the horror-comedy classic Beetlejuice, in March 1998. Since then it has mailed over 5.2 billion discs. Its most-popular title was the Sandra Bullock sports drama The Blind Side.

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