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Netflix bids farewell to iconic red envelopes, ending 25-year DVD era

The company says that over 5 billion DVDs have been shipped to 40 million subscribers over the years.
A Netflix DVD envelope.
Posted at 7:26 PM, Sep 24, 2023

This Friday, Netflix waves goodbye to its iconic red envelope service, bringing a close to a blockbuster 25-year run of delivering DVDs right to your mailbox.

Yes, it’s true. Netflix is still delivering DVDs to subscribers, well, until Sept. 29.

Before Netflix was the streaming giant we know today, it started by shipping rental DVDs to customers in 1998, offering a convenient first-of-its-kind rental option that spared subscribers the need to visit their nearest Blockbuster store.

The company says that over 5 billion DVDs have been shipped to 40 million subscribers over the years.

Those of us who subscribed to the service for just $4 per rental often saw the very memorable red envelopes from Netflix gracing coffee tables and dorm rooms across the nation.

"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," Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos said in a press release earlier this year when they announced the end of the service. 

In 2007, Netflix expanded its offerings by introducing the streaming service that we now know and love.

The last red envelopes will be sent out Friday, and the company said customers will be allowed to keep any unreturned DVDs.

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Netflix app icon as seen on a screen.

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