Netflix Is Officially Ending Their DVD By Mail Service This Fall

Netflix, known now as the streaming giant that reshaped Hollywood for the digital age, is officially ending its DVD-by-mail business that started it all. Yes, that's right, Netflix was actually still offering a DVD subscription service, just as it had been for the past 25 years, despite the fact that streaming has been its bread and butter for more than a decade. But those who were still enjoying physical media via Netflix need to prepare their goodbyes, as the service is scheduled to end in September.

The news was revealed by Netflix on social media, as well as an FAQ on its website. The post reveals that the DVD service will end on September 29 of this year. Those who have discs will be able to return them until October 27. Subscribers will pay their final bills in August before service concludes at the end of September. In the FAQ, Netflix explained why now is the time to shut down this part of the business:

"After an incredible 25 year run, we've made the difficult decision to wind down at the end of September. Our goal has always been to provide the best service for our members, but as the DVD business continues to shrink, that's going to become increasingly difficult. Making 2023 our Final Season allows us to maintain our quality of service through the last day and go out on a high note."

Netflix hasn't updated how many subscribers its DVD business still has, but it had around 3 million as of August 2018. For the sake of comparison, the company currently has 232.5 million streaming subscribers worldwide.

The end of an era

Netflix was founded in 1997 when the internet was still catching on in the mainstream. This was years before streaming would be introduced to the world, and decades before watching movies and TV shows online would disrupt Hollywood at large. The company started by both renting and selling DVDs by mail. Per the announcement of the service shutting down, Netflix has shipped some 5 billion envelopes with DVDs to its subscriber households over the years. So, while this part of the business has paled in comparison to streaming in recent years, it certainly had an impact.

Even though a great many modern Netflix users may be surprised to learn that the company was still offering DVDs in 2023, the fact remains that this is a signal that the times are indeed changing. Physical media sales have been declining for years, with the market a fraction of what it was in the early 2000s. Blu-ray/DVD sales can no longer bail out a movie that underperforms at the box office, and many recent films haven't even been made available on Blu-ray, including last year's horror hit "Barbarian." Not to mention the fact that most shows and movies made for streaming never receive physical releases so if/when they leave streaming, they're essentially unavailable.

Be that as it may, there is no longer room for a business like this to operate, particularly when Netflix has to focus on competing in the ever-evolving streaming wars. Still, it's a sign that the days of Blu-ray/DVD may be numbered – even if they shouldn't be. Though one big question remains: what is Netflix going to do with those warehouses full of movies and television shows? Can we expect an online liquidation of some kind? Perhaps that's just wishful thinking. Subscribers who have questions can find the full FAQ at