It has been mailed the final red envelope. Blockbuster and Betamax have officially replaced Netflix’s DVD-by-mail service.
On Friday, Netflix ended the subscription-based business model that served as its springboard.
Austin Kokel, an avid TV and movie watcher who works at the CBS affiliate station in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, says, “Back in those days, that’s all it was.” Austin was one of the few but ardent cinephiles who preferred physical media to streaming and would spend hours rearranging their queues to give priority to shipments of DVDs in the distinctive packaging.
“I’ll admit that some of it is nostalgia for getting envelopes in the mail. There’s still something Christmas morning-y about opening the mailbox and finding a couple envelopes waiting for me to tear open and start watching. Some of it is, you know, special features and such. I’ve liked the voyage and am disappointed that it is coming to an end.”
Uwe Boll, known for films like as House of the Dead, Alone in the Dark, and BloodRayne, laments the loss of physical media, particularly additional features.
“My commentaries are loved by my fans,” he states. “With a DVD or Blu-ray, you have something tangible on your shelf, like a book.” A hard drive containing saved movies may fail. And there may be extras on DVD that you won’t find online, such as’making ofs’ and director commentary.”
Netflix’s DVD offering has been progressively declining as more consumers migrate to streaming, which debuted in 2007. Fans have been in grief since Netflix revealed in April that it would close its five remaining distribution centres in California, Texas, Georgia, and New Jersey. According to the website of the now-exclusively streaming service, it was “an incredible 25-year run.”
Originally, Netflix asked subscribers to return their DVDs; however, the business reversed direction and determined that holdouts might keep their last eight rentals as a farewell present.
“When I saw that, I strategically rearranged my queue,” Kokel explains. “I just went, ‘OK, well, if I can get this for free and this for free and this for free,'” she says. Yes, technically I am paying for them, but it is a bonus.”
Netflix once had over 20 million DVD customers who could choose from over 100,000 titles.
By 2011, the corporation had separated its DVD business from its streaming operation, which today has 238 million users worldwide and generates billions of dollars in revenue, according to the company.
According to the Associated Press, the DVD service only made $146 million last year.
According to Boll, digital services are excellent, but many people still prefer physical media. “People claim you can save all your digital films on the cloud so that if a hard drive fails, you can reload them… and it’s true. But when you go by a DVD on the shelf, you remember and watch a movie again.”
Kokel, for one, is anxious about what will happen to the remaining DVDs.
“I’m concerned about what Netflix will do with this massive collection of hundreds of thousands of discs, and where they will all end up.” And, to borrow from Indiana Jones, I believe they belong in a museum, the Library of Congress, or both.
Netflix declined to comment to Yahoo, but a representative shared a blog post that declared “the end of an era.”
“Our first DVD was delivered in 1998.” “We shipped our last package this morning,” it says. “For 25 years, we redefined how people watched films and series at home, and shared the excitement as they opened their mailboxes to our iconic red envelopes.”
For those keeping score at home, the business published on its social media sites the very first — and very last — DVD shipped out: Beetlejuice and the Coen brothers’ 2010 remake of True Grit, respectively.