Netflix mailed out its last DVD on Friday ending its DVD rental service after 25 years which helped it grow as an entertainment powerhouse. Founder Reed Hastings ofter said that the company in a pique of frustration with the blockbuster rental store that charged him $40 for returning the movie Apollo 13 six weeks late.
From that eventually came the idea for a subscription-based DVD-by-mail service that let the customers hold onto the title as long as they want. Once the user views the title, the DVD goes into a prepaid envelope and is sent back to the Company. Further, in exchange, the user can ask for their next choice which is sent to the user’s address in exchange.
“In 1998, we delivered our first DVD. This morning, we shipped our last,” the company said on its website on Friday. “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,” the statement added.
In April, when the decision to stop DVD rentals was announced, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos said those “iconic mailings changed the way people watched shows and movies at home and they paved the way for the shift to streaming.”
On its website, the company said the mail service accumulated 40 million unique subscribers throughout its run, mostly in the United States. The streaming platform currently has 238 million subscribers worldwide.
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The company said that the first movie mailed out was the comedy Beetlejuice and since then 5.2 billion DVDs have been sent out. During this timeline, the most-rented DVD was the US sports drama “The Blind Side” starring Sandra Bullock. This movie is about an African-American teenager, who is adopted by a Caucasian family who helps him overcome his learning difficulties and achieve excellence in American football.
That movie has since proved controversial after the former NFL star and subject of the movie Michael Oher said the portrayal was exaggerated and filled with inaccuracies.