Netflix’s DVD rental business is closing down in September – and to mark the occasion, the streaming service is giving some of its last remaining US-based subscribers a fitting, final bonus.
As spotted by Collider, a Redditor who subscribes to the DVD rental service received an email stating they could “find up to 10 extra discs” in their mailbox. These “finale discs” will apparently be sent out on September 29, which is the DVD rental service’s “very last shipping day”.
What Netflix doesn’t say is whether it expects those discs to be returned, so we’ve asked Netflix to confirm whether or not that’s the case. Netflix has previously stated it will accept the return of outstanding discs up to October 27, but its message about “finale discs” being sent on its “last shipping day” does add some ambiguity. We’ll update this story when we hear back.
Not everyone who subscribes to Netflix’s DVD rental service, which has been going for 25 years, will get bonus discs. The email says that there is a “limited quantity” and it’ll only continue “while supplies last”. You’ll also need to be based in the US and have signed up for Netflix’s marketing emails to throw your hat into the ring, which you’ll need to do by August 29.
Still, if you tick all of those boxes, it still sounds worth checking your queue and making sure your favorites are near the top. Presumably, you may stand a better chance of getting extra DVDs if they’re a little less in demand from your fellow subscribers.
End of an era
Despite some rumors that Netflix’s DVD rental service could be saved by rival Redbox, it looks likely that those iconic red envelopes will indeed be going away at the end of September. The final discs will be shipped on September 29, with some subscribers getting that bonus delivery to mark the occasion.
That will mark the end of a cultural phenomenon that seems laughably antiquated in the age of the best streaming services. Yet many still use the service in order to watch the deep cuts and cult classics that are often absent from Netflix’s streaming service and its rivals.
Netflix first shipped a DVD on March 10, 1998 (it was Beetlejuice, fact fans), and since then it’s sent out over 5.2 billion discs. Over the past 25 years, the DVD service has picked up over 40 million unique subscribers, but that figure is now a fraction of that total and dwarfed by the streaming service’s 238 million paid subscribers.
Exactly what will happen to Netflix’s DVD and Blu-ray inventory when the service closes isn’t clear, but licensing agreements will complicate the situation – we’ll update this story if Netflix replies to let us know if these ‘finale discs’ are part of the solution, or simply a bonus send-off for its loyal subscribers.