It's time for the credits to finally roll on Netflix's signature red envelopes. After 25 years of delivering DVDs to the doors of movie fans across the country, on Tuesday the company announced that they are finally shutting down their movie-by-mail feature.
"Those iconic red envelopes changed the way people watched shows and movies at home — and they paved the way for the shift to streaming," the company's co-chief executive Ted Sarandos told the New York Times. "To everyone who ever added a DVD to their queue or waited by the mailbox for a red envelope to arrive: thank you."
The service began in March 1998 with a shipping of Tim Burton's classic Beetlejuice. By 2010, 20 million people were subscribed to the service, which was around the same time that The Blind Side, Netflix's most ordered DVD, first came out. The company now says that their final round of DVD shipments will hit the post on September 29.
There isn't an official count of the number of folks still devoted to the movie-by-mail system that made Netflix the household name it is today, but there are still fans out there waiting patiently for their latest screening. "There are titles you can't find elsewhere. Their library was just huge compared to any sort of streaming option," Ann Silverthorn, a retired tech writer and "DVD-by-mail" influencer, told the Washington Post. "I really enjoyed being able to see the trailers at the beginning of each disc. I would get so many ideas of new old movies that I might like to see and I'd write them down and sure enough, they'd be in their catalogue."
On September 29th, 2023, we will send out the last red envelope. It has been a true pleasure and honor to deliver movie nights to our wonderful members for 25 years. Thank you for being part of this incredible journey, including this final season of red envelopes. pic.twitter.com/9lAntaL2ww— DVD Netflix (@dvdnetflix) April 18, 2023