The End Of an Era: Netflix Will Shut Down DVD By Mail

Archie Fenn
Written By Archie Fenn

Archie is a writer, journalist, and critic from South London. He spends most of his free time (and his work hours) watching and writing about cowboys in space and hip-hop samurai. His parents are very proud of him. You can learn more at and

The streaming wars have officially claimed their oldest and longest-surviving victim.

To the younger generations (myself included), the idea of being posted out a single DVD, then having to return it before receiving another one seems like a tedious and painful process to enjoy movies. However, for quite a while, it was the most innovative way, challenging video store franchises like the late-great Blockbuster.

In a sad, but very unsurprising turn of events, Netflix has announced that they will be closing their DVD-by-mail service later this year. While it is sad to see the company’s original business model close its doors for good, the only people shocked by this piece of news are those who are surprised that Netflix still has a DVD-by-mail service.

Launched in 1998, Netflix was one of the first of its kind, not necessarily in its approach to mailing DVDs, but in its subscription-based pricing model. While stores like Blockbuster would only charge a flat price for individual DVDs, they also came with the risk of late fees, which the lenders would induce should they forget to return their hotly sought-after copy of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Instead, Netflix offered a monthly payment service, which essentially meant you could hold on to the DVD for as long as you wanted, so long as you were happy paying $50 over several months for a singular movie.

The service will officially come to a close on September 29, 2023. Ted Sarandos, co-CEO of Netflix, made a statement about the decision:

“Those iconic red envelopes changed the way people watched shows and movies at home — and they paved the way for the shift to streaming.”

Netflix made the move to streaming in 2007, and released its first original film in 2015, a decision that would pave the way for the future of the entertainment industry.