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'Member DVDs? Those round disc-shaped gizmos that would jump at the slightest hint of a scratch? Of course you do. That's how we watched films at home before streaming took over. You might not know, however, that it was with these disk-shaped gizmos that Netflix started out its business.
Yes, the streaming giant started out back in the early 00s by sending out DVDs to viewers in those little red envelopes as part of a groundbreaking package deal.
While you might think this side of its business model died a long time ago with the rise of streaming subscriptions, a recent Variety report discovered there are still three million people holding onto its DVD side.
That's three million people who are still receiving those little red envelopes each month. Who instead of spending just £7.99 per month (or leeching a subscription off their relative/friend/partner, at least) for unlimited movies and films, are paying a similar amount for unlimited DVD rental, one disc out at a time.
While these costs might've blown the mind of a 90s/00s viewer who was used to paying upwards of £3 for a one-night rental at Blockbuster, we're in the age of content abundance right now.
We no longer have to wait for DVDs to reach our door - we can just log on, scroll, and binge-watch to our hearts desire.
On the flipside of this, three million people is a drop in the ocean compared to the 130 million subscribers worldwide. Also this percentage of people are most likely those who don't have access to high-speed Internet.
It's worth noting too that Netflix's DVD collection is considerably wider than that offered on its streaming deals.
So for those who feel frustrated at regularly going to search for a movie on Netflix only to find that it doesn't have it available to stream, the DVD service is a pretty good option as its disc service has so many more films in print. Which is why there are still many Netflix users who hold onto their DVD option.
That said, it looks like they're a dying breed. According to Variety, Netflix has lost approximately 190,000 DVD subscribers every quarter for the past two years. At this rate, the company predicts it will say 'see ya' to its last DVD members by 2022. And thus those little red envelopes will become a thing of pop culture history.
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