ImaJAN Media Network
MeltedJoystick Home
   Games  Members
Search +
Searching... Close  
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
  
 
 
     

Netflix to End Discs-by-Mail Service in September 2023 – I Miss it Already

View Nelson Schneider's Profile

By Nelson Schneider - 04/23/23 at 11:01 PM CT

This week, Netflix, the company that revolutionized the way we watch movies not once, but twice, announced that after 25 years, the iconic red envelopes and DVDs/Blu-Rays-by-mail inside them will be going away for good come Autumn.

The company started in 1998 with an unprecedented business model: Unlimited movie rentals for a reasonable monthly fee. Even more unprecedented was the fact that these movie rental transactions would be handled via the Internet, and the movies themselves would arrive via mail. Anyone who grew up in the ‘80s like the MJ Crew would naturally be dubious about such a proposition: We lived in a world where every mail-order transaction required “six to eight weeks for delivery” and had a distressingly expensive “shipping and handling” cost tacked-on for good measure. Somehow, Netflix managed to flip the paradigm and beat our old, terrible United States Postal Service into submission, as not only was the turn-around for movie rentals incredibly fast, but it didn’t cost extra. On the occasions where a disc arrived broken or in non-playable condition, a simple “report a problem” button on the Netflix website cleared everything up, without accusing the customer of wrongdoing and demanding compensation for the broken media.

In 2007, as broadband penetration increased within urbanized areas, Netflix revolutionized movie-watching yet again by streaming content directly to the screens of subscribers. While Netflix streaming initially started as a free add-on service to the discs-by-mail platform, it soon became the company’s primary focus, naturally with its own separate subscription fee. By 2011, the worm had turned, and everyone was streaming all the time. With the downturn in popularity of its discs-by-mail service, Netflix attempted to kill off that particular offering, but met with severe backlash. The company briefly tried to spin discs-by-mail off into a separate business called Qwikster, but it was a misbegotten attempt that quickly saw DVD Netflix living side-by-side with Streaming Netflix, two separate subscriptions under one brand. Alas, I did not have Internet bandwidth or stability capable of streaming until 2015, so my single experience with the product at the time was streaming the first season of “Fringe” to get caught up before the second season started on network TV… and it looked like I was watching it on a Game Boy in 4 colors and at a resolution somewhere around 320x100.

Sadly, it was around this time that all of the young Internet startup’s contracts with big movie and TV publishers started to run out, and said publishers saw the opportunity to make even more money off their movies by ‘rolling their own’ streaming services to compete with Netflix. Even as Netflix’s streaming library hemorrhaged content, which Netflix tried to replace with own dismal fare, DVD Netflix continued to have all of the movies and shows by all of the studios… provided one was willing to wait for those programs to hit physical media, since DVD Netflix still had the legal loophole that any media rental company could use.

Of course, by that time there were no other physical media rental companies anymore. DVD Netflix had so thoroughly trounced ensconced incumbents like Blockbuster Video and newcomers like Wal-Mart and Redbox that they stood alone atop their kingdom of ashes.

And now, in September 2023, the last red envelope will find its way to a mailbox. And the world of DVD rentals will go silent.

This makes me incredibly sad. I have railed against the fragmentation of media rentals by streaming companies for years now, but I continued to enjoy DVD Netflix for the fact that it was still the closest thing to a single subscription where all of the content was available. It has, however, been in an obvious downward spiral for years. New releases take forever to hit DVD Netflix, and with many of the “Hot New Shows™” coming from streaming services that never release on physical media, the well at DVD Netflix has effectively dried-up. While it will still stagger along, a dead-corp-walking, until the lights go off for the last time in September, DVD Netflix has already been dead for a long time.

There’s nothing out there that can replace DVD Netflix. All of its direct competition is dead, and all of the streaming services are in a war to see how many parasitic subscriptions a single host can handle before collapsing under the strain and saying, “Enough is enough!” My only hope is that perhaps Blockbuster (whose website is currently nothing but a cheeky image imploring users to ‘be kind while we rewind’) will rise from the ashes like the mythical phoenix to bring us an option for discs-by-mail once again.

Share:    
MeltedJoystick Gaming Blog RSS Feed
Comments
0 comments
Name: 

Avoid spam Captcha: Sign Up + or Log In +   



 

Bloggers

Previous Blog Posts

Archive

All Posts

July 2024

June 2024

May 2024

April 2024

March 2024

February 2024

January 2024

December 2023

November 2023

October 2023

September 2023

August 2023

July 2023

June 2023

May 2023

April 2023

March 2023

February 2023

January 2023

December 2022

November 2022

October 2022

September 2022

August 2022

July 2022

June 2022

May 2022

April 2022

March 2022

February 2022

January 2022

December 2021

November 2021

October 2021

September 2021

August 2021

July 2021

June 2021

May 2021

April 2021

March 2021

February 2021

January 2021

December 2020

November 2020

October 2020

September 2020

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

December 2019

November 2019

October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

December 2018

November 2018

October 2018

September 2018

August 2018

July 2018

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

December 2016

November 2016

October 2016

September 2016

August 2016

July 2016

June 2016

May 2016

April 2016

March 2016

February 2016

January 2016

December 2015

November 2015

October 2015

September 2015

August 2015

July 2015

June 2015

May 2015

April 2015

March 2015

February 2015

January 2015

December 2014

November 2014

October 2014

September 2014

August 2014

July 2014

June 2014

May 2014

April 2014

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

December 2013

November 2013

October 2013

September 2013

August 2013

July 2013

June 2013

May 2013

April 2013

March 2013

February 2013

January 2013

December 2012

November 2012

October 2012

September 2012

August 2012

July 2012

June 2012

May 2012

April 2012

March 2012

February 2012

January 2012

December 2011

November 2011

October 2011

September 2011

August 2011

July 2011

June 2011

May 2011

April 2011

March 2011

February 2011

 
Log In
 
For members wanting to use FB to login, click here
remember me
 
 

What Members Are Doing

Comments about...

New Game Reviews

Ori and the Blind Forest: ... game review by Nick
House Party game review by Chris Kavan
Persona 5 Royal game review by Chris Kavan
Pikmin 4 game review by Nelson Schneider
A Hat in Time game review by Chris Kavan
No Man's Sky game review by Nelson Schneider
Dragon Quest Monsters: The... game review by Nelson Schneider
Cthulhu Saves Christmas game review by Nick

New Game Lists

Backlog (Multi-Player) by Nelson Schneider
Top Xbox 360 Games by Megadrive
Top PC (Steam) Games by Chris Kavan
Games I Own: Switch Digital by dbarry_22
Top Nintendo (NES) Games by Nick
Backlog by Matt
Top Game List by SIngli6
Top Game List by Jonzor

 

 

 

Contact Us Public Relations MeltedJoystick Friends    

Advertise and Business

Contacts Us

Jobs

About us

SiteMap

 

Support Us

FAQ and Help

News and Press

Terms of Use

Privacy

Hitfix.com

Amazon.com

OVGuide.com

   
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
  
Are you sure you want to delete this blog?