Not only does Netflix still offer a DVD rental service, but it rented out its five billionth title just this week.
The way in which we consume media content has changed drastically over the course of the past decade or so. We no longer need to physically own a copy of a movie or TV show to view it. We can purchase a digital copy or, even better, hope that it is available on one of the digital streaming services we own a subscription to.
Prior to the streaming boom, we relied on DVDs. We'd have to fork out the same amount of money for one movie as we do now for two months of a Netflix subscription. Or, we could rent movies. Did you know that's how Netflix started life? The streaming service actually started out as a DVD rental company that would send customers movies by post all the way back in 1997.
What we were shocked to discover this week is Netflix still runs the DVD side of things. We were even more shocked to find out that it is still an incredibly busy division of the streaming company. It proved that by revealing it has rented out its five billionth title, an accomplishment that will forever be the property of Rocketman.
5,000,000,000 shipments. F I V E B I L L I O N .— DVD Netflix (@dvdnetflix) August 26, 2019
The most heartfelt thank you to our incredible members that have been with us for the past 21 years of DVD Netflix. Five billion discs delivered is a huge milestone and we owe it all to our amazing members and team members. pic.twitter.com/Eg1bjEMtcx
This all has us wondering one thing. Who on Earth is still renting DVDs from Netflix rather than streaming them? Apparently, a lot of you. According to Vice, Netflix still ships out more than a million DVDs each and every week. And according to Variety, $46 million of Netflix's Q2 2019 revenue can be attributed to its DVD division which has since been rechristened DVD.com: A Netflix Company.
If this tells us anything at all, it's that the era of physical media is not dead. Not yet, anyway. We also sort of understand why some people are still renting DVDs. Have you ever flicked between streaming services looking for a particular movie, only to discover it isn't on any of them? Chances are you have. If you're signed to Netflix's DVD service, you won't have that issue. You will have to wait for that movie to arrive in the mail though, by which point, based on our ever-shortening attention spans, we'd be busy rewatching The Office for the 15th time.