More than sixteen years after pivoting to streaming, Netflix is saying goodbye to its mail-order DVD business. The company plans to shut the service down sometime “later this year.”
Ah, where have the years gone?
Netflix launched more than 25 years ago, and at first the streaming giant both rented and sold DVDs. The company might’ve faded to irrelevance long ago had it not switched focus to streaming in 2007. About four years later, amid backlash over planned price hikes, Netflix said it would spin off its mail-order arm into a separate business, which it (bizarrely) dubbed “Qwikster.” Then, the company changed its mind.
In a eulogy on its blog, Netflix pointed to the dwindling revenue it earns via mailed-order DVDs, and said: “To everyone who ever added a DVD to their queue or waited by the mailbox for a red envelope to arrive: thank you.”