Earlier this year, Netflix announced that they will be shutting down their DVD-by-mail service, marking an end to a marvelous, 25-year era in media history. To commemorate the occasion, the streaming giant has now announced a special promotion: Before they close up shop, they’ll send up to 10 random discs to their DVD subscribers.
The announcement came on Wednesday, August 16th, in the form of an email sent directly to users of Netflix’s DVD.com service. The email explains that folks will have until August 29th to opt-in for the program, and once they do, they can expect a random number of discs (up to 10) from their movie queues to arrive in their mailboxes. And yes, if you are not currently a subscriber but want to get in on the action, you can still do so — new users can still sign up through August 28th at 11:59 p.m. PT.
Netflix has also confirmed that the final day they’ll be shipping out movies will be September 29th, and they’ve specified that the promotion is only available for US users, and will have “limited quantity” while supplies last. They have not, however, clarified whether or not they’re expecting these DVDs back.
The FAQ page on the DVD.com site states that they will “continue to accept returns until October 27th, 2023,” almost a month after the final title will have been sent out. Yet, nothing seems to explicitly say that they are expecting the final round of DVDs back, and a month is not a very long time to fit in 10 extra movie-viewings.
Online, some folks have speculated as to whether they’ll charge users for any DVDs they don’t receive back. Meanwhile, others aren’t so worried. “They will not give a F if these [discs] ever come back,” one Reddit user wrote.
Either way, the end of Netflix’s DVD-by-mail era is an important landmark for the streaming industry, which the platform still dominates, though it’s far from the only player. In July, the company reported that they had gained 5.9 million new subscribers after cracking down on account-sharing. Meanwhile, earlier this month it was reported that, for the first time, traditional broadcast and cable TV networks accounted for less than 50% of television viewership.