Reed Hastings, Netflix

Asa Mathat

Media


It’s sort of hard to remember now, but Netflix, the streaming video service, used to be Netflix, the DVD-by-mail service.

And in fact, Netflix is still a DVD-by-mail service for 6.7 million people. But that number used to be twice as big. And after a violent and unsuccessful attempt to kill it off quickly, Netflix has been happy to let its DVD business shrink — profitably — for several years.

Netflix does nothing to promote its DVD offering — go ahead, try finding any mention of DVDs in the company’s pitch to new members on its site. And it has been shuttering its DVD distribution centers for some time.

Last month, the company made the next logical move and stopped delivering DVDs on Saturdays. That saves them money, and makes DVD rentals less attractive. But as Engadget points out, you probably didn’t notice.

Again, Netflix is happy to keep renting DVDs to the audience that wants them, because renting DVDs is a lucrative business — Netflix figures DVDs will generate a profit of $92 million this quarter. But all of its time, money and resources are going to streaming, a business that should have 50 million subscribers when the company reports its third quarter earnings next week.




4 comments
JMWJMW
JMWJMW

To paraphrase Robbie Montrose: "to make way for the young (new), the old have to die."

Jerry Vandesic
Jerry Vandesic

I'm one of those people sticking with Netflix DVDs.   The streaming service doesn't cover new releases, and has limited TV shows.   For TV I find that Amazon does a better, job, so I use Netflix primarily to see recent movie releases.


I actually liked it when they separated streaming from DVDs -- my monthly cost fell a few bucks.

ftl
ftl

@Jerry Vandesic I agree. I seldom go to movies (why should I when my home theater is just as good?), so the only way to see recent releases is via DVDs or Blu-rays. I used to subscribe to all the premium movie services on my satellite provider, but it's much cheaper with Netflix, you get the releases months or even a year sooner, and the quality is better.

JMWJMW
JMWJMW

@Jerry Vandesic  the way to hear about DVDs on the streaming site is to search for the (extensive) amount of content that Netflix doesn't have in streaming, yet offers on DVDs.  You are then offered a free trial. 


Of course, to know this, you would have to search for more than the trivial amount of mostly trivial (and foreign) content available on Netflix streaming.

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