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Almost 3 million Americans still use Netflix as a DVD rental service rather than streaming service

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 17 Apr 2019 3:27 User comments (2)

Almost 3 million Americans still use Netflix as a DVD rental service rather than streaming service

Most of the world knows Netflix only as a gigantic streaming service, but only few people outside the U.S. know that the company was founded as a DVD rental service back in 1998. It might come as a shock that this DVD rental service still exists - and is doing just fine.
Netflix's DVD rental service still works exactly like it used to work: the subscriber pays a flat monthly fee and for that fee receives one DVD by mail to his/her home, along with a pre-paid return envelope. Once the user is done with the DVD, he/she sends the DVD back prompting Netflix to send the user a new DVD in an envelope. The DVDs are shipped from user's "I want these" type of list, in priority order, if the DVD is available. If not, the next in line ships.

Pricing starts from $7.99 for "one DVD disc at a time" service and increases to $14.99 premier pricing, which allows user to have two DVDs rented at the same time - and to use Blu-Ray instead of DVDs. Netflix has revealed in its latest financials that a whopping 2.7 million people in the United States still use the Netflix's service.

The reasons behind the decision for some people to stick with DVDs rather than jump the streaming service bandwagon are actually quite logical. In rural areas of the United States, there are still large areas where you can't get a fast-enough Internet connection to watch streaming content - or it simply costs too much.

But the other reason to pick DVD rental service over streaming version of Netflix is simply the depth of a content. As streaming wars loom, with Disney+ launching soon, Apple starting its own service and Amazon already competing against Netflix, meaningful online content is nowadays spread across several different services. And at the same time, Netflix's DVD service has almost everything ever produced on DVD, no matter what studio has produced it.

Thus, for those wanting to have the biggest movie catalog to select from, none of the streaming services can beat the DVD rental version of Netflix.

P.S. There used to be similar services in Europe, too. Largest of them was LoveFilm which was eventually acquired by Amazon. The company stopped its DVD-by-mail service in 2017.

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2 user comments

117.4.2019 10:03

Thank you for your article. I've been watching news about Netflix carefully lately, because I am so P.Oed about all of the back to back rate increases extorted from online streamers like myself. I understand Netflixes ambition to compete with Hollywood with exclusive content, but I can't get over forcing your most loyal and income producing customers to foot the bill for content that I have never and will never watch, and then having to pay increased rates for that content whether or not I watch, is simply unreasonable. I subscribe to Netflix for one reason...movies. Not Soaps or episode after episode of content that is simply dribble to me. Netflix should have only two choices. One, increase rates to support programming they like but simultaneously make more movies available for no extra price. Or Two-develop and introduce a tiered pricing scheme that forces the people who want and watch all the new episodic content to pay for it. NOT EVERYBODY! So far I am willing to pay for this extortion because I like the few movies made available under my subscription...but there is a limit, and Netflix is fast approaching it.

215.5.2019 10:23

How else can one watch "Song of Russia" starring Robert Taylor and Susan Peters?


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