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  • 1440 Daily Digest

An Era Ends at Netflix

Netflix will ship its final DVDs today, saying goodbye to its disc rental service after 25 years as the DVD business becomes increasingly obsolete in the era of video streaming.

Founded in 1997 as a rental-by-mail platform, the company mailed its first DVD—Tim Burton's "Beetlejuice"—in 1998 and garnered over 239,000 subscribers in its first year. Over the years, Netflix has mailed nearly 5.2 billion discs in its signature red envelopes to approximately 40 million unique subscribers, competing successfully with traditional video rental outlets like Blockbuster and Hollywood Video. The company allegedly currently has over 1.1 million DVD rental subscribers.

In 2007, Netflix ventured into the streaming world and is now the world's largest streaming service, with over 238 million subscribers as of July, including 2.6 million new subscribers after a crackdown on password sharing. See the timeline of the company here.

See the 50 most popular DVD rentals, including the most rented disc on the platform, "The Blind Side," here.

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