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Mark Llobrera

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Netflix to Shut Down DVD Service

Physical media’s slow decline continues—Netflix is shutting down its DVD-by-mail service,

I’d resigned myself to this inevitability, but it still stings. I’ve been an on-and-off subscriber since the early 2000s and after the closure of my local video store1 in 2021 I’ve found it useful for filling in the gaps that streaming has ignored. It’s also a lot of fun to get things in the mail—today I’m eagerly anticipating the arrival of Park Chan-wook’s latest, Decision to Leave.

Jim Vorel wrote this in Paste Magazine and I couldn’t agree more:

There’s something a little bit tragic about that lost era of selection, because for many average consumers there’s no way to replicate it today, even if they’re determined to try. The independent and chain video stores are almost entirely gone, put out of business by the convenience of Netflix DVDs, and then left fallow as shuts down for the final time a decade later.

I can’t help but think that a few decades from now, I’ll find myself describing Netflix’s DVD service to some oblivious youngster, and they’ll struggle to believe that we once had access to such a huge repository of film, at a bare minimum of cost.

  1. RIP, Viva Video ↩︎