Pile of Many CDs or DVDs

Netflix Still Has Millions of DVD Subscribers

Pile of Many CDs or DVDsThink DVDs are dead? Netflix doesn’t. It is still sending out millions of DVDs every year to millions of subscribers.

Netflix recently spun off its DVD business to a new site called DVD.com, which is still owned and operated by Netflix but is separate from the main Netflix.com site that will focus on streaming.

DVDs are still a shrinking business model at Netflix. In 2010 Netflix had 20 million DVD subscribers, and in 2015 that had dropped to just over 5 million subscribers to its DVD service.

Netflix told the New York Times in July of 2015 that instead of ditching its DVD division, it’d been working on streamlining it so Netflix could continue to service loyal customers and bring in profits from users who enjoyed renting discs including movies that become available sooner on DVD and Blu-Ray than on streaming services.

The days of DVDs are numbered as retailers such as Best Buy and others shrink their DVD footprint in stores in favor of other electronics. Even DVD rentals have shrunk as Amazon Video now rents more movies than Redbox—something that just a little over a year ago Redbox dominated.

However, with streaming still lagging behind in selection with services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Video fighting for rights to stream movies many see DVDs from Netflix as a way they know they can watch the movies they want.

Source: The Next Web

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25 Responses to Netflix Still Has Millions of DVD Subscribers

  1. Avatar
    Dean Stibbs January 5, 2017 at 10:20 am #

    Count me as one of those people. I have the Netflix streaming and the dvd service. A lot of older movies are only on dvd with them

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      jackeyb January 7, 2017 at 9:53 pm #

      …and newer movies.

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    Jordan McAbee January 5, 2017 at 10:30 am #

    Pretty surprising until you realize that there are some people that still pay for dial up internet.

    • Avatar
      Dean Stibbs January 5, 2017 at 12:50 pm #

      Just because someone likes older movies that are only available on DVD doesn’t mean they are behind the times.

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        Jordan McAbee January 5, 2017 at 1:12 pm #

        Oh yeah, definitely, that’s not what I was insinuating at all. I actually prefer a Blu Ray over a digital HD download, but my point was that there are probably still quite a few people out there that their only choice is Netflix’s DVD plan because they don’t have the internet to go online for movies, and/or there isn’t a close standalone or super-convenient building that provides rentals.

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          Dean Stibbs January 5, 2017 at 2:38 pm #

          Yeah, I can agree with that..thanks for clarifying

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    skyvolt January 5, 2017 at 11:18 am #

    It’s 2017. Why are DVDs still a thing when you can get the movies on Digital HD?

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      Jeck January 5, 2017 at 11:35 am #

      One reason is because it’s typically cheaper to rent the physical media than the digital equivalent.

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        skyvolt January 5, 2017 at 12:22 pm #

        Yes, that’s a possible reason but I think for most people who choose DVD, the main reason is that they prefer the “old way.”

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          Dean Stibbs January 5, 2017 at 12:48 pm #

          There are still a lot of movies NOT available to stream anywhere….and DVD is the only option for those

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            filmex January 5, 2017 at 2:19 pm #

            You nailed it. There are tons of obscure and bizarre films that will never be licensed for streaming strictly because they are so out of the mainstream it wouldn’t be worth the time or expense to try. Netflix remains a prime resource for all those titles.

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            skyvolt January 5, 2017 at 3:00 pm #

            I agree but I doubt those are the movies keeping millions of active DVD subscribers active. I don’t have the data yet, but I can guarantee you that at least 90% of people using DVD are simply resistant to change and they want to appreciate the “vintage” and “authentic” stuff. A very small percentage of those is driven by price or movie availability.

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            Dean Stibbs January 6, 2017 at 9:51 am #

            Another factor you are overlooking though is the ability to copy the discs. I know folks who rent from Netflix and Red Box specifically because they can copy it and add it to their collection.

            Also, some of the dvds Netflix has are pretty valuable..at least until someone claims they “got lost” in the mail.

            They had the recalled MST3K Godzilla vs Megalon dvd for rent for quite a while. I rented it one time, but when I went back to rent it again it was no longer available. That episode is impossible to find unless you pay 200 bucks or so on ebay or you buy a copy of the broadcast.

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            skyvolt January 6, 2017 at 10:01 am #

            I would think the DVDs should be copy-protected to avoid piracy.

            Also, yes I understand in cases of rare movies or episodes, getting a DVD is a good call. But most people aren’t going to watch dozens of such rare movies per year.

          • Avatar
            Dean Stibbs January 8, 2017 at 10:35 pm #

            There are hundreds of programs that easily defeat copy protection. Copy protection is not really a deterrent anymore, sadly.

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            jackeyb January 7, 2017 at 9:51 pm #

            Netflix in particular has horrible streaming movies options. It may be good for someone who watches them occasionally but if you are a movie buff, its a bad selection of movies you already have seen or don’t want to see. B old A movies mostly.

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          Karl Childers January 5, 2017 at 1:23 pm #

          Some people do indeed resist change. My parents are in their early 60s and still use a CRT TV which is probably at least 20 years old now. When they finally decide to upgrade I’m sure I’ll hear about how things look so much worse on the new TV, followed by more complaints when I tell them they need to buy an HDMI cable.

          My wife’s parents are in their 70’s and they do have a flat screen TV but only because their old tube TV died. The picture quality looks horrendous because they have coax running from their cable box (which does not have HDMI) to their set. At best they can use S-video and I’ve offered to set it up for them but they have no interest. I also told them that they need to call their cable company and get a more up to date box and that was over two years ago.

          Streaming isn’t something that is on either of their radars. The in-laws don’t have internet at all and my parents have DSL which gives less than 1 mbps down so streaming would require “change”. I know this is all pretty anecdotal but I think there are a lot of people across the country who have similar attitudes toward the changing landscape of media consumption.

        • Avatar
          jackeyb January 7, 2017 at 9:50 pm #


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      mblaser79 January 5, 2017 at 3:06 pm #

      Because what costs me $8 a month with Netflix DVD service would cost me at least $40 a month if I rented the same amount of movies via digital sources like Amazon.
      Trust me, if Amazon or somebody came out with a ~$10-$15 a month service that let me watch 2-3 streaming movies a week, but also had the same selection that Netflix DVD has, I’d stop using DVDs in a heartbeat.
      Right now I’ve got 93 movies in my DVD queue (and no they’re not old, rare movies, most are from the last couple of years) and none of them are available via Netflix streaming.

      • Avatar
        skyvolt January 5, 2017 at 3:14 pm #

        I think if you rent a lot of movies regularly, it’s probably a good plan. I barely rent any movies. I either watch it in theaters, on TV (including HBO, FX..) or Streaming services like Netflix or Hulu or Amazon. So, I rent like 1 movie in a year.

        Also, sometimes you can rent movies on Google Play for about $2.99. Most start at $4.99.

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      Mitchell Hellman January 6, 2017 at 1:47 am #

      I want to point out that the number of movies available to stream on Netflix has been shrinking, and many movies are only available for a certain length of time. I’m not making this up– Cord Cutters News has reported on a couple of occasions about how Netflix’s streaming offerings are shrinking, and every month CCN reports on the content that is leaving Netflix.To the best of my knowledge, Netflix has not reduced their DVD offerings at all; once they obtain it, it appears to be available for as long as they still have one working copy.

      Another reason I prefer to watch DVDs instead of streaming movies is the ease in which you can move ahead or back.

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        skyvolt January 6, 2017 at 9:52 am #

        You’re right about the Netflix shrinking library. That’s been the case for a while now because they want to focus more on original content instead of paying for rights.

        As far as rewinding and fast-forwarding is concerned, it really depends on the app and device you’re using. Good ones make it very easy to rewind and forward.

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      jackeyb January 7, 2017 at 9:49 pm #

      Stinking expensive to stream new movies. No way am I paying $6 to stream one new movie.

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    crawdad62 January 5, 2017 at 8:51 pm #

    Count me in. I just rejoined about 3 months ago. Loving being able to watch some of the old movies that aren’t really available anywhere else.

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    jackeyb January 7, 2017 at 9:48 pm #

    Use their DVD because it has a better selection of movies. I’m a movie buff and the Netflix streaming movies are limited and old. The only reason for me to stream their site, is for their shows and too me it worth it of you like predomiantely like movies more than shows.