Netflix has just shipped its five-billionth DVD

midian182

Posts: 6,578   +58
Staff member

It was 21 years ago when Netflix began delivering DVDs to customers, reaching its first billion back in 2007. As reported by Variety, the company’s video streaming service launched soon after as an added bonus for subscribers, long before it became the global phenomenon we know today.

It took another four years before Netflix split its DVD-rental and streaming subscription services into two separate plans and businesses. Unsurprisingly, the number of subscribers to the former has dropped significantly over the years, from 14 million in 2011 to 2.4 million in the second quarter of this year. The company has also reduced the number of DVD distribution hubs in the US from its peak of 50 to just 17 as of last year.

You might wonder why Netflix hasn’t pulled the plug on its disc service, especially when its subscriber figures pale in comparison to the company’s 151 streaming subscribers. It’s because DVDs are still profitable, contributing almost $46 million to the firm’s profits in Q2 of this year. While that’s not a huge amount compared to Netflix as a whole, it’s still enough to justify keeping the service around.

For those interested, the five-billionth disc shipped was the Elton John biopic Rocketman, which isn’t available to stream on Netflix.

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Burty117

Posts: 4,045   +2,027
You might wonder why Netflix hasn’t pulled the plug on its disc service, especially when its subscriber figures pale in comparison to the company’s 151 streaming subscribers.
A whole 151 subscribers?! Crazy numbers! :p
 

BSim500

Posts: 779   +1,684
"For those interested, the five-billionth disc shipped was the Elton John biopic Rocketman, which isn’t available to stream on Netflix."

95% of content available to buy on DVD from 1920's movies through to modern indies, classic movies, older TV series, etc, isn't on Netflix. Most popular classics either aren't on Netflix or are heavily region restricted. In fact, even half the stuff that is on Netflix isn't on Netflix when it gets constantly "rights cycled" and randomly disappears halfway through a series. And that was before the ongoing industry fragmentation. Netflix is convenient for a few popular titles, but if you're one of those "odd" people like me with a taste in movies varied enough to enjoy the missing 95% of disc based content, then it's perfectly normal to have a "multi-sourced" movie collection.
 

Lew Zealand

Posts: 1,750   +1,860
TechSpot Elite
What I want to watch is rarely available on streaming, which is why I still get the discs by mail. And they're even (s-l-o-w-l-y) adding some back catalog titles (Running Man BD, most recently) when I had lost hope that they would ever be available again.
 

moobg

Posts: 40   +42
I've been a subscriber since 2009 and I've rented 740 movies so far on Blu/DVD. I've only had, I think, one damaged disc and a couple lost movies (hasn't happened in a long time). That's a pretty damn good ratio I'd say.
 

Lew Zealand

Posts: 1,750   +1,860
TechSpot Elite
OK I checked my history, 1396 discs since 2011. No lost discs that I can remember, maybe we have fewer mail/package thieves where I live. I've received at least 20 damaged discs, including 3 DVDs of They Live in a row which were broken. And they were different discs as they were broken differently each time. I, er, "found" that on usenet so I could watch it. At least I tried to do it the right way first.
 

ShagnWagn

Posts: 1,297   +1,083
Physical discs are far superior to streaming. With the substantially higher bandwidth availability over the last decade, I am blown away how streaming quality is still so terrible. 2-channel audio only in 2019??!! Both hulu and nutflicks...
 

moobg

Posts: 40   +42
OK I checked my history, 1396 discs since 2011. No lost discs that I can remember, maybe we have fewer mail/package thieves where I live. I've received at least 20 damaged discs, including 3 DVDs of They Live in a row which were broken. And they were different discs as they were broken differently each time. I, er, "found" that on usenet so I could watch it. At least I tried to do it the right way first.
Oddly enough the couple discs that were lost were on the way to Netflix. I've never had one lost on the way to me.
Physical discs are far superior to streaming. With the substantially higher bandwidth availability over the last decade, I am blown away how streaming quality is still so terrible. 2-channel audio only in 2019??!! Both hulu and nutflicks...
What? Netflix, Prime, iTunes and Vudu all support Atmos (a more bitrate-starved Atmos but still...). Can't remember if FandangoNow also supports Atmos but it definitely supports 5.1, as does Google Play and there's very limited support on Hulu.

Visually, they all offer fantastic quality, with 4K streaming content rivaling, or even surpassing Blu in many cases. Obviously it isn't as good as a 4K disc, but for most people, they wouldn't notice/care. If you think streaming content is still terrible then that might be a problem with your ISP. If you're only getting stereo from all streaming services then that might also be a problem with your hardware.
 

ShagnWagn

Posts: 1,297   +1,083
Oddly enough the couple discs that were lost were on the way to Netflix. I've never had one lost on the way to me.

What? Netflix, Prime, iTunes and Vudu all support Atmos (a more bitrate-starved Atmos but still...). Can't remember if FandangoNow also supports Atmos but it definitely supports 5.1, as does Google Play and there's very limited support on Hulu.

Visually, they all offer fantastic quality, with 4K streaming content rivaling, or even surpassing Blu in many cases. Obviously it isn't as good as a 4K disc, but for most people, they wouldn't notice/care. If you think streaming content is still terrible then that might be a problem with your ISP. If you're only getting stereo from all streaming services then that might also be a problem with your hardware.

Can you provide me with some links where any of them support anything more than 2-channel support for a HTPC?

If you are saying google fiber has a problem and is not fast enough, then that is a huge problem. What ISP do you have that is faster? My hardware works fine for surround sound on anything I've ever played outside of streaming.
 

moobg

Posts: 40   +42
Can you provide me with some links where any of them support anything more than 2-channel support for a HTPC?

If you are saying google fiber has a problem and is not fast enough, then that is a huge problem. What ISP do you have that is faster? My hardware works fine for surround sound on anything I've ever played outside of streaming.
Well, there's your problem. Streaming on HTPCs can be a PITA. You can get 5.1 through Netflix if you use the Netflix app in Windows 10. I think Vudu supports it as well with their app but you'd have to test it. Basically you'd have to check which services have an app...

Honestly, if you want 5.1/Dolby Vision/Dolby Atmos via streaming services your best bet is to get a stand-alone streaming device and check compatibility with whatever service you want to use. That's probably not the answer you want, but it's the most painless solution (my TV comes with a customized Chromecast built in so I get DV/Atmos through all the major streaming services without any issue).
 

Danny101

Posts: 1,554   +666
I use to rent Netflix DVD's in the early 2000's. Went to cable after that. After the streaming service came on-line. I ditched cable and joined up in 2014 and held it through 2018. With the lack of premium content, it just doesn't seem worth it anymore. And when much of what they have are being taken back by creators who want their own streaming service, we're back to square one. Hulu, along with a few free streaming services, and Redbox will have to do at this point.
 

ShagnWagn

Posts: 1,297   +1,083
Well, there's your problem. Streaming on HTPCs can be a PITA. You can get 5.1 through Netflix if you use the Netflix app in Windows 10. I think Vudu supports it as well with their app but you'd have to test it. Basically you'd have to check which services have an app...

Honestly, if you want 5.1/Dolby Vision/Dolby Atmos via streaming services your best bet is to get a stand-alone streaming device and check compatibility with whatever service you want to use. That's probably not the answer you want, but it's the most painless solution (my TV comes with a customized Chromecast built in so I get DV/Atmos through all the major streaming services without any issue).

I will not buy a streaming device because of huge privacy issues. Also, why spend an extra chunk of money when I already have a far superior device that could easily do it? I am not a person to have a big stack of devices in my living room just so I can use each one for one purpose. I have a single device for everything - a HTPC. Then you have maintenance on all those devices, then one dies and replace it, plus they get outdated and throw it away - buying yet another one. More $$$. And now I am saving a ton of money because I am not spending it on streaming, which they are losing out on money. A logical person would use a HTPC which will last for many years. These streaming companies don't want you to because they cash in on selling your data of your viewing habits, personal information, and hardware sales.
 

moobg

Posts: 40   +42
I will not buy a streaming device because of huge privacy issues. Also, why spend an extra chunk of money when I already have a far superior device that could easily do it?
No. You clearly don't have a device that can easily do it. If you did, this conversation wouldn't have happened. lol

If you don't want a separate streaming device for privacy or other reasons, that's fine. But then you don't really get to call streaming services terrible. They're great, just not in your use case, which is most definitely a very small minority.
 

ShagnWagn

Posts: 1,297   +1,083
No. You clearly don't have a device that can easily do it. If you did, this conversation wouldn't have happened. lol

If you don't want a separate streaming device for privacy or other reasons, that's fine. But then you don't really get to call streaming services terrible. They're great, just not in your use case, which is most definitely a very small minority.

Perhaps you should re-read my post, slowly. I said "could", as in it could, but they choose not to. Hence why I said everything else it can do surround sound.

They are terrible that they don't have any kind of privacy. Just like Win10. I'm not using it personally either. Yes, I guess I am in the minority that actually values my privacy. Which is why most people have their identities stolen and devices hacked. Congratulations!