In brief: Those of a certain age may remember when Netflix was just a popular DVD-by-mail subscription business. A quarter of a century after it first started mailing discs out to subscribers, the company has announced that the famed red envelopes are finally going away.

In the same year it was founded, 1997, Netflix started its DVD-by-mail service, offering the public an alternative to going to the local video rental store. The very first DVD it sent out was Tim Burton's Beetlejuice, marking the begging of the end for stores like Blockbuster.

Netflix launched its streaming service in 2007, though it offered just 1,000 movies compared to the 70,000 it had on DVD at the time. To the surprise of many, the mail service continues to this day - it shipped its five billionth DVD in 2019 - but it's shuttering in a few months.

Netflix's co-chief executive Ted Sarandos praised DVD-by-mail for paving the way for the company's gigantic streaming business. But "after an incredible 25-year run, we've made the difficult decision to wind down at the end of September [29th]."

"Our goal has always been to provide the best service for our members but as the business continues to shrink that's going to become increasingly difficult," Sarandos added.

According to an FAQ, customers' final bill for the DVD service will be in August, so it sounds as if they will get a free month of rentals during its last month of September. Netflix will continue to accept returns up until October 27, 2023.

In 2011, Netflix said it would rebrand its DVD rental service as an independent subsidiary called Qwikster, but changed its mind a month later. In 2016, it rebranded its DVD-by-mail service under the name, A Netflix Company.

Netflix slightly missed analysts' forecasts for the first quarter of the year, generating $8.18 billion in revenue. The better news was that it added 1.75 million subscribers, bringing its global total to 232.5 million customers.

Netflix said this week that it would be delaying the broader rollout of its crackdown on password sharing, which will now start by the end of June. The company rolled out its profile transfer tool last year in preparation for password sharers moving to their own accounts.