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Home » Reed Hastings in 2010: Netflix to Deliver Last DVD Movie Rental in 2030

Reed Hastings in 2010: Netflix to Deliver Last DVD Movie Rental in 2030

Reed Hastings and a stack of DVDs Netflix would rent by mail (photo courtesy Netflix).

Erik Gruenwedel

Netflix plans to stop delivering by-mail disc rentals on Sept. 29, about seven years earlier than it previously disclosed to Wall Street.

Thirteen years ago, Netflix was aggressively pursuing subscription streaming VOD while largely sidelining its legacy by-mail disc rental business. About 17 months later in 2011, then CEO Reed Hastings announced the short-lived Qwikster rebranding of its disc rental business — a decision that would see the company’s stock freefall, and 800,000 subscribers depart.

But on the streamer’s April 21, 2010, first-quarter fiscal call, Wall Street analyst Mario Cibelli asked whether Netflix still planned to deliver it last DVD rental in 2030 as oft announced.

Hastings, responded, saying he would personally deliver Netflix’s last DVD in 2030, adding he thought management’s deadline for packaged media was accurate.

“Our DVD shipments are continuing to climb throughout the country, even in the Bay Area where you see 24% of households subscribing to Netflix and our DVD shipments,” Hastings told Cibelli on the call, an excerpt of which Cibelli posted on Twitter. “DVD, Blu-ray Disc combined, are continuing to grow, so DVDs got a lot of legs here and 2030 is still the target.”

Fast-forward to April 23, 2023, and Hastings still plans to hand deliver that last DVD rental.

“Remind me to deliver you an honorary last DVD in 2030, Mario! You deserve it for your keen tracking ability,” Hastings, who is now executive chairman after relinquishing his co-CEO position to Greg Peters, wrote in a post.

No word yet who, or if anyone, will deliver Netflix’s last disc rental in five months.

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