Netflix Launches New App … For DVDs

By January 5, 2017

Before you read too far, we just need to make sure you’re aware: This story was written in 2017 about an event in 2017.

We know that it might seem like once you start reading that this is something left over from a decade ago. But it’s true – Netflix still sends DVDs to your house.

And it’s not just a niche market, either. Millions of customers still use Netflix the way they did a decade ago, and for the first time in quite a long time, Netflix is making it easy to order those DVDs again with a new app.

Of course, you’d need to have an iTunes account as it seems to be Apple-based only. But as /Film revealed, the new app will do far more than let you browse and select DVDs to be mailed to your home.

Subscribers haven’t been able to manage their DVD queue from an official app since that feature was completely removed from the Netflix app back in 2011, opting for one that focused on all the company’s streaming content instead. 

The new Netflix DVD app will allow users to receive notifications about when discus are being shipped out, or when returning discs have arrived at the processing center. They’ll also be able to take a look at the library of discs that Netflix has to offer, including searching and getting recommendations, just like the old days.

According to the most recent quarterly financial report released by Netflix last October, the company still boasts nearly 4.3 million active DVD users, compared to 86.7 million streaming subscribers worldwide. The DVD side still earned Netflix $415.9 million – and that was just a single quarter – generating about $211.3 million in profit.

On the streaming side, Netflix still makes the most money – at least for subscribers in the United States. In the last quarter, those subscribers generated $3.7 billion in revenue and a $1.3 billion profit. International subscribers was a different story, however – $2.3 billion in revenue, but a $242 million profit loss.

Although its DVD subscriber base continues to fall as more and more people opt for just the streaming service, there are still benefits of being a DVD subscriber.

The biggest, of course, is that Netflix has a much larger new release library on DVD than they really have ever had when it comes to streaming.

Then again, Netflix has some solid competition when it comes to physical DVDs, primarily from Redbox, which offers physical kiosks that automatically rent DVDs in thousands of locations in the United States. According to reports, Redbox now accounts for nearly half of the total physical DVD rental market.

Redbox did try to take the Netflix route to broader success and offer a streaming component in 2012, but it shut down less than two years later.

So dust off that old DVD player, load the Netflix app onto your iPhone … and don’t forget to rewind.

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Michael Hinman

Michael Hinman

Managing Editor at GeekNation
Michael began what has become nearly 19 years of entertainment reporting as the founder of SyFy Portal, which would become Airlock Alpha after he sold the SyFy brand to NBC Universal. He's based out of New York City where he is the editor of a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper in the Bronx.