August 26, 2018
You may have forgotten that Netflix still mails DVDs to people, but three million subscribers haven’t. That’s according to a new Variety report on the company’s state of affairs, which notes that, at $7.99 per month or higher, the streaming giant’s DVD plans bring in around $50 million per quarter.
That’s money that Netflix might not be making had its short-lived, ill-fated Qwikster spinoff actually panned out. If you’ve already forgotten about that poorly named venture, a reminder: Netflix was already growing tired of physical media back in 2011, and in an effort to hasten its transition toward a streaming-only platform announced its DVD offerings would now be under the guise of a new brand. (Making the whole thing even better was the company’s failure to secure the @Qwikster handle on Twitter, which belonged to a teenager who frequently tweeted about marijuana.)
Still, those three million subscribers are dwarfed by the approximately 130 million users currently signed up for Netflix’s streaming service. Speaking to Variety, CEO Ted Sarandos said that the company “never spent one minute trying to save the DVD business” and this was always the direction things were headed.
“Back then, [Reed Hastings] said that postage rates were going to keep going up and the internet was going to get twice as fast at half the price every 18 months. At some point those lines would cross, and it would become more cost-efficient to stream a movie rather than to mail a video. And that’s when we get in.”
Source: IndieWire film