2.7m people still get Netflix by mail thanks to bad broadband and a great movie selection

Millions of people still subscribe to Netflix’s old DVD mail delivery service due to bad broadband and a desire for more variety.

April 8, 2019

According to Netflix, 2.7m people still use the company’s physical DVD delivery service — meaning that 4.7% of America’s 57.4m Netflix watchers are still down with the disc.

Although DVD delivery is no longer a big part of Netflix’s revenue, the service is still a big deal for millions of people on the far side of the digital divide — and for movie buffs.

Why do so many people still want physical DVDs?

The first major reason is that many people don’t have any choice: 24m Americans live in places that don’t have broadband access. These people — who predominantly live in rural areas — don’t have enough bandwidth to stream Game of Thrones, but they do have good ol’ snail mail.

The other reason is that Netflix’s physical movie selection is waaay better than its digital selection — Netflix’s streaming service has around 6k movies and TV shows, but its DVD collection boasts more than 100k shows and movies.

Thinking outside of the stream

Since streaming services pay licensing fees to keep content in their catalogs, they maintain limited rosters and sometimes remove movies and shows. But DVDs don’t disappear.

Plus, Netflix’s DVD delivery service also gets new movies before its streaming service does, so big-time movie buffs can watch the hottest Oscar contenders there first.

According to Netflix, most of the customers who still order DVDs by mail don’t actually live in rural areas like you might expect — instead, most DVDivas live in San Francisco and New York.

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