Rumors that Netflix will probably close its DVD rental business, DVD.Netflix.com, by 2022 have been making the rounds online. These rumors come on the heels of the closure of Amazon’s DVD rental service, LoveFilm, in August 2017 and reports that Netflix’s DVD rental service has been losing almost thousands of customers every quarter for the past several years. Although Netflix steadfastly refutes any reports to the effect that its DVD renting business is coming to an end soon, the writing seems to be on the wall.
Why People Still Rent DVDs
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To the majority of the tens of millions of people who stream movies and TV shows from sites like Netflix, iTunes, Amazon prime, and Roku, it comes as a surprise that people still rent DVDs. Yet, the online DVD renting industry is still standing, albeit weakly. Although Netflix’s DVD.Netflix.com has lost over 5 million subscribers in the past six years, the company still boasts of over 2.7 million subscribers.
The diehard fans of online movie renting point to deficiencies in the offerings of streaming websites as the major reason why they still rent DVDs. They explain that streaming services are only designed to cater to needs people who don’t mind watching random titles they have never heard of. Movie enthusiasts with very specific tastes usually struggle to find what they want on streaming services. People looking for specific Korean or Bollywood movies are usually disappointed to find out that they can’t find them on the major streaming platforms.
Also, the probability of finding film noir movies and screwball comedies from the 1930s and 1940s on Netflix, iTunes, Amazon Prime, and the other streaming services are remote. In fact, experts have noted that Netflix’s streaming service carries less than 6 percent of the titles their DVD-renting service has. Then, there are hundreds of movies like The Flamingo Kid, Fresh Horses, and Saving Private Ryan which, either because of the copyright limitations or other practical issues, are not available on any of the streaming websites.
The geographical limitations inherent in streaming services, that prevent subscribers from accessing certain content simply because of their location, irk a number of people. Other people who own big TV screens prefer Blu-ray movies because they are frustrated by the low resolutions of some movies on the streaming services. Other DVD renting enthusiasts have pointed out that compared to DVD rental services, new movies and TV show tend to reach streaming services much later if ever at all. DVD renting services have a big following in places with spotty internet connections. In such places, streaming movies is completely out of the question. DVD renting is also the clear winner when it comes to prices. For a fraction of the cost of a streaming subscription, you can watch an unlimited number of movies of your choice every month.
DVD Lovers Still Reeling From the Demise of LoveFilm
Diehard DVD lovers will, no doubt, be saddened when Netflix eventually winds up its DVD renting service. But many fans of DVD renting point to the 2017 demise of Amazon’s LoveFilm rental service as the tipping point after which the beloved online DVD renting model changed forever. Netflix still maintains its online DVD rental service but people spend more per month compared to the subscribers of LoveFilm.
Other brick and mortar and online DVD rental services have adopted restrictive conditions that have repulsed the people affected by the demise of LoveFilm. Some platforms give subscribers a 48-hour window in which to watch and return a rented movie. Failure to comply with these terms usually attracts a hefty fine. Some services separate out rare movies from their library and they charge a premium for such movies. This is in direct conflict with LoveFilm’s straightforward approach of allowing subscribers to pick out any movie and keeping it for as long as they wanted for a low monthly fee.
How Smaller Players Are Bridging the Gap Left by LoveFilm
A number of smaller players have noticed the imminent departure of DVD.Netflix.com and they are trying hard to bridge the gap left by the closure of LoveFilm. They realize that LoveFilm owed its loyal fan base to its generous rental terms, absence of hidden fees, and there are several subscription levels which are tailored to suit our customers’ needs.. CinemaParadiso.co.uk has a library of over 90,000 titles from all over the world including 4K Blu-ray films. The company says that it has Hollywood and Bollywood movies and stocks a wide variety of titles from places as diverse as Argentina and Vietnam. CinemaParadiso.co.uk apparently read the LoveFilm script and allows subscribers to pick up two DVDs and to keep them for as long as they want without paying shipping fees or fines.