Monday, June 19, 2017

My History with DVD Netflix and a Giveaway


One service that has been integral to my life as a classic film enthusiast is DVD Netflix. Over the years I’ve come to rely on the DVD rental service to enrich my life with classic movies but also contemporary, indie and foreign ones too. (And TV shows, lots of TV shows!) Before I share my own personal history of my time with DVD Netflix, let’s take a brief look at the history of the company.

Netflix, founded in 1997, was started as a DVD subscription service. Subscribers would visit the Netflix website and request discs rather than visit brick-and-mortar video stores like Blockbuster. Netflix sent out their very first DVD, a copy of Beetlejuice (1988), in March of 1998. The service grew in popularity and eventually overtook Blockbuster and rendered video stores obsolete. The subscription service worked on the model of renting a certain number of discs at a time or number of discs per month. Subscribers explored the library, marked the films and TV shows they wanted to watched and built a queue of future disc deliveries. A bright red envelope, which would become the signature of Netflix, arrived in the mail with the disc at the top of your queue. Once you were done, you’d put the disc back in the original mailer which would repackage into a convenient prepaid envelope ready for mailing. Convenience was key to the success of DVD rental service. Then in 2007 Netflix added streaming to the mix. They became the pioneers in streaming entertainment and a part of the cultural lexicon. In 2011, Netflix’s streaming service was so popular and such a big part of their business they attempted to split off the DVD portion. They came up with the name Qwickster which was met with online backlash. Netflix wisely scrapped this idea. In 2015, they successfully split the DVD service to DVD.com, also known as DVD Netflix. The service also includes Blu-Rays if you upgrade your subscription. Netflix's streaming service and their original content is now separate from the DVD Netflix rental service. However, the company kept both services linked for user convenience.





I joined Netflix in August of 2002. My friend Amit, who used the service to get his Anime fix, signed up a couple of years earlier and kept signing its praises. Persuaded by his enthusiasm I signed up. The first movie I ever rented was Wonder Boys (2000) and a few months later I rented my first classic movie DVD Some Like it Hot (1959). At the time I signed up I still wasn’t quite a classic movie fan. I developed a love for movies as a teenager in the late 1990s and loved new movies about bygone eras. In my early twenties I was exploring a variety of contemporary and indie movies and it wasn’t until I took a film course in college that I got hooked on classic films. Renting classic movies from Netflix helped fuel that early passion. While I watched a lot of TCM, I relied on DVDs from Netflix to single out particular films. If I liked a particular actor, actress or director, I’d use Netflix in order to rent every film of theirs that was available. Besides a couple of times when I was in college and had to cancel Netflix briefly, I’ve had the DVD part of the service almost continuously since 2000. These days I use it to help with my blog research, to explore the canon of a particular director, to plug in holes in my classic film knowledge and also to watch newer movies I missed at theaters.

Earlier this year I was invited by DVD Netflix to be one of their Directors. This means I’m an online ambassador for the service and I help them come up with fun posts and social media ideas to promote the brand. For example, here is my post on the DVD.com blog about Classic Sports Movies.

Photo source: DVD Netflix
 
To celebrate my 10th anniversary and also my almost 15 years with DVD Netflix, I’m hosting a very special giveaway. If it’s been a while since you’ve rented DVDs from DVD Netflix or you’ve never tried the service before, now’s your chance. I’m giving away 3 $100 DVD Netflix gift cards. If you get a one-at-a-time DVD Netflix subscription, this give you a year of the service! The contest runs from now until Friday morning. You must complete all of the prompts. All entries will be double checked. Good luck!


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