Netflix today announced it’s retiring the DVD-by-mail service, which has quietly operated for years alongside the company’s main focus in video streaming.

“After an incredible 25-year run, we’ve decided to wind down later this year,” says Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos. “Our goal has always been to provide the best service for our members but as the business continues to shrink that’s going to become increasingly difficult.”

Hence, the company will send its final DVDs and Blu-rays to subscribers on Sept. 29, meaning an end to the company's iconic red envelopes.

The DVD-by-mail service put Netflix on the map when the company first started in 1997. Unlike other video rental vendors such as Blockbuster, you didn’t have to go to a physical store to loan a video; instead Netflix mailed them to your address through its website for a flat monthly fee.

The service laid the foundation for Netflix to venture into streaming as internet speeds, TV capabilities, and video processing dramatically improved in the mid-to-late 2000s. Since then, users may have forgotten about the service, but Netflix maintained it at as a separate paid offering, despite pivoting to online video streaming well over a decade ago.

Netflix’s announcement notes the DVD-by-mail service has ended up shipping over 5.2 billion DVDs to over 40 million unique subscribers. The most popular title rented over its 25-year span was the 2009 Sandra Bullock film The Blind Side.

PC Magazine