The big picture: Netflix’s DVD mail-order service is shutting down at the end of September after a 25-year run as the company focuses its efforts on streaming. It’s not the end of an era, however, as one of the country’s largest video stores is stepping in to fill the void.
Based in Seattle Scarecrow video is now accepting applications Rent by mail. Once received, staff will personally review your request and approve your account. The process can take up to two business days.
Most of the store’s DVD and Blu-ray titles can be rented by mail, but not all. Titles marked “In Store Only” cannot be shipped, nor can VHS/Laser Disc formats, new releases, or adult titles. Films that are rare, out of print or irreplaceable are also excluded.
Up to six discs may be rented per order (the maximum number of discs that will physically fit in Scarecrow shipping envelopes). Rentals have a 14 day rental window, including shipping time. Shipping and handling is a flat rate of $12 for up to six discs and includes round-trip shipping.
Scarecrow Video is an independent video store with more than 145,000 individual titles, making it one of the largest video stores in the world. For comparison: Netflix had fewer than 20,000 titles available worldwide at the end of 2022.
Despite All Odds: How Netflix Did It
Shortly after the introduction of DVDs, Netflix pioneered rentals by mail, a format that was far less expensive to ship than bulky VHS tapes. Advances in technology finally made it possible to stream movies and TV shows over the Internet, and Netflix has jumped on board. The DVD-by-mail service fell out of favor and earlier this year the streaming giant announced plans to go out of business on September 29th.
As a last hurray, the company is sending customers additional discs. Despite persistent rumors, Netflix expects customers to return the discs.
Photo credit: Mati mango