Latest Netflix cancellation is a surprise to millions – but not what you'd expect

After 25 years, Netflix is calling time on this part of its business...

Netflix logo and Neil Patrick Harris in Uncoupled
(Image credit: Netflix)

Lately it's not much of a surprise to read the words 'Netflix cancels' followed by any number of show titles. My colleague wrote about Every Netflix Show Cancelled In 2023 So Far for the inside info on that. The company's behaviour has been enough to see millions of subscribers cancel over recent years (here's how-to cancel Netflix if you need such assistance). 

But, no, it's not one of those outlined 2023 shows – and I do encourage you to check out the Top 3 New Shows On Netflix and The 3 Best New Movies on Netflix for April 2023 – but a rather more long-standing service that Netflix has revealed is coming to a close in 2023. 

So what am I talking about? Netflix is calling time on its DVD delivery service. That's right: the service you more than likely didn't even know was still operational (because, in the UK at least, it hasn't been for many years). But, for some in the USA, the delivery of iconic 'red envelopes' has been a staple of Netflix's DVD-by-mail service. Netflix's co-CEO, Ted Sarandos, said in a statement that will send out its final discs on 29 September 2023. 

I can remember the whole DVD-by-mail service in its heydey. Lovefilm, a then Netflix rival in the UK, offered effectively the same product, including videogames. And Amazon fully acquired that service 2011. Around the same time the streaming wars really began to hot up, with major investment in original content (Netflix's Lillyhammer commenced in 2012; Amazon Studios was producing content by 2013), so I can appreciate the step-change it brought about. 

It does make me sad, though, that physical media is seeing such a decline. As T3's sister site, What Hi-Fi, covered in early 2022: there's been close to 20% decline year on year. So it's no surprise. And yet when I think about the best Blu-ray players and just how incredible 4K Blu-ray movies look on, say, one of the best OLED TVs going, those simply streaming will never get the same kind of quality. 

So for those who still use Netflix's DVD-by-mail service, it's time to wave goodbye. You can always still buy physical media, I suppose, though it will cost you a small fortune. That Netflix subscription is likely your best solution, if you've got stable enough internet to support it, of course...

Mike Lowe
Tech Editor

Mike is the Tech Editor and AV Editor at He's been writing about consumer technology for 15 and, as a phones expert, has seen hundreds of handsets over the years – swathes of Android devices, a smattering of iPhones, and a batch of Windows Phone products (remember those?). But that's not all, as a tech aficionado his beat for T3 also covers tablets, laptops, gaming, home cinema, TVs, speakers and more – there's barely a stone unturned that he's not had a hand on. Previously the Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint for a 10 years, he's also provided work for publications such as Wired, The Guardian, Metro, and more. In addition to his tech knowledge, Mike is also a flights and travel expert, having travelled the globe extensively. You'll likely find him setting up a new mobile phone, critiquing the next MacBook, all while planning his next getaway... or cycling somewhere.