On April 21 Netflix announced they were stopping their DVD subscription plan. The change will take place in September. I wasn’t surprised. As a matter of fact I have already stopped my DVD subscription. I did it back in February. Why? Because I already saw the writing on the wall.
Noticed Decrease in DVD Movies
Last year I began to notice that movies I placed in my cue were going more often to save. Meaning the DVD wasn’t available and I would have to wait. Well, that typically was not a major problem in the past. But the wait was becoming longer and longer and sometimes the DVD was not available after all. Perhaps this was due to the pandemic and movie theaters shutting down. Or maybe due to the increase in additional streaming services.
Noticed Decrease in Audio Described Movies
Next, I noticed more and more movies weren’t available in audio description. As a blind person I rely on audio description to give me verbal details about the movie. It provides info on facial expressions, body language, wardrobe, race or skin tone. Audio description also explains the action in the movie and reads scene subtitles.
Initially, Netflix was one of the better choices for audio described DVDs. Other options required purchase only or were free but too limited. Over the years, they continued to increase their offerings of audio described content. They would actually label the movies on the DVD site so you knew in advance whether the movie was accessible or not. This was a great benefit to the blind community. They continued this commitment when streaming was offered too. Now, when I go to the Netflix app and search for a movie the audio description label is right at the top near the film’s name.
Remembered When I Signed Up
I remember when I first signed up for Netflix DVDs. A guy I was dating at the time suggested it because it was such a great deal. We got the monthly DVD subscription of unlimited movies for under ten bucks. That meant we could literally have date night multiple times a month on the cheap, which worked great for the both of us. The movies came quickly in the mail enclosed in a red paper returnable envelope. The turnaround time was also fast with a day or two. My relationship with the guy didn’t last but my Netflix subscription sure did!
Now, unlike Blockbuster and Redbox, I didn’t have to leave home. Since my transportation is limited that was an excellent perk. I would just go to the Netflix website and place a bunch of movies in my cue. Then sit back and wait for them to arrive. They would come one at a time and as long as I return the previous one I would continue to get movies. This was a set up you couldn’t beat with a stick.
Added Streaming to Plan
When Netflix launched its streaming service I stayed a loyal customer. I just bundled my plan getting both options for under twenty bucks a month. I did this because many old and classic movies were not available on streaming. Even documentaries, which I absolutely love, were only available on DVD. Plus if I wanted to watch a particular actor or genre I could easily rent all of them hassle free. I did this a couple of times, watching all the Sidney Poitier, Rocky and blaxploitation films. What a treat!
Sometimes the audio description was on DVD but not the streaming option. Newly released movies were usually on DVD sooner than streaming. So, having both plans worked perfectly for me.
Time to Say Goodbye
Yet today streaming is in and DVDs are out. Times are a changing. And I realized I got to change with it.
So, I have said goodbye toDVDs. It has been a good run.
Are you a Netflix DVD subscriber? If so, what’s your plan when it stops? Were you surprised by the announcement?