Netflix will end its DVD service with a surprise giveaway

The famous Netflix red envelopes are being sent out one final time next month, and a few diehard subscribers will get a haul of DVDs.

After announcing in April that it was shutting down the DVD-by-mail business that fueled the company's rise, the streaming giant sent an email this week to the last of the hardcore DVD subscribers about a "finale" surprise.

The email allows subscribers to opt in by Aug. 29 for the chance to receive "up to 10 extra discs" in the mail when the final DVDs are sent out Sept. 29.

"We really appreciate that you're sharing movie nights with us until the last day. Let's have some fun for our finale!" the email reads.

The email does not make it clear whether subscribers can keep the DVDs instead of having to mail them back now that the program is ending after 25 years. There will be no advance notification for those who get awarded the DVD haul, it will just show up in the mail, according to the email.

Netflix urged its remaining DVD subscribers to move their must-watch movies to the top of their queue. That direction is presumably to determine which DVDs they receive, rather than just getting 10 copies of "Reindeer Games."

Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos wrote in a news release in April that the DVD mailing was ending because it "continues to shrink" now that streaming has overtaken DVD players. The service peaked at 40 million subscribers, according to the company.

The most popular DVD of all time on the service is a movie that continues to make headlines 14 years after it was released: "The Blind Side." Former NFL player Michael Oher, whose life story inspired the movie, took legal action this week against the family who brought him into their home when he was a teen football star.

The first DVD that was ever shipped in the classic red envelope was "Beetlejuice" in 1998. More than 5.2 billion DVDs were shipped during the duration of the service, according to Netflix.

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