Ever wonder what happens when you pop your DVD back in the mail and another one magically arrives on your doorstep in a day or two? In many ways, that story is the story of DVD Netflix and how the company combines hard work, innovation, and advanced technology to quickly deliver your next movie.
After you enjoy movie night and go to bed, DVD employees are getting up to get ready for work. At hubs around the country, DVD employees start their day at 2 AM, sorting the day’s returns and getting the next movie in your queue ready for delivery.
The life of a DVD is filled with travel and adventure. It’s like being in a sales job that keeps you on the road 365 days a year, only you don’t have to wear wide neck ties, sleep in cheap hotels, or drink bad coffee.
From the moment you place a DVD in a mailbox for return, the journey begins. The first stop is the post office. DVD Netflix and the United States Post Office are like band members who know how to keep the rhythm going. The longtime partnership is based on a system of deliveries and returns that keep millions of movie watchers happily entertained and enthusiastically awaiting the next disc.
When the DVD arrives at one of our hubs, it’s ready to be return scanned, cleaned, sorted, and stuffed into outbound mailers. The stuffing process has undergone a series of changes in recent years. Originally, all of this processing was done by hand.
2007: 650 DVDs per hour stuffed by hand
These days, the entire process has been automated. Turns out, machines are a lot faster than humans.
2010: 4500 DVDs per hour stuffed by machine
After stuffing, your DVD goes to the postal sorter where it’s scanned and addressed. The printer sprays the customer’s name and address, the discs are sorted by zip code, and are ready to be driven to the post office before 6:30 AM.
In addition to automating its internal stuffing process, DVD Netflix and the post office changed the way they track your returns. In 2016, DVD Netflix started using United States Post Office's ‘advanced return’ technology that scans the disc the moment it arrives at the post office and forwards that data to DVD Netflix. This lets DVD Netflix know you’ve returned a movie so the next title in your queue can be shipped out before the returned disc is actually back at the hub. This innovation dramatically reduced the amount of time it took to get the next movie delivered to your door, making millions of movie lovers happy.
Within 24 hours of mailing it back, the disc you just enjoyed is ready to find a new home. And it’s all made possible by innovative technology and the hard work and dedication of our employees and our members’ appetite for great entertainment.
Go to dvd.com/20years for more behind-the-scenes videos and fun facts about our history!