In the spring of 1998, Titanic was just coming off a 15-week streak atop the box office, 76 million TV viewers tuned in to say goodbye to Seinfeld, and a new start-up called Netflix shipped its first DVD (for those at home wondering, it was the Tim Burton classic Beetlejuice).
What was the fifth billionth title delivered? The Elton John biopic Rocketman. In honor of the momentous occasion, we delivered a swag package to Becky in Seattle, the member that received this landmark 5 billionth shipment, including an engraved iPad and five free years of DVD Netflix (a year for every billion, y’know).
Here’s a look at the last several billionth deliveries:
Suffice it to say, there’s been a few changes at Netflix over the past 21 years. In 1998, we launched Netflix DVD service subscriptions, followed by our movie recommendation system in 2000. In 2001, we switched from yellow (and before that, white) envelopes to our signature red sleeves. And, of course, Netflix streaming has gone on to pioneer streaming entertainment, creating and delivering great shows and films to people all over the world.
Today, we still have more than 2 million devoted members getting those red envelopes. And thanks to wonderful folks like you, we reached a major milestone on August 26th when we surpassed 5 billion discs shipped.
5,000,000,000 deliveries, to every zip code in America and military bases around the world (we are proud to keep our military members and families entertained, no matter where they are)! You guys have put those red envelopes to creative use, too. Check out the member who made an entire elaborate dress out of our DVD envelope flaps last year:
August 26th was an extremely exciting morning. Our office also got to partake in the countdown to 5 billion and it was like New Year’s when the counter finally hit 5 billion. For the past several months, we’ve been eagerly filling in the thermometer all the way to the top, wondering when the magical 5B moment would finally happen.
It felt pretty special to have another big milestone pretty soon after our year-long 20th anniversary celebration in 2018. We made a our mini documentary to celebrate turning 20. Watch the playlist below to take a look back at the last two decades of DVD Netflix and see behind-the-scenes peeks at how we process and send out your discs!
One of our members did the math and figured out that if you laid out 5 billion open red envelopes end-to-end, that massive chain of DVD Netflix envelopes would be more than five and a half times the distance to the moon!
We’re proud of our legacy and love that so many of our members have been with for over a decade. Thank you, DVD friends, for the many movie nights we’ve shared together over the years. Looking forward to many more with you.