Netflix cans used DVD sales

Online movie rental service Netflix has been evolving on an almost daily basis. Following a number of developments in its streaming video category, it announced yesterday it will soon cease selling previously viewed DVDs.

On the official Netflix blog yesterday, community leader Meghan wrote, "As you know, our core business is delivering great movie rentals to you on DVD by mail and instantly to the computer and TV, so we've decided it makes sense for us to focus exclusively on that. This means we will stop selling previously viewed DVDs through the Web site. We're sorry for any inconvenience for those of you who regularly purchase DVDs at Netflix, but we're excited about being able to spend the extra time focusing on continually improving our core rental business for you."

This was met by a handful of upset subscribers admonishing Netflix for its move toward phasing out DVDs, complete with threats of defection to competitor Blockbuster. One user wrote, "Lack of online used DVD Sales + Phasing Out DVD Rental = IRRECOVERABLE LOST REVENUE."

However, this revenue channel closes after the company has opened no less than five others. Most recently, testing of Netflix' "Watch Instantly" feature has been brought to Mac and ostensibly Linux (though BetaNews attempts to do so with Moonlight were unsuccessful). Prior to that, TiVo announced its HD and HD XL units would receive Netflix instant streaming; and the "New Xbox 360 Experience" supports Netflix streaming, as well as Blu-ray players from Samsung and LG.

The pre-viewed DVD service will close for good on November 30. Until then, titles are still available for $5.99. Or, as Silicon Alley Insider reported at the end of October, you can always buy them from New York City street vendors.

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