SAN FRANCISCO — Netflix won’t miss Saturday mail delivery, even though the weekend service helped keep its DVD-by-mail subscribers happy.
The Postal Service’s planned shift to five days of home delivery a week instead of six may even make Netflix slightly more profitable by lowering the costs for sending out its familiar red envelopes. That’s because subscribers may be able to watch fewer DVDs for the same monthly price.
For Netflix customers, DVDs that used to arrive Saturday would come Monday instead, delaying when they could watch a movie and send it back for the next one. Those who want to be sure they have a DVD for the weekend might have to mail the discs back to Netflix a day earlier to ensure they receive it Friday.
Analysts believe few customers are likely to mind. Most Netflix subscribers no longer get DVDs anyway, and those who do often let their discs sit on shelves for days or weeks. Complaints are more likely to come from subscribers who try to watch as many DVDS as possible each month, an unprofitable audience for Netflix anyway.
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Netflix began this year with just 8.2 million DVD subscribers, and the number is expected to keep falling as the instant gratification of getting video over the Internet makes the notion of watching movies and TV shows on DVDs seem antiquated.
By contrast, Netflix had 27.1 million Internet video subscribers in the U.S. at the start of the year.