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Why Are 2 Million People Still Getting Netflix DVDs by Mail?



Eric signed up for Netflix in around 2005—drawn in by the convenience. Instead of going to the local branch of Blockbuster to rent a movie, if you waited a couple of days it would arrive in the post, without your having to leave the house. And there was a huge selection of titles—much wider than a small local rental place would be able to stock. “I could sit at home and get almost any movie I wanted,” says the US-based project manager.


This story originally appeared on WIRED UK.

By 2007, Netflix delivered its billionth DVD—a copy of Babel, dispatched to a customer in Texas from one of its 42 national distribution centers across America, which served 6.3 million subscribers. But the company’s business model was already starting to change. In January 2007, Netflix announced the launch of its streaming service—which quickly ballooned into a tech giant, with billions of dollars to spend on producing its own original content and 167 million subscribers across 190 countries.

But Eric, now aged 41, kept on getting DVDs and Blu-Rays by mail—sometimes he watched them and sent them back quickly, other times they sat unopened for months. For most of us, the idea of deciding you want to watch a film, and then waiting for a rental copy to be physically mailed to you seems almost comically quaint. But Eric is far from alone. Of all the huge numbers marking out Netflix’s rapid growth, perhaps this is the most surprising: There are still more than 2 million people in the United States getting Netflix DVDs by post.

Some subscribers value the wider range of options available on DVD. As Netflix has grown its streaming service, the selection of good films seems to have shrunk (even if the overall number has grown), as the company focuses its efforts on original television shows and documentaries.

For some customers, like Jennifer from San Francisco, DVDs represent the best way to see new releases as soon as possible. “There were more titles and newer movie releases than on cable premium channels like HBO and Showtime, and I wanted to watch more of those,” she says—although getting the most popular titles sometimes meant a long wait.

“The selection is much larger than on the streaming service,” says Eric, who also has a Netflix streaming account, as well as Hulu, Amazon Prime, and occasionally Disney+. “Streaming is great if I want to sit on the couch and watch something right now. However, streaming services may not be great if you want to watch a particular movie.”

Internet speeds are another factor. Some rural parts of the US still have poor internet infrastructure, and streaming eats up allowances for customers who may have a monthly data cap.

For film buffs, image quality is a further consideration. “There is still compression in streaming movies,” says Eric, who has just watched The Matrix Reloaded on Blu-ray and has Lawrence of Arabia and Sunshine in his queue. “I notice compression artifacts in streaming movies at times, and they are distracting. Also, I feel that certain movies are extremely appealing visually, and I prefer those in Blu-ray.”

None of the people we spoke to knew anyone else who was still getting DVDs by mail, and subscriber numbers to the service are falling at a rate of half a million a year. The company still makes a healthy amount of revenue from DVD rentals—almost $300 million in 2019 according to a recent SEC filing—though that’s dwarfed by the $20 billion it made from streaming subscribers over the same period.

It’s unclear how much longer Netflix will keep its DVD service operating. In 2011, it tried to spin it out into a separate brand (called Qwikster), which would have seen subscribers paying separately for DVDs and streaming. The company was forced to do a U-turn after customer outcry—it lost half of its stock value in two months and shed 800,000 subscribers. In December 2019, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said he was in no hurry to get rid of it—and that he could see it lasting at least another five years.


Leah Messer: I Lost My Virginity When I Was 13!




Earlier this year, Leah Messer published a memoir that contained numerous shocking revelations about her incredibly difficult life.

The book contained so many bombshell claims about her upbringing that it was difficult to keep them all straight, but on Tuesday’s episode of Teen Mom 2, Leah reminded viewers of one of the most surprising developments of her youth.

Speaking with her friend Kylie about her concerns for the future, Leah pointed out that her twins are not all that much younger than she was when she became sexually active.

“I cannot believe my kids are 10. I was 13 the first time I had sex,” Messer said.

“The girls are 10. Granted, I did not get pregnant until later. I’m saying it’s confusing. I didn’t know anything! I didn’t know anything,” she added.

Leah With Ali

Leah went on to say that she doesn’t want her kids to be kept in the dark the way she was:

“I want them to know everything and know what happens,” she said.

“Not just, ‘I don’t want to be like you, ma.’ Okay, but why?”

Leah Messer With Her Daughters

Kylie pointed out that Leah’s daughters are being raised in a much more affluent and supportive environment than Leah was, which could make all the difference.

“But I think your atmosphere growing up was way different than their atmosphere,” Leah’s friend said.

“Yours was obviously not that great, so I don’t think that that’s something you have to worry about. But you’re right you have to let them know about things. Be honest with them.”

Leah Messer in 2019

“I’m so proud of the girls, even though they’re twins, they have their own identity,” Leah chimed in.

Speaking with her girls about this sensitive subject as the twins celebrated their birthday, Leah started off strong, but her message quickly became a bit muddled:

“You guys get to learn from my mistakes, right?” she asked.

Leah and Kids

“You’ve made some big bad mistakes,” Aliannah remarked.

It was at this point that Leah seemed to become mildly annoyed:

“What do you mean I’ve made some big bad mistakes? Getting pregnant at 17 wasn’t a mistake, it was a challenge,” she said.

Leah Messer Is Struggling

“I didn’t know what the heck I was doing, but I made it work and look at us now,” Leah added.

Now, cautioning your kids about following your same path through life and then getting defensive when they point out that you made some mistakes is bound to create some confusion.

Still, Leah deserves credit for the attempt, and hopefully, she’ll continue to keep the lines of communication open as her girls get older snd face more difficult decisions.

Leah with Her Mom and Her Kids

Asked by her own mother if she’s proud of her girls, Leah replied without missing a beat:

“I am 100 percent proud that they’re my daughters. Happy birthday to both of you guys,” she said.

We’re sure Leah would be the first to admit that her parenting hasn’t always been perfect.

Leah Messer and Daughters on Halloween

Messer’s struggle with opioid addiction nearly plunged her kids into an environment as chaotic as the one she herself grew up in.

But when the time came to assess her situation and make difficult changes, that’s what Leah did.

And with any luck, she’ll be able to use her own painful childhood as a guide to what not to do.

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Watch Tame Impala Go Full Synthpop, Playing “Borderline” On Fallon




Tame Impala are not a rock band anymore. Kevin Parker’s long-running project might’ve started out making bleary-eyed psych-rock, but they haven’t really been a rock band in years. Over their last few albums, the band has embraced synthpop and disco and various other forms of non-guitar music. And last night, in their role as musical guests on The Tonight Show, Parker and his band practically made it official.

Last month, Parker played a Tame Impala Tiny Desk Concert. Along with longtime collaborators Jay Watson and Don Simper, Parker presented a version of the band that he called Tame Impala Soundsystem: Three dudes messing around with vast banks of synths and drum machines. That same version of Tame Impala were on The Tonight Show last night. Playing remotely from what was either a fancy rehearsal studio or an empty club, Parker sang “Borderline,” a song from the recent Tame Impala album The Slow Rush, while he, Watson, and Simper fiddled with all those electronics.

Tame Impala were never the most commanding or charismatic live act, but it’s still striking to see them in pure studio-gearhead mode. Whenever tours start happening again, if this is the version of Tame Impala that hits arenas across the planet, they are going to need to invest in one hell of a light show. Watch the performance below.

The Slow Rush is out now on Modular.

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‘Dolittle’: Robert Downey Jr. faced with matching up to previous actors while adding his own spin to the role




For a whole decade, we’ve seen Robert Downey Jr. dazzle as Tony Stark, the Invincible Iron Man, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But now that he’s done with that iconic role, Downey Jr. is looking to the future and it all starts with the upcoming movie ‘Dolittle’.

The ‘Sherlock Holmes’ star will soon be taking on the role of the whimsical Doctor John Dolittle, a 19th-century physician who prefers animals to humans, both as patients and as friends. But as excited as we are to see RDJ in the classic role, he’s hardly the first person to become Doctor Dolittle.

The Doctor Dolittle that most people are familiar with is the one played by Eddie Murphy in the 1998 movie ‘Dr. Dolittle’ and it’s 2001 sequel ‘Dr. Dolittle 2’. Those movies were, at best, a loose adaptation of the original novels by Hugh Lofting but they were far more successful than the first time the doctor made it to the big screen.

Sir Rex Harrison was the first actor to play Doctor Dolittle in a live-action film, all the way back in 1967. Unfortunately, that movie was a terrible flop and Sir Harrison’s performance as Dolittle wasn’t exactly a highlight of his career. Downey Jr.’s ‘Dolittle’ looks like it will be taking some cues from the ’67 movie, in that it tries to be more faithful to the novels than Murphy’s later adaptations. However, the real challenge he’s going to face is in making the role truly his own. 

If he is to pull off a proper performance as the witty doctor, Downey Jr. will have to try and capture the humor of the Murphy movies without becoming a clear repeat. Based on the trailer it looks like this is the sort of approach that the film will be taking. 

Of course, we won’t know for sure till the movie comes out, but just based on the promotional material for the movie, ‘Dolittle’ appears to be a truly heartwarming and wonderfully funny tale. And even though it would be quite a challenge to shake the Tony Stark image that he built up over the past decade to take on this new role, we’re certain RDJ is the man for the job. 

‘Dolittle’ will arrive in theaters on January 17. 

If you have an entertainment scoop or a story for us, please reach out to us on (323) 421-7515

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