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The 60 Minutes Netflix Throwback That Put Fans In A Nostalgic Mood

It's hard to imagine that Netflix was barely in the conversation when talking about movies back in 2006. By now in 2023, the streaming juggernaut has produced award-winning films and big-budget epics. But back 17 years ago, Blockbuster Video was still the go-to rental spot, and the idea of streaming a movie at home was still a bit of an experiment. Therefore, Netflix's main draw at the time was its mail-away service: customers built a queue, and the company would mail one to three discs directly to the consumer, which they would then mail back when they were finished watching, thus eliminating the idea of late fees from renters' minds.

The tantalizing idea of no late fees and the idea of the movies coming directly to mailboxes eventually spelled the beginning of the end for Blockbuster and rental stores in general. Blockbuster even tried to do their own mail service for disc rentals, but the damage was already done and Netflix had already won the rental war. Soon after, Netflix's streaming service would begin to take off as they added more and more recognizable content. Streaming would then become king as several other notable services offering similar ease would pop up over the years, including Hulu and Disney+.

A recently resurfaced 2006 segment from "60 Minutes" in which Leslie Stahl interviewed Netflix chief Reed Hastings made some movie fans nostalgic for the initial Netflix disc mailer model. The DVD portion of Netflix still does exist, but with studios releasing less and less content on physical media, the disc mailing service just isn't what it used to be, leaving some fans yearning for the simpler times when getting a little red envelope in the mail meant entertainment was just a walk to the TV away.

Fans miss getting the red envelopes in the mail

YouTube commenters felt the nostalgia wash over them as they watched a 2006 "60 Minutes" interview with Netflix head Reed Hastings about the company's humble beginnings. The company started as a mailer service sending DVDs directly to customers' homes. Commenter Owen remembered that time fondly: "Wow, I remember those red envelopes like it was yesterday. Crazy how things have completely changed in every way. I think we have one video rental store left within 50 miles of me." The convenience and low price of Netflix drove most video stores, including Blockbuster, to close. In the interview, Hastings prophetically said that "Blockbuster is nipping at his heels."

YouTube user Igor Yankilevich said, "I miss receiving those DVDs in the mail. It was like a cool new gift at your doorstep every day. It's so easy now, there's no suspense or waiting eagerly for that next movie to arrive." The Netflix DVD mailing service actually still does exist, but with reliance on streaming over physical media, every new release isn't available in the way it was in 2006. Commenter Brian said, "I still rent DVDs through Netflix and it's a primary factor in my decision to continue using Netflix over other streaming services. Most people don't realize they still offer this service."

Fans reveled in the journey that Netflix took eventually becoming a streaming powerhouse. YouTube commenter Mrmojorisin said, "What started as a secondary supplementary service (streaming) would completely conquer the world of media consumption." Roman's Taxi Company said, "Crazy how nobody believed this idea would work, and then by 2013 Netflix took the streaming world by storm ... Hulu was free in the early 2010s and they still couldn't even rival Netflix until 2016." Streaming sure has come a long way.