Netflix is another step in an evolutionary process which began 28 years ago.
"The video marketplace was spawned in 1977 when George Atkinson ordered one VHS and one Beta copy of each of 50 movies from an ad in TV Guide.
Using those titles, he transformed his 8mm movie rental storefront in Los Angeles to Video Station. He charged a $50 annual membership and $10 a day to rent movies."
Via the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette