History of Netflix in Short : Revolutionizing Video Content We Watch

Netflix is synonymous to a video platform. It is revolutionizing the way people watches Movies & TV shows. In earlier time people used to watch shows & programs using a cable network. But now the way they watch tends to change rapidly day by day. Netflix is regarded as the first major disruption of television, forcing cable companies to change the way they do business. Timeline of Netflix history shows how the video content we consumed is revolutionizing over the years.

By providing video-on-demand content, creating compelling original programs, using user data to better serve customers and letting customers consume content in the way that they prefer. Netflix is having a knock-on effect on the rest of the broadcasting industry. Historical success of Netflix in the TV industry seems to be forcing the cable company to change the way they operate their business.

A Brief History of Netflix

Netflix was founded on August 29, 1997, in Scotts Valley, California. Two software engineer namely Marc Randolph and Reed Hastings are responsible for founding the world’s leading internet entertainment, Netflix.

Netflix started at very first in 1997 as a website service. During the time it allowed people to rent DVDs online. So that renter can get them through the mail. While it competed to some extent with TV for people’s entertainment time, it was competing more directly with established video rental stores.

Timeline of Netflix Evolution

1997 – Two software engineer Reed Hastings & Marc Randolph co-founded Netflix. At very first, service was to offer online movie rentals.  A renter can get them through using mail service. 

1998 – Netflix launched the first DVD rental and sales site, netflix.com. It was based on pay-per-rental-model. 

1999 – Netflix introduced a monthly subscription service, offering unlimited DVD rentals at a very low monthly price.

2000 – Netflix introduced a personalized movie recommendation system. In this system, a user-based rating helps to accurately predict choices for all Netflix members.

2002 – Netflix announced its initial public offering (IPO on Nasdaq under the ticker “NFLX” with 600,000 members in the US.)

2003- Netflix announced that it reached 1 million subscribers in the United States.

2005 – The number of Netflix members rises to 4.2 million. It was the rapid increment of members compared to past years.

2006- Netflix offered a $1 Million prize to the first developer of a video-recommendation algorithm that could beat its existing algorithm.

2007 – Netflix introduced Online streaming services, which allows members to instantly watch television shows and movies on their personal computers.

2008 – Netflix collaborates with consumer electronics companies to stream on the Xbox 360, Blu-ray disc players and TV set-top boxes. Like Hulu, a competing online streaming service launches for public access in the United States.

2009 – Netflix partners with consumer electronics companies to stream on the PS3, Internet-connected TVs, and other Internet-connected devices.

2010 – Netflix is available on the Apple iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch, the Nintendo Wii, and other Internet-connected devices. Netflix officially launched its service in Canada. Later on, Netflix started expanding its streaming service to the international market.

2011 – Netflix officially launched its streaming services throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

2012 – Netflix became available in Europe including the United Kingdom, Ireland and in the Nordic Countries. Netflix wins its first Primetime Emmy Engineering Award.

2013 – Netflix expanded to the Netherlands. Netflix launched its first slate of original TV shows including House of Cards, Hemlock Grove, Arrested Development and Orange is the New Black.

2014 – In 2014 Netflix launched in Europe including 6 new countries (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, and Switzerland). Netflix receives 31 Primetime Emmy nominations including outstanding drama series, comedy series and documentary or nonfiction special for “House of Cards”, “Orange is the new black”, and “The Square” respectively. House of Cards won three Primetime Emmy Awards. Netflix was the first internet TV network nominated for the Primetime Emmy. Netflix now has over 50 million members globally.

2015 – Netflix officially launched in Australia, New Zealand, and Japan, with continued expansion across Europe in Italy, Spain and Portugal. Netflix first original featured film was “Beasts of No Nation” released in 2015.

2016 – Netflix became available worldwide. Netflix launched in 130 countries bringing their global entertainment service to 190 total countries around the world. Netflix premiered “Stranger Things”, which became an acclaimed and award-winning worldwide phenomenon.

2017 – Netflix won its first Oscar, with “The White Helmets” for Best Documentary Short Subject. It hits 100 million members globally. A study showed that the number of Netflix subscribers now equal that of all the cable subscribers combined; 73% of all US households.

2018 – Even more, Netflix wins Oscar for Best Documentary Feature for Icarus. It announced overall deals with Ryan Murphy, Kenya Barris, Jason Bateman. Netflix premiered international originals from Denmark (The Rain), India (Sacred Games), Mexico (La Casa de las Flores) and Spain (La Casa de Papel, Elite). Similarly, it becomes the most nominated service at 2018 Primetime and Creative Arts Emmy Awards with 112 nominations. Ties with HBO for most wins taking home 23 accolades for series include Godless, Seven Seconds, GLOW, and Queer Eye.

Netflix Subscriber Over the Years

According to Statistica.com, in the first quarter of 2019, Netflix had over 148 million paying streaming subscribers worldwide. Even more, it has over 6.56 million free trial customers, of these subscribers, 60.23 million were from the United States. Below statistical report presents data on the number of Netflix paying streaming subscribers worldwide from the third quarter of 2011 to the first quarter of 2018.

Histor of Netflix: Netflix User Statistics

With over 148 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across a wide variety of genres and languages. The popularity of Netflix’s streaming service has increased massively over the years. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on any Internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments.

Current Net Worth of Netflix

According to Crunchbase, a leading platform for finding business information about private and public companies. Netflix net worth as of June 06, 2019 is $155.53B. It is registered under the ticker NASDAQ: NFLX. Their stock opened with $15.00 in its May 23, 2002, IPO. Netflix has raised a total of $3.1B in funding over 10 rounds.

Their latest funding was raised on Apr 24, 2018, from a Post-IPO Debt round. Netflix is funded by 7 investors. TCV is the most recent investors. Netflix has acquired 2 organizations. Their most recent acquisition was StoryBots on May 9, 2019. Netflix has $16.6B in estimated revenue annually. Netflix competes with HBO, Apple, and Hulu.

With the decline in the viewership of television, every year and rise of internet TV platform Netflix is currently standing at a strong position with its business model. But it needs to innovate itself and make it relevant in the marketplace. The presence of competitors like amazon prime videos, iflix, HULU, YouTube and DirecTV still directly impact Netflix growth.

Final Thought

When the whole world was glued to a television screen, Netflix brought the idea of renting the DVDs online so that people could watch their favorite content anytime they want. From starting as a DVD rental by mail service to becoming the biggest Video-on-demand streaming services. It was Netflix’s ability to adapt to changing technologies and consumer demands which made it so successful.

Looking back to the history of Netflix, it can be a learning lesson for startup and companies how Netflix rises to the top. Like, consistency is the key. As long as Netflix can continue this trend of innovation, the company will remain dominant in the entertainment industry.

Happy Reading 🙂

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