From Video Library Chain to Global Entity: How Netflix Changed Entertainment
While millions of people are streaming the latest season of ‘Money Heist’ or ‘Squid Game’ on Netflix, little do they know the streaming giant was born out of a video rental store in the United States nearly 25 years old.
Today, Netflix has approximately 222 million paying members worldwide and aims to attract 800-900 million households that use high-speed internet or pay-TV worldwide.
In 1997, Reed Hastings (now Chairman and President) and Marc Randolph came up with the idea of renting DVDs by mail. They tested the concept by sending each other a DVD. The DVD arrived intact and the idea for Netflix was born.
In 1998, Netflix.com, the first DVD rental and sales site, was launched in Scotts Valley, California. It offered a library of movies and TV series through distribution deals as well as its own productions, known as Netflix Originals.
Next year, the Netflix subscription service debuted, offering members unlimited DVD rentals with no due dates, late fees or monthly rental limits.
In 2002, Netflix made its initial public offering (IPO), at a sale price of $1 per share under the Nasdaq symbol “NFLX”.
The following year, the company obtained a patent from the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office to cover its subscription rental services, with membership exceeding one million.
Finally, in 2007, Netflix introduced streaming, allowing members to instantly watch series and movies. It then partnered with consumer electronics brands to enable streaming on Xbox 360, Blu-ray players and TV set-top boxes.
In 2010, Netflix arrived in Canada and streaming was launched on mobile devices, along with the first tab dedicated to the children’s experience.
In 2011, the streaming service arrives in Latin America and the Caribbean and the first Netflix button appears on remote controls.
It registered 25 million members a year later and expanded to the UK, Ireland and the Nordic countries.
Netflix also ventured into specials with “Bill Burr: You’re All The Same.”
“House of Cards”, “Hemlock Grove”, “Arrested Development” and “Orange is the New Black” ushered in the first round of original series programming for Netflix in 2013.
“House of Cards” won three Primetime Emmy Awards, the first for an internet streaming service. The Profiles and My List features made their streaming debut.
In 2015, his first original feature (“Beasts of no Nation”), his first non-English original series (“Club de Cuervos”) and his first Asian original (“Terrace House”) debuted.
The same year, the company launched audio descriptions for the visually impaired with “Daredevil”.
In 2016, Netflix expanded to 130 new countries, offering the service to members in over 190 countries and 21 languages around the world.
Next year, Netflix won its first Oscar for “The White Helmets.” The introduction of interactive narration and the “Skip Intro” button gave members more choices to personalize their viewing experience.
In 2018, Netflix was the most Emmy-nominated studio, winning 23 series including “GLOW,” “Godless” and “Queer Eye.”
The streaming service has rolled out PIN protection as part of several parental control enhancements.
In 2019, Netflix won four Oscars, for “ROMA”, “Period”, “End of Sentence” and its first original animated film “Klaus”. “Bandersnatch” won the first major Emmy for an interactive title.
In 2020, as Covid-19 hit the world, Netflix was the most nominated studio at the Academy Awards and Emmys.
Hardship Fund launches have helped creative community workers affected by Covid-19, while 2% of its cash holdings have been transferred to financial institutions supporting black communities.
Last year, Netflix released its first-ever Film and Series Diversity Study, in collaboration with the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, and announced its intention to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by by the end of 2022.
Netflix also launched mobile games last year.
As of December 31, 2021, Netflix had 75.2 million users in the United States and Canada, 74 million in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, 39.9 million in Latin America and 32.7 million users in Asia-Pacific.
(Only the title and image of this report may have been edited by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)