Remember those days when you needed to have DVDs and a DVD player to watch any movie. People had to buy or rent DVDs to watch movies if they wanted. If not they had to watch the movies that were aired on televisions at certain times of the week. The most annoying thing about that was the ads. You would be watching one of your favorite movies and it will abruptly cut to an ad. This would frustrate people as they cannot get the full satisfaction of watching a movie. Not only movies it was also the case with TV shows. People had to tune into their television sets at a particular time to watch their favorite shows. But the problem with this was not all people could watch them at the time they aired. Because of this people use to miss many episodes.
Due to this people used to stop watching the shows entirely as they couldn’t follow them. But all of this has changed in recent times and that is due to the emergence of video streaming platforms. Even though YouTube was around for a long time it did not stream movies or TV shows. The video streaming platform that truly revolutionized movie-watching experience forever is none other than Netflix. Netflix, this is one streaming platform that changed movie watching for that matter even television watching experience forever. Netflix is one company that has not only changed how movies were being watched but it also changed the way movies are made.
People think that Netflix is a new company that came into prominence a few years ago. But did you know that this is a company that has been around for more than two decades? People think it is a new thing because they only knew about it after it launched its streaming platform. But who started all this? Who owns this platform? And why is Netflix such a huge hit with the masses? Let’s find out
How it all started…
Reed Hastings is currently the CEO of Netflix. Netflix was founded by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph in Scotts Valley, California in the year 1997. Before co-founding Netflix Reed Hastings used to teach mathematics to high schoolers at peace corps after earning his bachelor’s degree. Then got his master’s in computer science from Stanford University. After that, he founded a company called Pure Software which developed debugging tools. This was an instant success and within no time Reed Hastings became a CEO of a company. During this time he bought a company called QA. This is when he met Marc Randolph. In 1997 Pure Software was acquired by Rational Software for a whopping $700 million dollars. This was more than enough to start a new venture.
In the same year, 1997 Marc Randolph and Reed Hastings founded Netflix. When it first started it was not like what it is today. Netflix started as a company that sold DVDs or gave them for rent through mails. But after one year they decided to drop the idea of selling as they wanted to focus solely on renting them. Not only that but in 1998 it launched its website on the internet becoming the world’s first online DVD rental service. It has a similar model of renting and due dates like Blockbuster which was also a service that rented DVDs and video games. In September 1999 Netflix introduced the monthly subscription model. It has abandoned the single rental model in the year 2000. This meant that users could get unlimited rentals without any due dates, handling fees, shipping fees, or late fees if they paid for subscription.
At that time Netflix had only 300,000 customers in the US and was losing money as they used postal service to deliver DVDs. It was a low period for the company. During this time it’s rival Blockbuster offered $50 million to acquire the company who decided to change the name to Blockbuster.com. But Netflix declined the offer even though it was not performing as expected. However, the business sea a huge increase in subscriptions when DVD players became more affordable. It was in 2003 when the business actually took off. By 2005 it had more than 35,000 films and it used to ship nearly 1 million DVDs every day. But the major turning point was in 2007 when Netflix introduced its streaming service. In 2011 it started having its own original content.
How Netflix revolutionized filmmaking and user’s viewing experience
The first show acquired by Netflix was David Fincher’s House of cards which were exclusively aired on Netflix. This was a huge hit followed by Orange Is The New Black. The flexibility offered by Netflix for both viewers and content creators has created wonders. Viewers were getting a large number of movies, TV shows, documentaries for a monthly subscription. On the other hand directors and writers were given a platform where they can freely create their envisioned end product. Movies and TV shows are being made without any restrictions or censorship. Before this directors had to compromise in some areas as the movies could only be of a certain length.
But on Netflix instead of creating movies of limited duration filmmakers started creating hour-long episodes that focus on one story. This gave the opportunity for storytellers to tell long stories with complete detail. Not only movies and TV shows Netflix also has comedy specials. Before Netflix people had to buy expensive tickets and go to a venue to watch a comedy special. But thanks to Netflix you can do this at your home in your pajamas. Many small films but critically acclaimed films and shows benefitted from Netflix as it would recommend its users to watch them. Netflix has popularized the concept of web series. Today Netflix has more than 182 million subscriptions with a net worth of 194 billion dollars.
Right now Netflix is the leading video streaming service of its kind. It has achieved this feat by using new methods that would benefit both filmmakers and audiences along with enhancing the viewing experience. Prior to the launch of the Netflix streaming platform, people had to buy tickets and go to movie theatres to watch movies. But after its arrival, all you need is a Netflix subscription and you will get an extensive library of movies, TV shows, and all the other stuff at your fingertips. All you need is an internet connection to watch your favorite movies and TV shows if you have a Netflix subscription. You don’t even have to wait for the next day or week to watch your favorite shows next episode. Netflix releases all the episodes of a season at once. Subscribe to a suitable plan today so that you can just “Netflix and chill”.