Netflix is a household name. The company was founded in 1997 by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph who were very influenced by the business model of Amazon owner Jeff Bazos. At that time, Netflix was not the Netflix that we know today. It started as a service that allowed the subscribers to rent the DVD. At that time, their competitors were renting out VCR tapes to their customers. Renting VCR tapes was expensive and delicate, so Hasting and Randolph adopted a new approach and selected DVD to be their product. With only 30 employees and 925 movies, they launched Netflix as a DVD rental site. The business grew and when Amazon saw the potential, Jeff Bazos offered to buy Netflix, but Hastings had something else in mind for Netflix.
In the early 2000, Netflix faced some major financial crisis. At one point, the owners considered to sell the company, but no major cooperation bought Netflix. Following the hiatus, Netflix decided to go public in 2002 at fifteen dollars per share and the company recovered.
Hasting always wanted to make Netflix a digital streaming service. For this, he introduced streaming service in 2007 with only 1000 movies available for streaming compared to 70,000 DVDs that were available on the site. Netflix began to make deals with different companies and production houses to make their content available on the site. They locked deals with major players like Paramount Pictures, Lionsgate and Metrogoldwyn player. Netflix wanted to secure deals with companies like Disney and Warner Brothers as well, but they were so big at that point that they decided to launch their own streaming sites Hulu and Disney plus to give a solid competition to Netflix.
To attract a wider audience, Netflix acquired the rights of critically acclaimed Breaking Bad which was produced by Sony Pictures Television when the AMC was set to cancel the show. A large number of audience turned to Netflix to watch the show.
In 2013, Netflix attempted to create its original content. Its series like Stranger Things, Money Heist, The Witcher, You, Peaky Blinders, Lucifer, Black mirror, the crown became worldwide phenomenon. Later on Netflix produced local content like Squid Games, All of us are dead, Elite, Meteor Garden which were wildly successful as well.
Netflix had changed the entire course of entertainment industry. Movies and shows could be premiered on Netflix and people could easily watch them at home. Instead of an episode per week, the whole season was being dropped on the site which was convenient for the viewer as he could watch it any time.
Netflix was unbeatable. No show on Television could outnumber the shows on Netflix. Netflix had a cray eye for talent and potential. Everytime a tv channel would air a show, Netflix would see the potential and would quickly book the show for rest of the seasons. It saw the potential of Breaking bad, it bought its rights. Lucifer was cancelled by Fox tv and Netflix picked it up. Same happened to Black Mirror. Black mirror was aired on British Network Channel 4. Netflix saw its potential and picked it up which became very successful on the platform.
As per 2021, Netflix had over 200 million subscribers and its success was cemented due to quality of its content which is now degrading. It is constantly losing its subscriptions and its customers are now moving to other streaming sites. For the last 3 to four years, Netflix has been producing the content which is not being received well by the public. If it wasn’t for some major franchises like Stranger things, Netflix can collapse. How Netflix went from Breaking Bad to Cuties is a whole other story which we will cover up in the follow up.