What is that one thing we digital natives can’t go wrong with? Well, it’s binge-watching — simply grabbing our fully-charged devices, landing our bottoms somewhere comfortable, and watching videos after videos, movies after movies, and what not over the Internet. While there are many players responsible for such indolence on our part, one that clearly strikes us is Netflix. This game-changing on-demand video and DVD subscription service has quite extraordinarily cracked the motive for visual gratification of millions of digital consumers worldwide. While its daily consumers devour shows after shows from morning until night, there are some fascinating facts about Netflix company that are unknown to many of us.
What do you think they are? Here’s a run-down…
10. Netflix started before Google did
Are you still startled? Well, we were when we found out. Google.com, arguably the de-facto site for anything search, was started by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1998 compared to Netflix that was co-founded by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph in 1997. Just take a moment for it to sink in!
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9. The Netflix idea was born out of ‘late fees’ for Apollo 13
Netflix CEO and co-founder Reed Hasting was reportedly struck with an ‘ah-ha’ moment after he was fined $40 for returning a copy of Apollo 13 later than expected. He’d pondered over the fact that there has to be a better way for consuming entertainment than paying such ‘late fees’. And then the rest, as they say, is history!
8. It’s subscribers consume 110+ million hours of content every day.
Okay, this may require some math. Consider Netflix’s subscriber base of 80 million and an average per day per person consumption of an hour and a half (90 minutes). Multiply this and you have a gigantic figure of more than 120 million hours (approximately 13000 years). So much each day. Man, I am really going bonkers!
7. Netflix could’ve been acquired but were turned down.
Blockbuster LLC, who was a leading provider of home video and video game rental services throughout the United States, had many chances to buy off Netflix but they turned down all the offers. The result: in late 2010 Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy owing to growing competition from you know who — Netflix, now a US$20 Billion company. Times can change pretty quick!
6. Netflix understands your consumption habits more than you do.
Yet another one of many captivating Netflix facts! It records and analyses every little interaction you have with their site. For one, it is quite tough to fool Netflix’s analytics. You simply can’t beat their intelligence by giving five stars to ‘House of Cards’ series while covertly gulping episode after episode of ‘Breaking Bad’. It knows what you claim you enjoy isn’t really what you enjoy!
5. Netflix isn’t only about 3rd Party Content. It’s more than that.
If you thought, Netflix is only about renting and on-demand consumption of third-party content, you couldn’t be more off the point. Some of their critically acclaimed productions include ‘House of Cards,’ ‘Orange is the New Black,’ ‘Narcos,’ and ‘Richie Rich,’ among others.
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4. Netflix are slated to offer 126 original programs alone in 2016.
Man, you got to commend these guys! They released 60-plus original series programs in 2015. This number is slated to be almost double; Netflix is expected to offer 126 series or films in 2016 alone. Woah! That’s lotta entertainment, drama, comedy, action and what not. Fun time for you couch potatoes out there!
3. Nextflix started opting for rectangular envelopes over squared ones.
Well, you may be wondering, ‘What’s in a shape?’ Let me tell you there are more than US$220 million hidden there. For Netflix that is! The United States Postal Service charges more money for the square envelopes compared to the rectangular ones. And when you have more than more 80 million subscribers, the rectangle envelopes save cash big time.
2. Netflix ran a million-dollar contest in 2006.
We wish we knew how to design an algorithm! ‘Coz Netflix organized an open challenge in 2006 wherein participants had to design a video content recommendation algorithm to perfectly categorize the 2004 movie ‘Napoleon Dynamite’ and they could take home US$1 million. Since this movie had an almost even like-to-dislike ratio, it was one of the toughest to categorize.
1. Netflix changed the perception of video-streaming services.
There was a time when we all used equate online streaming with past episodes, funny home videos, personal vlogs, and comedy sketches. Well, all that changed when ‘House of Cards,’ Netflix’s original web-only series clinched a Primetime Emmy Award in the ‘Outstanding Directing for a Drama’ category in 2013. It was time we started taking streamers more seriously!