Netflix is the in fashion streaming platform. Its original films and series have become so popular that subscriptions have soared in recent times. It allows you to watch content on any device and at any time, you just need to have an internet connection and pay a monthly fee.
How was Netflix born?
Netflix was created in California (United States) on August 29, 1997, by Reed Hastings and Marco Randolph. There’s a popular rumour that the spark for the idea came about when Hastings rented the film Apolo 13 from video rental chain Blockbuster and returned it several days late, meaning he had to pay a 40 dollar fine.
Hastings thought about a movie rental system, through ecommerce, which would not lead to fines. At the start, users would select a film from a catalogue and when they returned it, they could request a second. However, the true innovation came when content could be viewed via streaming. Since then, the ‘Netflix revolution’ has continually grown throughout the years, although international expansion did not come until 2015. The figures speak for themselves, in 2008, there were 8.4 million subscribers, compared to 140 million users around the world today.
In terms of the subscription model, consumers can choose what they pay according to the quality of the streaming and the number of screens they wish to watch on simultaneously. What’s more, recently Netflix has allowed users to watch films and series offline provided they have been previously downloaded.
In 2011, the company began to gamble on the creation of original content, beginning with the launch of political drama House of Cards, directed by David Fincher and starring Kevin Spacey, two respected figures in the cinema industry. Currently, series like Thirteen Reasons Why, Stranger Things and The Crown are gaining plaudits from fans and critics. The creation of feature length films has also been highlighted, with movies only available on their platform without passing through the cinema.
Today, Netflix is the leader in streaming platforms, but in addition to the existing competition (HBO, Amazon Prime), the next few months will see new competitors from Disney, Apple and Warner, who will look to take their crown.
It’s clear that the way in which we consume audiovisual content is changing; we no longer have to put up with advertising to see a film or series which we like, nor do we have to be available at a specific time. Now we have access to content immediately, without waiting, schedules or breaks. It remains to be seen if this method of watching will one day put an end to traditional television or, alternatively, it will continue to exist for all. Only time will tell.