Netflix and its streaming service has become a mainstay of the media today and has come a long way since it started out as a DVD rental delivery service. Here we look at key dates in its history and how it has evolved the way it uses data and algorithms to develop and bolster its success.
STILL SPINNING DISCS Netflix started out as a US DVD rental company, sent to subscribers via courier. In 2000, Netflix owners Hastings and Rndolph offered to sell the company to Blockbuster LLC for $50 million. John Antioco, CEO of Blockbuster, thought the offer was a joke, saying "The dot-com hysteria is completely overblown.” THE BIRTH OF NETFLIX PLAYER In 2007, subscribers could start streaming movies and television shows directly to their homes through the Internet and the company also delivered its billionth DVD. In 2009, Netflix streams overtook DVD shipments and it found the elusive algorithm, awarding $1,000,000 to the "BellKor’s Pragmatic Chaos" team.
THE RACE FOR THE ALGORITHM On October 1, 2006, Netflix announced the Netflix Prize, $1,000,000 to the first developer of a videorecommendation algorithm that could beat its existing algorithm Cinematch, at predicting customer ratings by more than 10%.
EVOLUTION OF NETFLIX LOGOS
1997-2000 2000-2001 2001-2014 2016-present
POWERED BY THE CUSTOMER In 2013, Netflix developed original programming, based on analysis of their customers’ data. Where studios were wanting to just make a pilot, Netflix already knew based on its data, that a series would become a hit. 2015 also saw a minor hack reported by McAfee of netflix user’s accounts.
CO-FOUNDER & FORMER CEO MEASURING VIEWERSHIP October 2021 sees viewership measured for programming based on the number of viewers or households that watched a show in a given period. This will include the number of hours that a show was watched including rewatches. This breakthrough makes Netflix even more attractive to partners.
CO-FOUNDER & CEO
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piluex23 years ago> Gets Charged 40 dollars at Blockbuster because he forgot to return a movie> Proceeds to destroy their company and bussiness model, effrctively erasing them from the map.What a madman.1.3KREPLYView 19 replies
rentacow5 years agoWhen I had to cancel my Netflix subscription they refunded me everything I had paid, to the date, from the last time I streamed a video over a month ago. Good company.1.7KREPLYView 25 replies
Commando Master3 years agoBlockbuster could have been the Netflix of today, but they were too arrogant and refused to change and adapt to new technology. This is an important case study for all businesses to review.563REPLYView 15 replies
nunya biznez5 years agoI was never a Blockbuster customer. I had a membership at another video place, a brick and mortar store. When I first joined they had six thousand titles. When I left them they had 1500 titles. That was my biggest complaint. But, rental fees at $5 for the first day, $4 for the second, $3 for the third day coming to $12 for three days was expensive. Add to that the fact that you could not keep the video more than three days didn't help any. Their late fee was $15 first day, $10 second day and $5 for every day after that regardless of the value of the video. So one week's rental would have been $47 plus 8% tax which brought the total to $50.76 per video. That means if you rented three videos (the absolute limit) and kept them a week you paid $152.28 AND they suspended your membership for a time equal to the days late times the number of videos which means you can't rent videos for the next 12 days. If your late charges reach $500 they cancel your membership. When your late fees reach $1000 they contact police and have you charged with theft AND keep adding the late fees. I know one person who went to jail for a month and was sued for $3700 and lost!. He tried to explain that the cassettes were lost and offered to pay for them to be replaced (replacement cost = $50) but they would not listen, they demanded those exact cassettes with the store logo on them returned. They had a lot of screwy rules. You couldn't rent more than one video of the same genre. You had to pay an extra $5 fee to rent any video that was released within the last five days. You had to sign a card guaranteeing not to let any minor view R-rated movies. You had to tell them when you rented if you wanted it for one, two or three days and if you wanted to keep the video longer you paid the late fee regardless so if you wanted to change from one day to two days you paid an extra $15 or a total of $20 per video. You could pay $60 for a two day rental. You had to read the fine print too because the rental had to be returned by 2pm the next day or it was late. They closed at 5pm and were open Tuesday-Saturday. If you rented on Friday you had to return the video by 2pm Saturday because if you returned them the next day they were open that would be on Tuesday and you would be late one day and have to pay the late fee. Most of their customers were fed up but Blockbuster wasn't in our area at the time. So when I bought my DVD player there was a coupon for Netflix in it. I never heard of Netflix. So I looked at the advertising and read the info and went on line and joined. The next day I returned by cassettes to that store. They had at that time 1500 titles down from their original 6000 and only had two hundred titles on disk. I told the manager that I was canceling my membership and I told him why and how all their ludicrous policies and price gouging played into my decision but I would consider changing my mind if he changed his business practices. He told me to leave and that I would never be welcomed back and he would do just fine and that people don't like the internet and prefer cassette tapes over disks and most people return their videos within one day anyway and generally I was full of shit. My last words to him were that he would be out of business within a year. Two months later he held a going out of business sale. It took him the next three months to sell off his inventory. He actually insisted that he charge $40 per USED cassette tape for the first month of his going out of business sale. He lowered his prices only slightly each of the next two months but then sold every tape at $0.25 each the last week. Most of the videos sold in that last week. I know because I walked past his store several times a week. I don't know what Blockbuster and other video store policies were. As I said I wasn't a member but I can definitely see why video stores went out of business. I made full use of Netflix and ended up renting videos for less than a dollar per video. I think my membership was around $15 a month and I got to rent three at a time and I believe my total was around 20 videos total per month. They had over ten thousand titles at the time including a lot of very obscure titles.Read more77REPLYView 4 replies
Benjamin Flagg3 years agoI remember working at Blockbuster, and from the second Netflix was announced, every employee except the stooges at the top knew it was going to be a game-changer, even if we didn't know the extent of how. When they offered to sell to us, us employees but the executives celebrated. When they laughed at Netflix's offer, we face-palmed. And later when they tried to play pathetic catch-up with their own service, just just kinda laughed and rolled our eyes. We tried our best as professionals and employees, but we knew it was game over. I'm glad Netflix came out on top though. Talk about vision and foresight, something John and the executives at Blockbuster sorely lacked at the time. :)5REPLY
LC2 years ago Really enjoying all of your videos as I am going through them! Thank you for doing all this work and putting them together!! How are you able to research everything so well?
SS DD 2 years ago I've been a Netflix customer for as long as I can remember, their return envelopes are a great idea and I loved it. I wish I had purchase their stock back at the IPO big mistake on my part LOLREPLY
Knowhereman 3 years ago I remember the Qwickster announcement. At the time I was very pleased with my DVD subscription and was not streaming. Suddenly the DVD rates shot up 60%. People were pissed, and Netflix apologized but didn't lower the rates. It forced many into adopt streaming and drop the DVD service. A shrewd move for them, but not so ethical.
Well Geo 4 years ago I've actually been disappointed with Netflix's algorithm. I feel it hasn't been THAT good at recommending films, even though I've watched a fair bit on it.
David Williams 3 years ago Also, I worked at Blockbuster while all of this was happening, I couldn’t believe how blind, stupid, and stuck in the past the company was and ended up leaving just before they started falling apart2
Thevilmuffinman 5 years ago The news of Netflix partnering with Comcast has me really worried about hidden fees and their customer service going down.
AllFrom your searchRelatedFrom Business Casual
Movies and series to watch in December on Netflix
If the holidays are coming, so will the long-awaited series and films. For the occasion, Netflix is releasing the big game with a season 2 of Emily in Paris or, in another register, the comedy Don't Look Up with Leonardo DiCaprio.
For a bewitching evening
Le Prestige (December 15)
The Witcher season 2 (December 17)
Lost in Space season 3 (December 1)
The Good Doctor season 1 to 3 (December 1)
La Casa de Papel - season 5 Volume 2 (December 3)
Superstore season 6 (December 15)
Elite: Short stories - Cayetana, Philippe and Felipe (December 15)
Elite: Short stories - Samuel and Omar (December 20)
Emily In Paris season 2 (December 22)
Elite: Short stories - Patrick (December 23)
Cobra Kai season 4 (December 31)
Unforgivable (December 10)
La Main de Dieu (December 15)
The Lost Daughter (December 31)
In video, "Don't Look Up: Cosmic Denial", the trailer"Don't Look Up : déni cosmique", le teaser
The Big Bad Fox and other tales ... (December 1) Jojo's Bizarre Adventure Stone Ocean Season 5 (1 December) Jurassic World: colo Cretaceous Season 4 (3 December) Fly Home (December 10) Titans season 3 ( December 8)
The Grinch (3 December)
What breath romance (2 December)
The Claus Family 2 (7 December)
Carolin Kebekus: The Last Christmas Special (December 8)
A Christmas in California: The city lights (16 December)
Dad does no gifts (December 21)
At Christmas Antipodes (December 24)
A castle for Christmas (December 26)
The Power of the Dog (December 1)
Taxi Driver (December 1)
Snatch (December 15)
Don't Look Up: Cosmic Denial (December 24)
Aranyak: Secrets of the Forest (December 10)
Completely On The Edge (December 29)
Kitz (December 30)
Don't Go Away (December 31)
To jump into the 80s and 90sLa Cassette (December 3)
Asakusa Kid (December 9)
Saturday Morning All Star Hits! (December 10)
For documentary fans
See (December 6)
Like a Fish in Its Reef (December 16)
Crime Scene: The Times Square Killer (December 26)
For a dose of reality TV
Their Roaring Twenties (December 10)
The Future Diary (December 14)
Queer Eye season 6 (December 31)
- "Christmas Flow", the first French Christmas series (and fondant) on Netflix
- In video, the trailer for "Inventing Anna", the Netflix series about the con artist who robbed the elite of Manhattan
- 'Euphoria': Season 2 Trailer Revealed With Distraught And Unsettling Zendaya
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