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THE EDGE POST

How Netflix Started?


Netflix, Inc. is an American subscription streaming service and production company.


Launched on August 29, 1997, it offers a library of films and television series through distribution deals as well as its own productions, known as Netflix Originals.


The Founders

The founders of Netflix are Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph.


Marc Bernays Randolph is an American tech entrepreneur, advisor and speaker. He is the co-founder and first CEO of Netflix. He graduated from Hamilton College in New York with a geology degree.


Randolph’s first job out of college in 1981 was at Cherry Lane Music Company in New York. Randolph taught himself direct mail and marketing techniques while tinkering with different ways to sell catalogs of sheet music directly to consumers.


Randolph’s fascination with using computer software to track customers’ buying behavior ultimately informed his decision to create a user interface at Netflix that doubled as a market research platform.


Wilmot Reed Hastings is an American businessman. He is the co-founder, chairman, and co-CEO of Netflix, and sits on a number of boards and non-profit organizations.


He graduated from Bowdoin College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics. He went to teach math at a high school of around 800 students in rural northwest Swaziland, Africa from 1983 to 1985 after college.


Hastings went on to attend Stanford University after being rejected from his first choice MIT, graduating in 1988 with a Master's Degree in Computer Science.



How Netflix Was Created

Netflix was founded in 1997 by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph in a small California city called Scotts Valley, in Santa Cruz county.


At the time in early 1997, Reed was the CEO of Pure Atria and Marc was its VP of Corporate Marketing. Marc and Reed decided to come up with an idea to run a company as theirs will be closing down


As they carpooled to work every day from their homes, Marc, who wanted to start something like Amazon.com, pitched all sorts of e-commerce ideas to Reed.


Then, Marc heard of a hot new product that had been invented in Japan called the DVD. He realized DVDs would soon replace VHS Cassettes as the home viewing standard. Reed was sold on the idea.


Marc and Reed bought a CD of Patsy Cline's greatest hits, and mailed it to Reed's house a few blocks across the town. When the CD arrived intact, they knew they had found their ticket to e-commerce glory.


In August 1997, Netflix was registered and set up using at least $1.9 million from Reed Hastings.


Netflix eventually crafted a successful business model, a subscription-based service with no due dates or late fees and unlimited access to content at $19.95.


Subscribers can use a queue to specify the order in which DVDs should be mailed to them, and a delivery system that automatically mails out a DVD as soon as the previous DVD is returned.


Within five years of launch, Netflix was shipping millions of DVDs per day.


Online Services

In 1999 Netflix began offering an online subscription service through the Internet. Subscribers chose movie and television titles from Netflix’s Website; the shows were then mailed to customers in the form of DVDs, along with prepaid return envelopes.


In 2006 Netflix launched the $1 million Netflix Prize contest to see if anyone could improve by 10 percent its recommendation system, an algorithm for predicting an individual’s movie preferences based on previous rental data.


Three years later the prize was awarded to BellKor’s Pragmatic Chaos, a team made up of seven mathematicians, computer scientists, and engineers from the United States, Canada, Austria, and Israel.


In 2007 Netflix began offering subscribers the option to stream some of its movies and television shows directly to their homes through the Internet.


In 2010 Netflix introduced a streaming-only plan that offered unlimited streaming service but no DVDs.


Netflix then expanded beyond the United States by offering the streaming-only plan in Canada in 2010, in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2011, and in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Scandinavia in 2012.


By 2016 its streaming service was available in more than 190 countries and territories.


The Name Netflix

Netflix is called Netflix because the name is a combination of words.


The word ‘Net’ is derived from the word Internet and “Flix” is a shortened version of the word flicks – a synonym for movie.


Why Netflix Is Successful

Netflix is marked as successful as it prioritizes subscribers’ needs. The regular transformation is bringing innovations and creating ease for all its subscribers


Firstly, it is the ad-free content. Netflix understands how annoying adverts can be when it shows up before, after, and in the middle of a show. Therefore, Netflix offers ad-free content.


Secondly, its enhanced the user experience. The foremost aspect is its customer-created preview videos. This preview plays on scrolling through a title card. It also allows a download and goes feature enabling users to watch shows offline.


Lastly, Netflix’s flexibility. Netflix allows its customers to watch any content with convenience.

They can watch content on-demand and on any screen they want. Netflix is making sure to give smooth experiences with personalized tastes.




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