Friday, November 1, 2013

The Evolution of Netflix

Over the past several years, Netflix has revolutionized the way people watch television.  As with most fledgling companies, it took Netflix several years to carve out a niche in the video rental industry. In 2000, only three years after Netflix was founded, video rental behemoth Blockbuster turned down the opportunity to purchase the company for a mere $50 million. However, as the 21st century progressed, Netflix emerged as a viable contender to companies like Blockbuster. Unlike many of its competitors, Netflix embraced emerging technology that made provided more convenient ways to view movies and television shows. As brick and mortar stores diminished and streaming became popular, Netflix flourished while most of their competition diminished.

Although they started solely as a video rental service, Netflix quickly evolved into an unprecedented medium of media. A significant part of this evolution began in 2011, when Netflix announced that it would be acquiring original content for its streaming service. In 2013, House of Cards became the first original series to stream on Netflix, receiving critical acclaim. In many ways, Netflix’s new business model models that of HBO’s pay-tv model. Interestingly, in October of this year, Netflix passed HBO in the number of paid U.S. subscribers.

With thousands of older television shows and movies alongside original series, Netflix has caused some individuals to leave their cable providers. Along with the ability to binge watch series, Netflix is changing viewer’s expectations for watching television.  However, the television industry isn’t the only industry that may feel the effects of Netflix’s business model. Just last week, the company is considering releasing films on Netflix and in the theaters on the same day. Although such a plan is likely years off, its repercussions would be huge. With movie attendance already seeing a decline, Netflix is in a unique position to change the future of the industry. 

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