Netflix, a household name and a dominant force in the world of entertainment today, began its journey as a DVD rental-by-mail service in 1997. Founded by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph, the company’s initial business model was far removed from the streaming behemoth we recognize today. Its origins were humble, with its focus solely on selling and renting DVDs through the mail, a stark contrast to the prevalent brick-and-mortar video rental shops of that era.
However, Netflix’s pivot to streaming, which would revolutionize the way we consume media, took place in 2007. This transformative shift was precipitated by rapid advancements in internet technology and increasing broadband penetration. Recognizing the potential of delivering movies directly to computers over the internet, Netflix launched its streaming service that year, allowing subscribers to instantly watch movies and TV shows on their PCs and laptops. This innovative step was the dawn of a new digital entertainment age.
The introduction of streaming meant that subscribers no longer had to wait for DVDs to arrive by mail. The convenience of clicking a button and immediately viewing content changed the entertainment landscape forever. The move was not just pivotal for Netflix as a company but also marked the beginning of the end for traditional video rental stores, many of which couldn’t compete with the convenience and selection offered by streaming.
Over the years, Netflix’s library of streamable content grew exponentially, encompassing not just licensed films and television series but also original content. With its foray into original programming starting with “House of Cards” in 2013, Netflix further solidified its position as a major player in the entertainment industry.
Today, streaming is synonymous with Netflix for millions around the globe. Its decision in 2007 to embrace the power of the internet and offer streaming has shaped the way audiences worldwide watch and discover content, ushering in a golden age of television and redefining the very parameters of entertainment.