Netflix was established in 1997 primarily as a DVD subscription service in rivalry with Blockbuster. If you’ve not heard about Netflix by now – you’ve not experienced the new age in television. Check out these 10 interesting facts about Netflix!
1. Reed Hastings was inspired to create Netflix after getting a $40 late fee charge on a VHS copy of Apollo 13 after renting it at Blockbuster – it’s ironic how Blockbuster technically destroyed their business indirectly!
2. This is a clever little piece of lateral thinking from Netflix’s marketing department – they monitor what is been illegally downloaded on BitTorrent and other pirate sites in order to work out what shows they should try to purchase. They mainly use this strategy more in the European market, but this is one of the many extraordinary methods they use to gather the necessary information and attract new members.
3. Blockbuster’s CEO John Antioco was approached in 2000 by Netflix’s CEO Reed Hastings about forming a partnership with their company, Reed proposed to them that they would run Blockbusters brand online and in return, Blockbusters runs the Netflix brand through their stores, but then John Antioco just laughed in their face – but who’s the last one laughing now – because Netflix is now a nationwide brand, while Blockbuster had to file for bankruptcy.
4. As of 2009, Netflix had about 58 warehouses nationwide but most are hidden, disguised and could not be found on a map. Netflix’s delivery trucks are also concealed and hiding as much as possible. The reason is because of the number of disks been held in warehouses are worth millions of dollars, not only are they worth a lot but also the property is extremely delegated and proprietary, therefore they must take the appropriate action protecting it from harm’s way.
5. During its peak times between 9pm and midnight, Netflix accounts for 33% of North Americans downstream traffic – that’s a lot of downloading!
6. The reason why Netflix’s envelopes are rectangle instead of square is because the UPS charges more for square envelope. In 2011, postage would have cost Netflix more than $225 million in additional charges if they had used square envelopes.
7. Netflix uses huge teams of people who watch films and tag every aspect of each movie; from directors, to actors, to genre, to what kind of ending, to how sexually suggestive, romantic or gory each film is. They categorise each quanta, or element of the movie, using a document they call “Netflix Quantum Theory”, which has allowed them to basically reverse engineer Hollywood.
8. Netflix was the first online programming service to have won a popular award; in 2013, House of Cards won ‘Outstanding Directing for a Drama’, becoming the very first web-only series to win an award at any prime-time Emmys.
9. Did you know Netflix outranks every cable and TV network in the U.S.? However this translates to bad news for TV ratings – but oh well, who needs a TV when you can watch pretty much everything online now!
10. In 2006, Netflix held a million dollar contest – the challenge was to create a new, perfected video content recommendation algorithm, the contestants had to successfully categorise Napoleon Dynamite . Netflix stated that Napoleon Dynamite was the hardest moved to recommend to viewers based on their previous likes and dislikes ratio. This made the movie incredibly hard to recommend to a specific audience.