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Netflix: The story of how it became an unprecedented global hit

The American company Netflix was undoubtedly one of the biggest beneficiaries of the current economic crisis, which dealt a severe blow to the cultural and entertainment sector, including cinema, which was forced to close its doors.

With around 62 million subscribers in more than 50 countries around the world, and around 100 million hours of content streaming every day – between Original documentaries of any genre, successful TV series – Today, Netflix is ​​the global leader in online entertainment. But how did you manage to gather subscribers across five continents and outpace all other streaming platforms? Let’s explore together its history from its inception to the present day.


Netflix Originals

Today, many cannot imagine a world without Netflix. What is normal for us, searching for a movie or series at any time of the day or night, and sitting comfortably on the sofa, has never been so popular. In fact, to see a movie of our favorite genre, you had to go to a video store to rent the videotape.

Then, thanks to new technologies, streaming platforms for watching movies and TV series appeared, and with it came the end of video libraries.

Who Created Netflix?

Reed Hastings was born on October 8, 1960 in Boston. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, he worked for about three years as a teacher to save money for a master’s degree in computer engineering. In his first job after obtaining his master’s degree, he invented a software debugging tool, a major event in his career because thanks to it he was also able to create Pure Software in 1991, a company which he then decided to sell in 1997. That was the same year that Netflix was created.

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The idea was born when Reed, after renting the Apollo XIII movie from the Blockbuster series, had to pay a huge fine for not returning the movie in time. This prompted him to think “What would a video store be like where you could rent a movie without having to pay any fines?”.

At the time, his idea was seen as a utopia, but he decided to launch Netflix with his partner Mark Randolph.

Initially it was a website where you could rent and sell DVDs. A year later they added a subscription service, where members can rent an unlimited number of DVDs for a very reasonable monthly fee. In just 5 years, Netflix has become a stable company with more than 4 million subscribers.

In 2007 they introduced an online streaming format, which allowed users to access movies directly from their computers.

It was only a matter of time before Netflix started showing up on other devices like PS3 and Xbox360. In 2012 it arrived in the UK, having previously invaded parts of Latin America and the Caribbean.

In January 2013, the company launched “House of Cards”, the first original series from Netflix, which led them to reach the peak of success: the following year the number of subscribers reached 50 million, but they did not know that the best was yet to come.

Will Netflix continue to have the same success even after the pandemic is over?


The astounding increase in Netflix subscriptions in 2020 can be attributed, in large part, to the effects of the shutdown.
We’ve spent most of the past year and a half indoors, on our sofas watching TV, and Netflix has no doubt benefited from that; But now that we are finally close to the end of the crisis, the amazing increase in the number of subscribers is gradually decreasing.

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This is what was announced in Netflix’s financial results for the first quarter of 2021: the company increased the number of global subscribers by 3.98 million (for a total of 207.4 million). This 13.6% increase is well below its initial expectation of gaining 6 million new customers – almost double that. As a result, his forecast for the second quarter of 2021 has also changed significantly. In fact, in the last quarter of 2021, there were only 1 million new members.

Within this amount, Netflix assigned almost zero growth to the Americas – the United States, Canada and Latin America. In fact, new subscriptions should mostly come from Europe.


Combined with these growth scenarios, private production and global power, Netflix has become an indispensable hero in our daily lives, defining many new human habits and behaviors. 2020 may have been the year the company reached the highest point in its success, and it is unlikely that such a disproportionate number of new subscribers will ever be reached again.

However, Netflix is ​​and will remain so TV broadcasting giant Mainly thanks to its marketing strategies. Just think about the fact that today we no longer say “stay home and watch a movie,” but “stay home and watch Netflix,” even if we are using a different platform.