Incredible but true: today it is exactly 25 years since the August 29, 1997two Californians founded a company destined to revolutionize home entertainment: Netflix. Initially born as a DVD rental service through the web, the brand has quickly become an unmistakable brand, thanks to the intuitions of those two Californians: Marc Randolph e Reed Hastings.
The first, former marketing director of Pure Atria, he met the second right at this company, of which he was the co-founder. The two soon realized the potential of the Internet market, then expanding, admiring the model of Amazon.com. Not only that though: Randolph and Hastings realized that the new DVD media were far more affordable than the now obsolete VHS cassetteswhich weighed much more.
Thus was born the idea of combining internet commerce (Net) and cinema (in American slang Flick). So the two decided to call Netflix their internet DVD rental company.
Netflix turns 25: the story
After founding the company in 1997, Randolph and Hastings launched the first version of Netflix.com in 1998, with only 30 employees and 925 titles available (nearly the entire DVD catalog of the time). Users could take out a monthly subscriptionand request the rental of an unlimited number of films.
It was the same to understand the potential of the project Jeff Bezoshead of Amazon.com, who offered the two about $ 15 million to take over the company. The offer tempts Randolph, but it will be Hastings, the owner of 70% of the property, who will reject Bezos’ generous offer. Amazon will launch its own video platform only in 2007: Amazon Unboxingwhich will then become what we know today as Amazon Prime Video.
After exponential growth across the United States, in February 2007 Netflix delivered its billionth DVD (a copy of Babel) to a customer in Texas. However, the times (and above all the power of internet connections) were ready for the big leap: cinema and TV series would have been fully usable. in streaming.
In 2015 the service also arrived in Italy, overwhelming the inhabitants of the Belpaese with the now famous wording: Netflix and chill. To date the streaming platform is available virtually all over the worldexcept for China, North Korea, Crimea and Syria (and more recently Russia due to the ongoing conflict).
Over the past 25 years, Netflix has revolutionized the way we approach television shows and cinema, offering us the now consolidated formula of “Look where and when you want”. In addition, with its own productions such as Stranger Things and Squid Game, the brand has collaborated to rewrite the history of television series.
Thanks for everything Netflix. Happy birthday and… 100 of these years.