Many of us remember when having Netflix meant getting DVDs in the mail. There were fewer joys than sending one off, knowing the next one was just a day or two away. This seems silly now, but in the pre-digital age, this felt instant.
However, after Netflix launched its streaming service in 2007, it went from being a bit of an indulgence (not instant) to what it is today: a near necessity and an easy way to watch tons of movies and TV shows.
In less than 20 years, Netflix has been the go-to spot for so much of our entertainment, and it's easy to see why. The selection is huge, and the original content is new and interesting! We could even say Netflix launched a "streaming revolution."
People worldwide are realizing the absurdity of paying an arm and a leg for cable only to still have to sit through ads, and this has given way to many more streaming services, such as Amazon Prime and Hulu. Soon, Disney will have its own platform, and who knows how that will change the market.
However, for now, Netflix is still on top. This much we know, but how well do you know your favorite television and movie entertainment source? To help you find out, here are 26 fascinating facts about Netflix.
Before getting into some mind blowing facts about Netflix, let's take a moment to put this company's history in perspective. Here's a brief timeline starting from the early days until now:
24 Fascinating Facts About Netflix
If you thought you knew what Netflix is all about, consider these mind blowing stats:
1. Netflix Currently has Just Over 221 Million Subscribers
Because Netflix allows people to share their accounts with multiple users (although they're trying to crack down on that), there are probably two to three times as many people who actually "have" Netflix. However, by measuring Netflix's popularity by the number of users, we can see how quickly the company has grown in the last few years. For example, back in 2013, it had just 35 million subscribers.
2. Netflix Shares Sell for Around $180 per share
Although it hasn't quite reached the levels of the top tech companies, $350 a share helps make Netflix one of the better-performing stocks on the market. While it was $350 a few years ago, there were some major concerns in recent quarters and a lack of subscriber growth that has made the market turn on the stock a bit, in addition to general market turmoil.
3. Netflix shares and its IPO Were Sold for Just $15
IPOs are an inexact science, but this number suggests the market didn't have a lot of faith in the Netflix business model when the company decided to go public. However, Netflix proved everyone wrong. Given the price today, even with current turmoil, anyone getting in at the initial offering would be sitting pretty well now.
4. Netflix's Current Market Value is around $85 billion
Again, when compared to the other tech giants, Netflix looks a little small. But it's currently worth more than $85 billion, even with the current turmoil. To give you some perspective, this number is roughly equivalent to the GDP of some countries. Part of the reason it's so valuable is how much revenue the company generates, but it also has a sound business model and a firm grip on the market. With so many people still "cutting the cord," Netflix still has room to grow despite competition.
5. Netflix is Worth About 285 Times Today What it was Worth at Its IPO
Netflix first went public in 2002 and had a market capitalization of around $300 million. Today, its market cap is more than $85 billion. As one would expect, this has made Netflix stocks have been some of the best performers in the market in the past two decades.
6. Netflix Yearly Earnings in 2021 Were $29.67 Billion
Part of why Netflix is so valuable is that it generates massive revenue. With almost 30 billion in yearly revenue, Netflix comes in at number 115 on the Forbes Fortune 500 list.
7. Netflix is One of the Largest Internet Companies
Revenue figures may be lower than some of the real behemoths of Silicon Valley, but Netflix is still one of the heavy hitters in today's tech-based economy.
8. Netflix Was Operating at a Loss for Years
Despite all this revenue and growth, Netflix has been operating at a loss until recently, mainly because it was still growing. The world is switching to internet-based entertainment, and Netflix is investing heavily in original content. It's likely banking on that we will soon live in a world where everyone has multiple streaming accounts and no cable, meaning there is space for all the major players to make their money.
9. Netflix Tried to Sell to Blockbuster in 2000 for $50 Million
Blockbuster, the video rental chain that much of today's youth has never heard of, had become a classic example of a company that stuck to an aging business model for too long, adapting only when it was too late. However, ironically, Netflix founder Reid Hastings tried to sell his company to Blockbuster in 2000 for $50 million. The company wasn't making any money, although Hastings knew it had potential. Blockbuster executives rejected the offer, and the rest is history. Isn't hindsight a wonderful thing?
Here are some facts about Netflix original content:
10. Netflix Spent $17 Billion on Original Content In 2021
Part of the reason Netflix has grown so much over the years is that it has been investing steadily in original content. It has figured out that people will pay to watch new things, and now it feels like Netflix releases a new series or program every week. Spending in 2021 reached $17 billion. This may continue to rise as competition ramps up, and the various streaming services must compete for subscribers and eyeballs.
11. There Are Around 2400 Original Titles on Netflix
The first Netflix originals were House of Cards, Hemlock Grove, and Orange is the New Black. They came out in 2013, and only a handful more were released in 2014 and 2015. However, by 2016, Netflix began churning out content to the point where there are now 2400 original titles on Netflix.
12. 57 Percent of People Cite Original Content as their Reason for Subscribing
This shows again how important original content is to Netflix's current and future success. The next most popular reason why people subscribe to Netflix is to avoid advertisements, so there is a reason people are up in arms about their potential for them. If this policy changes, then Netflix would become "just like everyone else."
13. In 2018, Netflix Originals Officially Outnumbered Acquired Content
Recognizing a trend, Netflix switched in 2013 to produce more of its content. It slowly began investing more in production and less in the acquisition, and by 2018, original content became the bulk of Netflix's programming.
14. Netflix Streaming Started with Just 1,000 Titles
When it launched in 2007, there were far fewer "watch now" titles than what was available through the mail. Over time, Netflix transferred most of its library to its streaming service. However, it now has around 17,000 titles globally. There have been reductions from Netflix's decision to stop buying content and making more of it. This is typically more expensive, so there's less available.
15. A Netflix Subscription Saves You from 160 Hours of Advertising
Ads used to be an accepted part of life. We consented to them in exchange for "free" entertainment. However, television has become more expensive over the years, and there have been more and more ads. How many shows are now "brought to you by" and "sponsored by." Netflix does away with this and at least currently saves you from hundreds of hours of mind-numbing advertisements.
16. 52 Million Households Watched Netflix-Original Triple Frontier in the First Month
To give you an idea of how successful this original content strategy is, consider that Bird Box, a film starring Ben Affleck and directed by J.C. Chandler, was seen by some 45 million households (or accounts).
17. In 2018, Netflix Won More Emmys Than HBO
When Netflix announced it would produce its content, people were skeptical of the quality. However, Netflix was surprised right off the bat, and all the money invested in original content has paid off in revenue and recognition. This all came to a head in 2018 when Netflix took home more Emmys than HBO, which had won the most at the annual television awards ceremony for the previous 17 years.
Netflix is obviously extremely popular, but here's a bit more on just how widespread it has become:
18. 23% of Netflix Users Stream Daily
This number might seem a bit low. So many of us watch movies and TV to spend time with friends and wind down after a long day after work. However, considering how many options people have when it comes to streaming services and other things to do, it does actually make sense that only.
19. Around 70% of Netflix Viewers Binge Watch
However, just because people don't watch every day doesn't mean they aren't watching much. Binge watching, which is watching many or all of a show's episodes in one sitting, has become a thing basically because of Netflix (and their devious practice of playing the next episode just ten seconds after the last one finished!). Because of this heavy use, it's safe to say Netflix, and streaming services in general, are here to stay.
20. Somebody Watched Madagascar 3,352 times in 2017
Yes, you read that right. Watching a movie 352 times a year isn't exactly binge-watching, but it brings movie-watching to a new level. Imagine loving a film so much you watched it almost every day for a year. Netflix obviously didn't reveal anything about the user except that they watched this movie a ton of times in 2017.
21. Netflix Takes Up 26% of Global Streaming Traffic
As one of the world's most popular streaming services, it's not surprising that Netflix consumes so much of the globe's streaming traffic. Some may have expected YouTube to take this spot, but most of YouTube's content is shorter, meaning it drives less streaming traffic, even if it has more users overall.
22. Netflix Consumes 12.6% of the World's Internet Bandwidth
Watching so much high-definition video content over the internet requires considerable infrastructure. In fact, this was one of the main obstacles the company had to overcome in its early years. It was initially only available to people with broadband internet, which in 2007 was not many people; however, as high speed internet has become more popular, more and more people can stream. Now, a good chunk of the world's internet bandwidth goes to watching content on Netflix. Considering how many different internet uses, this might come as a greater shock than the amount of streaming traffic Netflix drives.
23. 2 Million People Still Subscribe to Netflix's DVD Service as of 2019
You'd think DVDs were dead, but some people still like them, and Netflix's DVD services generate the company some revenue each year. For those who stream, these are the people you're referring to when you type in a title, see it's only available by DVD, and say, "Who still gets DVDs from Netflix?!"
24. 55 percent of Netflix Users Pay for Their Own Subscription
With Netflix allowing multiple users to share the same account, you'd think no one would pay for their own subscription. However, the fear of mooching off others seems to have won out. Over half of subscribers take on the responsibility of paying for their own streaming. Maybe they don't want anyone to know how many times they've watched Madagascar 3 in the past year...
Next time you sit down to watch a short episode of one of your favorite shows or binge-watch the newest series everyone's talking about, know that you're using a service that has completely changed the way in just a few short years we watch TV. It faces more and more competition each year. Still, judging by the company's ability to invest in and produce quality content, we can expect Netflix to continue to remain relevant for the years to come.