Many of us remember when having Netflix meant getting DVDs in the mail. There were few greater joys then 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 (a not really instant) to what it is today: a near necessity and an easy way to watch tons of movies and TV shows.
In a little less than 20 years, Netflix is the go-to spot for so much of our entertainment, and it's easy to see why. The selection is huge, the original content is new and interesting, and, perhaps most importantly, NO ADS! We could even say Netflix launched a "streaming revolution."
People all around the world 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 really know you're favorite source of television and movie entertainment? To help you find out, here are 27 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:
27 Fascinating Facts About Netflix
If you thought you knew what Netflix is all about, consider these mind blowing stats:
Netflix Currently has Just Under 149 Million Subscribers
Because Netflix allows people to share their accounts with multiple users, there are probably two to three times as many people who actually "have" Netflix. However, by measuring Netflix's popularity by number of users, we can see how quickly the company has grown in just the last few years. For example, back in 2013, it had just 35 million subscribers.
Netflix Shares Sell for Around $350 per share
Although it hasn't quite reached the levels of Apple, Google, and Amazon, $350 a share helps make Netflix one of the better performing stocks on the market. What makes Netflix share price really interesting is that most of this value has been acquired in the last few years. Going back to 2013, shares were selling for between $30 and $50. Because of this, Netflix has historically been a great stock for investors, especially those who believed in the company starting in its early years.
Netflix shares at 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 at the time the company decided to go public. However, Netflix proved everyone wrong. Shares are now worth around $350 million, meaning if you had invested just a $1,000 in Netflix at its IPO, those shares would now be worth around $23,000. A $10,000 investment would be worth just under a quarter of a million dollars today. But let's not get hung up in would have, could have, and should have's.
Netflix's Current Market Value is around $231 billion
Again, when compared to the other tech giants, Netflix looks a little small. But it's currently worth more than $231 billion. To give you some perspective, this number is roughly equivalent to the GDP of countries such as Greece, New Zealand, and Iraq. 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. Disney is set to launch a streaming service in November, and it's difficult to say how this will affect Netflix. But with so many people "cutting the cord," most believe Netflix will experience only minor changes as a result of this new competition.
Netflix is Worth 770 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 $230 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.
Netflix Yearly Earnings in 2018 Were $16.61 Billion
Part of the reason why Netflix is so valuable is because it generates a massive amount of revenue. With around $16 billion in yearly revenue, Netflix comes in at number 197 on the Forbes Fortune 500 list.
Netflix is the 10th Largest Internet Company
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.
Netflix Actually Spends More Money than it Takes In
Despite all this revenue and growth, Netflix has been operating at a loss recently, largely because it is still growing. The world is switching to internet-based entertainment, and Netflix is investing heavily in original content. It's likely banking on the fact 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.
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, has 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:
Netflix Spent $12 Billion on Original Content In 2018
Part of the reason Netflix has been able to grow so much over the years is because it has been investing steadily in original content. It has figured out that people will pay to watch new things, and now it feels as though Netflix releases a new series or program every week. Spending in 2018 reached $12 billion, and this number is expected to grow to $15 billion in 2019. This may continue to rise as competition ramps up and the various streaming services must compete with one another for subscribers and eyeballs.
There Are Around 850 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 there were only a handful more released in 2014 and 2015. However, by 2016, Netflix began churning out content to the point where there are now 850 original titles on Netflix, which total about 19,000 hours of content.
Original Content Makes up About 80 Percent of US Views
This fact just shows us how smart the folks at Netflix are. They figured out that people will watch (more specifically, people will pay to watch) new, unique content. It's interesting, though, to think that Netflix started out mailing people copies of already existing titles and now it generates most of its revenue by producing and offering its own content.
57 Percent of People Cite Original Content as their Reason for Subscribing
This shows once again shows just 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 we can likely expect Netflix to remain ad free for the near future. If this policy changes, then Netflix would become "just like everyone else."
In 2018, Netflix Originals Officially Outnumbered Acquired Content
Recognizing a trend, Netflix made a switch in 2013 to produce more of its own content. It slowly began investing more in production and less in acquisition, and by 2018, original content became the bulk of Netflix's programming.
Netflix Streaming Started Out 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, peaking at 7,285 titles in 2010. However, it now has around 5,500. The reduction has come from Netflix's decision to stop buying content and make it. This is typically more expensive, which means there's less of it.
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, over the years, television became more expensive 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 saves you from hundreds of hours of mind numbing advertisements.
52 Million Households Watched Netflix-Original Triple Frontier in the First Month
To give you an idea of just 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).
In 2018, Netflix Won More Emmys Than HBO
When Netflix first announced it would produce its own content, people were skeptical of the quality. However, Netflix surprised right off the bat, and all the money invested in original content has paid off in both 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 each of the previous 17 years.
Netflix is obviously extremely popular, but here's a bit more on just how widespread it has become:
23% of Netflix Users Stream on a Daily Basis
This number might actually seem a bit low. So many of us watch movies and TV as a way to spend time with friends and also to wind down after a long day after work. However, considering how many options people have when it comes to streaming services, it does actually make sense that only around one quarter of the population watches Netflix every single day.
Around 70% of Netflix Viewers Binge Watch
However, just because people don't watch every day doesn't mean they aren't watching a lot. Binge watching, which is the act of 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.
Somebody Watched Madagascar 3 352 times in 2017
Yes, you read that right. Watching a movie 352 times in a year isn't exactly binge watching, but it brings movie watching to a whole new level. Imagine loving a film so much you watched it almost every day for an entire year. Netflix obviously didn't reveal anything about the user except that they watched this movie a ton of times in 2017.
Netflix Users Spend Around 1 Billion Hours per Week Streaming Content
All this binge watching and daily usage adds up to about 1 billion hours of TV watching per week. This feels like a lot, largely because it is. Divided by the number of subscribers (149 million), this means each subscriber is watching about 6.7 hours per week. This number is probably actually a little lower considering there are multiple users on each account, but it's still a good bit of weekly TV watching.
Netflix Takes Up 26% of Global Streaming Traffic
As one of the world's most popular streaming services, it's not too 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.
Netflix Consumes 15% of the World's Internet Bandwidth
Watching so much high-definition video content over the internet requires a 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 uses the internet has, this might come as a greater shock than the amount of streaming traffic Netflix drives.
2.7 Million People Still Subscribe to Netflix's DVD Service
You'd think DVDs were dead, but some people still like them, and Netflix's DVD services generates the company some revenue each year. For those of us 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?!"
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 just don't want anyone to know how many times they've watched Madagascar 3 in the past year...
74 Percent of Video on Demand Users Subscribe to Netflix
Video on Demand (VOD), or streaming, is the new normal. Cord cutting is becoming more and more popular, and the majority of those who use these services use Netflix. If this continues to be the case, then it's likely competition, such as that from Disney's streaming service, shouldn't do much to Netflix's position in the market.
Next time you sit down to watch a quick episode of one your favorite shows, or binge watch the newest series everyone's talking about, know that you're using a service that has, in just a few short years, completely changed the way we watch TV. It faces more and more competition each year, but 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.