What Is Netflix?
Each year the list of Americans cutting ties with their cable companies grows longer. That’s all thanks to satisfactory streaming services, the most popular name being Netflix. Netflix is a subscription-based service that allows members to access a plethora of TV series and movies with no commercials.
While the service offers several classics and popular hits, it also has original shows and movies. With its headquarters in the Californian incorporated town of Los Gatos, Netflix extends itself to a worldwide audience. It has over 208 million subscribers.
The American content platform has evolved tremendously since its establishment nearly 20 years ago. Let’s take a look at Netflix’s history and what it can offer.
Netflix is fast becoming a giant behemoth in Internet Television, streaming movies, documentaries and originally produced series directly to consumers through internet. Netflix thrives on a subscription based model with price point comparatively cheaper to traditional modes of entertainment.
As per Netflix 2017’s Annual Report, Netflix had
- 117 million streaming memberships
- With subscriptions in 190 countries globally
- With subscribers enjoying more than 140 million hours of television through Netflix per day
With increasing internet penetration with higher bandwidth and speed, Netflix has leveraged the growth in internet connectivity to provide on-demand television series with the ability to pause, rewind and download movies on mobile enabled devices.
Netflix has disrupted the traditional movie industry by venturing into original feature film production streamed directly through its Netflix apps on televisions globally, slowly killing the need to travel to movie theaters to watch movies or renting DVD’s for doing the same.
One of the prime reasons for Netflix’s success has been to cater to viewers needs by investing in programming and series. Netflix is also catering for the needs of various geographical mix of viewers with more original content each day than ever before at a price point which makes it very alluring for ongoing subscription.
Netflix has been differentiating itself through increasing and varied content choices catering to different segments of the population and demographics. The companies focus on quality programming, the ease of use its applications and availability of content online or offline (through download) providing a 24*7 entertainment window, its move into original programming including nominations and award (Emmy, Golden Globe and Academy Awards) has been its key differentiators.
This is well supported by its investment in technology and futuristic technology architecture which has enhanced its brand.
The Establishment Of Netflix
Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph established Netflix on 29th august 1997 in California. Randolph was a marketing director for pure atria, Hasting’s company.
When it began, Netflix was far from the form it has today. It started as a subscription-based DVD facility that would mail DVDs directly to people’s homes. Part of the duo’s inspiration came from amazon. They wanted to apply a similar model to sell or rent DVDs, which were new to the united states back then.
Soon, Netflix became the largest online store for renting DVDs with around 925 available titles. These titles included almost every DVD that was a part of the catalog at that time, ready for pay-per-rent.
In 1999, the company abandoned the pay-per-rent model and switched to subscriptions. Since then, the platform has grown substantially with several developments and additions.
How Does The Streaming Service Function?
Netflix has an interface that’s similar to most streaming services. If you have used any others, you won’t have any problem navigating Netflix too. The platform’s content varies by area and region, often changing over time.
To begin with, you need a Netflix account. You can use the mobile app or stream from the website if you’re using a pc. You can choose from different subscription packs. These include the basic, standard, and premium plans.
After you’ve chosen your plan, you gain access to Netflix’s library. It spans numerous genres and categories, from action to comedy and romance to documentaries. You can also filter content as per the cast, director, or others.
Unfortunately, with the emergence of strong competitors such as Hulu and amazon prime, studios are demanding more money. Due to that, these platforms make bids for the rights to their content, causing a shrink in Netflix’s options.
As you watch TV series and movies, Netflix will begin recommending content that you might like. You can select from a list of the most popular shows and movies at the moment too. If you don’t always have internet access, don’t worry! You can download content for later.
Netflix Main Genre Categories
- Action & adventure
- Children & family
- Sci-fi & fantasy
- TV shows
Data Usage And Connection Requirements
The lowest possible connection at which Netflix will be able to function is 0.5 Mbps. However, the platform recommends a minimum of 1.5 Mbps if you expect a decent viewing experience. This recommendation stands at 3.0 Mbps for SD streaming, and for HD, it stands at 5.0 Mbps.
If you want to view your favorite shows and movies in 4k ultra HD, Netflix recommends an internet speed of 25 Mbps.
When it comes to data usage, here are the estimates:
- Low (480p): 300 Mb per hour
- Medium (720p): 700 Mb per hour
- High (1080p): 3 GB per hour
- 1440p: not applicable
- 4k, with and without HDR: 7GB per hour
Where Is Netflix Available?
It’s better to ask where Netflix isn’t available instead of asking where it is! You can stream Netflix in almost every single country. However, the subscription costs and the content library will vary from region to region.
Only four countries do not have access to the platform. These are:
- North Korea
- Mainland china
North Korea, Crimea, and Syria do not have access to Netflix since it is based in the US. These nations have strained relationships with the US, denying them access to the service.
Devices Netflix Supports
Netflix supports almost all devices that can secure a stable internet connection and Wi-Fi. These include smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, computers, and even gaming consoles, along with Fire TV devices and Blu-ray players. It makes Netflix one of the most accessible subscription-based streaming services out there today.
The Netflix app is compatible with iOS, windows, and Android devices. The most recent update of the android app demands Android 5.0 (lollipop) as the minimum requirement. The iOS app needs iOS 5.0 or higher.
If you an older TV, you can Chromecast if the device is compatible. However, keep in mind that Netflix no longer supports airplay. It also does not support the Nintendo Switch, though rivals like Hulu and amazon prime do.
What Are Netflix Originals?
The world of online streaming services has been expanding exponentially, but Netflix remains the strongest. Even so, due to the rise of content with exclusive rights, Netflix has had to drop several titles.
Companies like HBO and Disney have also stepped up to be in line with streaming services, pulling their content out of third-party platforms. These companies have set up their own streaming services like HBO max and Disney plus.
To keep entertaining its subscribers with fresh content, Netflix funds and produces many shows and movies each year. Several of these hit the roof with popularity as well. Here are some of the most famous Netflix originals:
- To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before
- The Crown
- Black Mirror
- Stranger Things
- The Witcher
- House of Cards
To Sum Up
If you’re trying to decide whether Netflix is worth your time and money, this guide can help. The vast user base and consistently high ratings are indicators of the platform’s reliability and freshness.
While the subscription cost may seem a little high, Netflix vouches to be worth it. Unfortunately, Netflix no longer offers free trials, but you can cancel your subscription at any moment.