American video streaming company Netflix Inc has launched its operations in more than 130 countries, including India. It is the new age television which has garnered a lot of viewers through it's content. With the foray of Netflix in India, here are some interesting facts which might give you an insight of the company.
Netflix is older than Google.
Weird, as it may sound, but Netflix is older than google. How? Netflix was established as a subscription service in 1997 while Google was founded in 1998. The idea behind Netflix came in 1997 after the CEO Reed Hastings was charged $40 for a late VHS copy of Apollo 13 by Blockbuster, the then popular video rental brand in USA. It was also originally called 'Kibbles'
Netflix was offered to Blockbuster
In 2000, Netflix was offered to Blockbuster for a paltry 50 million dollers. Blockbuster's then CEO John Antioco scoffed at the idea of a possible partnership, in the era where internet was slowly getting prominence, and declined the offer. Cut to 2016, Netflix has wiped out Blockbuster's business so badly that the video rental company is now practically dead while Netflix is currently worth in billions.
You can't lie to Netflix
Netflix knows you lie. Freaky, yes! You can't simply list a bunch of interests claiming that you’re really enjoying watching serious stuff while secretly watching old episodes of any funny sitcom. Netflix knows when you give higher ratings to shows and movies that you don't really watch in an effort to sound smart. Netflix, in reality knows you. Next time, think twice before you give five stars to a film that you secretly hated.
Breaking Bad. Pic/Santa Banta
Breaking Bad is the most watched TV show on Netflix currently. It has produced original programs which includes series, continuations, films, documentaries, and comedy specials. One of their most popular series includes Orange Is The New Black. Netflix pursued the licensing rights to House Of Cards and brought David Fincher and Kevin Spacey on because their movies proved to be very popular on Netflix. In late 2013, Netflix signed a landmark deal with Marvel Television to produce four live-action TV programs based on renowned Marvel superheroes. Netflix users will have access to original series, including Marvel's Daredevil and Jessica Jones, Narcos, Sense8, Grace and Frankie, and Marco Polo. This is apart from a catalogue of licensed TV shows and movies. In 2016, the company plans to release 31 new and returning original series, two dozen original feature films and documentaries, stand-up comedy specials and 30 original kids series. These will be available at the same time to members everywhere.
Netflix’s marketing department monitor what is been illegally downloaded on BitTorrent and other pirate sites in order to work out what shows they should try to purchase. They mainly use this strategy more in the European market, but this is one of the many extraordinary methods they use to gather the necessary information and attract new members.
The first video content ever put on Netflix was a test film created to inspect standard film frames. if you have an access to the US version of Netflix, type in 'Example Show' and you will still find it. It includes some pretty bizzare footage.
Netflix employees are allowed to take as many vacation days as they want. A spokesperson had said, "It’s about freedom and responsibility and treating people like adults.” As long as their work doesn't suffer, employees are free to have as much time off as they like (providing they arrange it in advance and don’t just disappear, of course). For movie lovers, it's a delight too. Netflix has several teams of people to watch various films so that they could tag every aspect of the movie, from the actors, directors, and genre to the type of movie ending and ratings to make sure that Netflix recommendations closely tailer to our likes and dislikes!
The company also offers a flat rate DVD-by-mail service in the United States. However, Netflix employees are sworn to secrecy on the location of the DVD warehouses to avoid people dropping off DVDs at the location or trying to rob the place. Same goes for Netflix trucks, which go undercover.
Netflix has its own awards — The Flixies which is a pretty lighthearted, tongue-in-cheek award show where users are invited to vote on their favourite shows. Some of the ingenous categories include Best Marathon TV Show, Best Bromance, Best Commute Shortener, Best Hangover Cure or Best Guilty Pleasure. This is their internal awards stuff. On the other side, it has also been nominated for an Oscar award. In 2013, it released an Egyptian-American documentary called 'The Square' on the Egyptian Revolution of 2011. The film was nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 86th Academy Awards. Netflix is also the first original online programming service to win a major television award such as a Golden Globe. In 2014, House of Cards’ Robin Wright won Best Actress in a drama television.
Adam Sandler. Pic/Santa Banta
>> Adam Sandler signed a four-movie deal with Netflix because, according to him, "Netflix rhymes with Wet Chicks."
>> Netflix uses rectangular envelopes purely for cost efficiency. USPS charges more for square ones. The difference would amount to around 225 million dollars more if they went with the square option.
>> If you want to make sure you catch a TV show or movie before it leaves Netflix, check out Now Streaming. They’ll give you a list of all the shows and movies that are being removed every week.
>> In 1998, in a bid to offer consumers something new, co-founder Marc Randolph decided to offer footage of President Bill Clinton's Grand Jury testimony about his involvement with Monica Lewinsky. But, apparently the duplicating house had a mix-up and it resulted in some customers receiving discs full of hardcore Chinese pornography.