Netflix has about 6 million Australian subscribers, but they have common grievances – and they are not alone in their complaints.
Netflix is a streaming giant with a staggering 221.6 million subscribers worldwide and an estimated value of $176 billion.
But the 6 million Australian subscribers have a common problem – the lack of titles offered in Down Under compared to overseas.
Users in the US, for example, have a much larger selection of titles, with over 5,500 titles available in America, rather than our pathetic 601.
But Australians are not alone in this complaint – it is universal, subject to copyright and royalty laws, as well as geographic licensing restrictions that vary by country, meaning there’s something for everyone.
The humble origins of Netflix
Netflix turns 25 this August.
However, as is often the case, Netflix’s origins and how it rose to prominence read like a big-budget Hollywood blockbuster.
After all, you can’t break the whole cinematic tradition without pissing off a few people in the process.
Here’s SparkNotes of their story spanning a quarter of a century before a Netflix Original is inevitably created to retouch the story.
Legend has it that co-founder (and reputedly terrifying boss) Reed Hastings conceived the idea for Netflix after he received a $40 fine for returning a copy. Apollo 13 late to my local video store.
Of course, there are different versions of the origin story: co-founder and former CEO Mark Randolph tells the far less sexy but more believable story that the seeds of the idea that would become Netflix were first sown in a series of carpools and from Silicon Valley, where Randolph’s company Atria merged with Hastings’ first Pure Software business.
After much thought and planning, the couple officially launched Netflix in 1998 as a DVD rental business, with 30 employees and 925 titles to choose from.
In 1999, Amazon owner Jeff Bezos, who quickly gained popularity, tried to acquire the company for a low price of $14–16 million. Hastings reportedly turned down the offer on his way home after the meeting.
Randolph and Hastings later tried to sell Blockbuster in 2000 after the dot-com crash.
The couple were quickly ridiculed from the room with their $50 million asking price at the meeting. which has since become an entrepreneurial legend.
After 24 months, Netflix will go public by selling 0.55 million shares of common stock at $15.
Meanwhile, Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy in 2011.
Streaming, Netflix Originals, and World Domination
In 2007, Netflix began offering subscribers the ability to stream some of their movies and TV shows right in their homes over the Internet.
This became the basis for what became the norm around the world as the company moved away from physical DVDs entirely by 2010.
By 2011, the company had expanded to Latin America and Canada and by 2016 had become a global giant.
As the Netflix network has expanded overseas, the prospect of owning original content has quickly gone from a whimsical idea to an unavoidable prospect.
The first film to premiere exclusively on the service (in the United States) was the Norwegian-American crime drama Lilyhammer, which first aired on January 25, 2012.
However, the show was simulcast on Norwegian station NRK1, disqualifying it as a true Netflix Original in the eyes of many.
Cinematic canon instead of political drama House of cards as a true Netflix Original debut, with a “cinematic TV” formula that proves the show is a huge success, paving the way for future world-dominating original series.
By far the most watched Netflix Original series is last year. squid gamewhich boasts a staggering 1.6 billion hours of cumulative subscriber watch time, more than double that of runner-up Bridgerton with 656 million hours.