Customers who are not new converts to the Netflix streaming way of watching their media, have probably had their accounts for quite a while. A year, four, or perhaps even the unthinkable 17 years that Netflix has been in business. That is right, Netflix is as old as a high school senior. When teens hit the big one-eight, they typically like to kick it off with a big, dramatic statement such as a body modification or even just an out-of-control prom bash. When Netflix turns 18, its version of a tattoo will be celebrating with quite a few big, exciting developments. Netflix will be making its services available to New Zealand and Australia in 2015, as well as introducing several genius new original series.
The Netflix name has become a household item, easily used or overheard in daily conversation. The media consumers who do not have their own personal Netflix accounts, probably know someone who does. They reeled their customers in with their convenient mail-in, no due date, no late fee policies and kept them with their low monthly premium. By the time Netflix began offering the instant streaming service that is now their most profitable venture, they had already accumulated a loyal customer basis. Now that the company is producing its own successful original series with a genius strategy, Netflix is raising its prices and continuing to reel in the new subscribers.
Rainy Saturday afternoons and cold winter evenings can easily turn into movie or show binge-watching days now that spoiled humans have grown accustomed to a certain level of technology assisted comfort. Netflix is a couch potato’s best friend. Simply search, select, view and rate. Netflix analyzes the information that viewers provide and intelligently matches the data to similar items in its inventory. The recommendations that it provides improve over time, even if viewers do not rate everything that they watch. The algorithms will also track what subscribers view and search in addition to how they rate a given program.
The company’s data collection has allowed them access to the personal viewing tastes of millions of people. Netflix even knows what shows or movies subscribers are more likely to watch on their mobile devices versus their laptops. By the time that Netflix began releasing its own original creations, the company had acquired 6.7 million subscribers. That is 6.7 million people whose viewing preferences could be used as the building blocks of the perfect television shows.
For example, when a customer sets his or her account to play Orange is the New Black, Netflix has already taken into account that they have probably enjoy dark comedy, sexual humor and the occasional nude scene. They may have even enjoyed the occasional watch-fest of Weeds, That 70’s Show, Star Trek: Voyager, or American Pie. Netflix is very attentive to remembering a subscriber’s favorite actors, directors, and plot elements.
The realization that Netflix has been in business for nearly two decades is a surprising one. Netflix did not become the household brand that it is today until it began to offer instant internet streaming in 2007. Shortly thereafter, in 2011, the company briefly played with the idea of splitting its streaming services away from its mail-in service and into a separate branch that would have been called Quikster. The project was scrapped and Netflix remained a provider of multiple services while it continued to blossom into the world of production.
The 2015 line-up of Netflix original series continues to follow a similarly ingenious formula. Netflix is aware of how popular comic book related programs have become, and is teaming up with Marvel for a Daredevil series. Additionally, Netflix has a pleasing list of new and re-vamped shows for kids that includes The Magic School Bus in its future. Netflix subscribers should be sure to remember that Netflix knows how much they love Ricky Gervais the next time they tune in to watch Derek, Netflix may just be the most attentive friend that a media consumer has ever had.
By Faye Barton