Dr. Marilyn Yaquinto
COMM 250 - Mass Communication
Technology is constantly changing today and it can be very difficult to keep up. New innovations are introduced at an alarming rate and companies always have to try to outperform other companies with the latest products. The online streaming industry is a young and extremely promising industry. Online streaming is widely popular around the world and the number of users has grown at an exponential rate over the last few years. Companies in this industry have had to work fast to establish themselves among competitors in order to gain the largest amount of users. In this young industry that has evolved a significant amount in recent years, one company in particular stands out among the rest.
Streaming technology began in 1995 when Real Networks broadcasted a baseball game between the Seattle Mariners and the New York Yankees over the Internet. Real Networks went on to launch the first streaming video technology in 1997. By 2000, more than 85% of streaming content on the Internet was in Real format. Real Networks’ success did not last long, however, as Microsoft entered the industry and took over by storm with its Windows Media Player in the early 2000s. Online streaming continued to improve when Adobe introduced its Flash technology in 2005. Flash reigned over the industry for several years and fended off competitors such as Microsoft’s Silverlight. Apple emerged in 2010 and presented a completely new technology called HTML5 Video. Though it will not reach the success Adobe’s Flash achieved, it could obtain a significant amount of users that prefer Apple in years to come (Ozer). Netflix is one specific company that falls under the online streaming umbrella and has seen massive amounts of success.
Netflix began in 1997 when Reed Hastings along with his fellow software executive, Marc Randolph, co-found the company to offer online movie rentals. Netflix did not offer its subscription service until 1999 when it offered unlimited rentals for one low monthly subscription. Netflix launched its personalized movie recommendation system that uses Netflix members’ ratings to accurately predict choices for all of its members in 2000. Netflix went public on May 22, 2002 when it made an initial public offering of 5,500,000 shares at $15 per share. The company had 600,000 users at the time. Netflix grew exponentially and enjoyed widespread success as it ended 2005 with 4.2 million members. Netflix continued to gain popularity when it introduced the Netflix Prize which promised $1 million to the first person or team who could achieve certain accuracy goals in recommending movies based on personal preferences. One hundred million anonymous movie ratings were released with ratings ranging from one to five stars, the largest such data set ever released. “BellKor’s Pragmatic Chaos”, a team of seven researchers from four countries won the prize in 2009. Online streaming was finally introduced in 2007 which allowed members to instantly watch their favorite movies and television shows right from their personal computers. In 2008, Netflix made partnerships with companies to stream through their products such as the Xbox 360, Blu-ray disc players, TV set-top boxes, and the Apple Macintosh computer. Netflix ended the same year with 9.4 million members. In 2010, Netflix was made available on the Apple iPad, iPhone, Nintendo Wii, and other Internet connected devices. Over the next few years, Netflix went global with launchings in Canada, Latin America, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, and Ireland and was able to surpass 30 million members globally. Netflix won its first Primetime Emmy Engineering Award in October 2012 and released its second original series, House of Cards, in February 2013. The show won three Primetime Emmy Awards in September 2013. Netflix now has over 40 million members globally (Netflix).
Netflix is the