Outlining 20 years of Netflix with fun trivia

31 . Aug . 2017
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Twenty years ago on August 29 1997, Reed Hastings and co-founder Marc Randolph launched Kibble – a DVD rental service by mail. Why does this hold importance? Because, we now know Kibble as Netflix; and the company currently has 104 million subscribers worldwide. Being digital content users, we can’t really survive without it.

As the company celebrates 20 years of inception, here are 20 interesting facts about Netflix.

  1. In 2000, Netflix offered itself up for acquisition to its competitor Blockbuster, brick-and-mortar video rental store, for $50 million which it declined. Eventually, Netflix helped spell the end for stores like Blockbuster.
  2. ‘House Of Cards’ – Netflix’s first notable entry into original content – also earned the streaming giant its first Emmy and Golden Globe award.
  3. Netflix’s streaming service is available worldwide. And it recently announced its first Chinese language original series from Taiwan. Titled Bardo, the eight episode supernatural jailbreak thriller will be directed by Taiwan-based director Sam Qua.
  4. While many believe that Netflix (Kibble) started after Reed Hastings had to forcibly pay $40 in fines for returning the film, Apollo 13 late; its co-founder and former CEO Marc Randolph has revealed that this story gave a sexy explanation for how Netflix worked and hence, made up.
  5. The first Netflix original series was a Norwegian-American show called Lillyhammer and was viewed by 998,000 Norwegians.
  6. The movie, “Napoleon Dynamite” was cited by Netflix as being the hardest film to recommend based on the audiences’ previous likes and dislikes. Other titles in the league include “I Heart Huckabees,” “Lost in Translation,” “Fahrenheit 9/11,” “The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou,” “Kill Bill: Volume 1” and “Sideways.”
  7. The reason all videos are subtitled on Netflix is because USA’s National Association for the Deaf filed a class-action lawsuit against them in 2011.
  8. Example Show was the first video content ever put on Netflix. It was a test film created to inspect standard film frames, shot entirely on the company’s campus in Los Gatos, California.
  9. Netflix has over 76,000 categories, including “Cool Moustaches,” “Imaginative Time Travel Movies from the 1980s,” and “Mind-bending Romantic Foreign Movies”. These also include the special categories like April Fool’s Day “Movies That Are English But Still Require Subtitles”.
  10. The most watched show on Netflix is ‘Breaking Bad’.
  11. Netflix spends more than $150 million on its recommendation system every year, which helps discover its shows – 80% to be precise. This system was started in 2000.
  12. In USA, the streaming giant is the single largest contributor to internet traffic – contributing 33% during primetime.
  13. Continuing the tradition of offering new content co-founder Marc decided to offer footage of President Bill Clinton’s Grand Jury testimony about his involvement with Monica Lewinsky. But instead of that, customers got hardcore Chinese pornography discs.
  14. While Netflix content is legal, it keeps a tab on illegal downloads through pirate sites to keep a tab on ‘what works’ with the audiences. This strategy is mainly used for the European markets.
  15. Netflix used available data to gauge the success of House of Cards – the British version of House of Cards, Kevin Spacey films and David Fincher directed movies were all well-watched.
  16. Netflix hosts Hack Day which includes includes hacks designed by the employees to improve the product and internal efficiency. The event majorly involves employees interacting and brainstorming in a casual setup.
  17. Netflix spent $5 billion creating its own shows last year, and has committed another $6 billion in 2017.
  18. More than 47% of Netflix subscribers live outside USA.
  19. Netflix’s tie-up with Marvel marked an increase in Asian subscribers; Jessica Jones and Luke Cage are the amongst the most popular Marvel superhero series on the streaming service.
  20. Netflix had started with its own awards — The Flixies. The awards were fan-based with seven quirky categories highlighting the habits of Netflix viewers, but were discontinued.