The internet has changed our society in more ways than we can count.
Some of its most noticeable influences have taken place in the world of multimedia and entertainment. At the forefront of this ever changing landscape is Netflix. A California based company that changed the movie industry.
The company was founded in 1997 by Marc Randolph, red Hastings and Mitch Lowe. The initial concept of the firm was to provide an internet based version of the traditional DVD rental business. There were however a few key differences, they offered clients a flat fee for an unlimited amount of titles without any of the hassle created by due dates, late fee or shipping fees.
The result was extraordinary, capitalizing on the spread of DVD players in almost all the homes throughout the US, they experienced tremendous growth. By 2002 they were ready to initiate an IPO. Though the company went through financial turmoil it continued to grow, by 2005 it was shipping out approximately 1 million DVDs every day.
However the most significant advancement came about in recent years with the advent of online streaming movies. The rise of high speed internet allows individuals to watch movies simply at the click of a button.
According to a report by Sandvine, a networking equipment company, Netflix accounted for 33 per cent of all North American traffic. It represents the future of movie rentals. Customers pay a flat subscription fee and have virtually unlimited access to high quality digital media.
They provide an impressive collection of all the latest titles currently airing, ranging from blockbusters, to documentaries, even cartoons.
Netflix have even gone a step further by integrating their software with actual devices. For example the brand new Nintendo Wii U game console has direct access to Netflix, allowing owners to browse and select movies directly from one central hub.
This function has also extended to all devices that run on the Android operating system. All Apple products are capable of supporting this function as well.
With the unprecedented popularity of this service Netflix has considered separating its DVD order business from the online streaming business entirely; creating two autonomous entities.
Netflix are proud to boast one of the most advanced movie recommendation softwares in the world. So much so in fact that they were willing to offer 1,000,000 US dollars to anyone who could create a better software. This underlies the dedication the firm has to providing the best service possible. It could very well be that this online streaming technology is the gateway to the future of multimedia entertainment. Text by Patrick Dante