The Crazy Numbers Behind Netflix's 20 Years of Success
It’s been an exciting few years for Netflix. On Aug. 29, 2017, it celebrated 20 years since its founding. And April 14, 2008 saw another milestone -- two decades since it officially opened for business.
As the company grew, onetime competitors in the space -- Blockbuster (RIP), Redbox and even Walmart -- faded from view. Mobile devices became more powerful, better equipping viewers to watch anywhere.
The company started with a little more than 900 movie titles and has evolved since into a algorithm-driven powerhouse with more than 70,000 different “microgenres,” from international rom-coms to dramas with strong female leads.
By 2007, the company had launched its streaming video service, which allowed it to expand beyond its initial premise of DVD rentals by mail, charting the path for its current pop cultural dominance, even putting tech behemoths including Amazon on notice.Related: 12 Documentaries on Netflix That Will Make You Smarter About Business
In 2017, Netflix brought in more than $11 billion in revenue and had its first full year of turning a profit in international markets. Back in the states, the company now has 125 million subscribers.
Netflix isn’t just profiting monetarily, but creatively, particularly in the world of TV. In recent months, prolific showrunners Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy were brought into the fold with a $100 million four-year and a $300 million five-year deal respectively.
The streaming service also has some big expectations for 2018. Netflix plans to spend between $7 billion and $8 billion on content -- a $1 billion to $2 billion increase from 2017 -- and is planning to release 80 original films, leaping ahead of movie studio competitors like Sony and Disney.
On its 20th anniversary, here’s a look at Netflix by the numbers.
A strange thing
Netflix has 125 million subscribers around the world.
A growing library
The service is available in 21 languages.
That's a lot of data
Netflix made up nearly 37 percent of all internet traffic in North America in 2015.
It is currently available to users in 190 countries. At the start of 2016, the company added 130 to the 60 it was already serving.
Got to spend money to make money
As of last year, the company reportedly spends $6 billion a year on developing new series.
Netflix launched its second original series, an American remake of the British political thriller House of Cards, in 2013. It's first attempt at original content was 2012 series called Lilyhammer. It starred Steven Van Zandt as an American mobster hiding out in Norway and didn't get quite as much fanfare as the D.C.-based drama.
In 2012, Netflix offered only four pieces of original content, but by 2016, it offered 126 different original series and films. In 2017, the company expects to make more than 1,000 hours of original programming, compared to more than 600 hours in 2016.
In 2013, the company won three primetime Emmy's and became the first internet network to be nominated for the award. Since 2013 it has been nominated for the award 133 times.
Fit for royalty
You know what, never mind
Back from the dead
The number of original series (including some holdovers from old networks such as Longmire and the Killing) that Netflix has actually cancelled. But even Netflix can be persuaded. Lana and Lily Wachowski's sci-fi series Sense8 was cancelled after two seasons, but after a fan campaign, The Matrix directors are making a wrap-up film in lieu of a third season.
Still going strong
The year CEO and co-founder Reed Hastings founded his first company, Pure Software. In 1997, the company was acquired by Rational Software and left the business soon after, leading the way to start Netflix.
Come a long way
The One to Beat
For each of the past 17 years, HBO was the network with the most Emmy nominations, but this year, the channel’s reign came to an end when Netflix took the top spot. This year, Netflix received 112 nominations and HBO got 108. Netflix series GLOW and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt are on the best comedy list, and The Crown and Stranger Things are in contention to win for best drama. Other notable nominations include the first episode of the most recent season of Black Mirror, “USS Callister,” which got recognized for best TV movie and the buzzy reboot of Queer Eye got nominated for Best Structured Reality Series.