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News and Trends > Netflix

Netflix by the Numbers

A well-timed pivot led the way to monetary success and critical acclaim.
Chris Ratcliffe | Getty Images

2017 marked a big milestone for Netflix. On Aug. 29, 2017, the media company celebrated its 20th birthday. Ten years prior, the company 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.

As the business evolved, its onetime competitors in the space -- Blockbuster (RIP), Redbox and even Wal-Mart -- faded from view. Mobile devices became more powerful, better equipping viewers to watch anywhere. Netflix’s popularity put tech behemoths such as Amazon on notice.

Related: 12 Documentaries on Netflix That Will Make You Smarter About Business

The video service started 2017 with some good news. It nabbed a big name in Jerry Seinfeld. The comedian's Emmy-nominated series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee will get 24 new episodes, which will drop later this year. And viewers can also expect two stand up specials from Seinfeld as part of the new deal.

The streaming service also has some big expectations for 2018. Netflix plans to spend between $7 billion and $8 billion on content, which is a $1 billion to $2 billion increase from this year.

By the end of 2017, the company was up to more than 117 million subscribers and had its first full year of turning a profit in international markets. Back in the states, the company now has subscribers in more than half of all US households with broadband access. 

Here’s a look at Netflix by the numbers.

Netflix by the Numbers

1. A strange thing

Reed Hastings wore a Stranger Things themed ugly sweater during an earnings call in November 2017. You can purchase the Stranger Things sweater at Target for $32.99.

Netflix by the Numbers

2. 86 million

Netflix has more than 86 million subscribers around the world.


Netflix by the Numbers

3. International


The service is available in 21 languages.

Netflix by the Numbers

4. A growing library

The streaming service launched with roughly 1,000 films and TV series. As of this spring, Netflix has 4,563 movies and 2,445 shows in its digital library.

Netflix by the Numbers

5. That's a lot of data

Bloomberg | Getty Images

Netflix made up nearly 37 percent of all internet traffic in North America in 2015.

Netflix by the Numbers

6. Worldwide

Netflix | Twitter

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.

Netflix by the Numbers

7. Got to spend money to make money

As of last year, the company reportedly spends $6 billion a year on developing new series.

Related Video: Why Beacon Wants to Be the 'Netflix' -- and Not the 'Uber' -- for Private Aviation

Netflix by the Numbers

8. Original content

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. 

Netflix by the Numbers

9. Bingeworthy

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.

Netflix by the Numbers

10. Award winning

Gabriel Olsen | Getty Images

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.

Netflix by the Numbers

11. Fit for royalty

The Crown, Netflix's ambitious series about the life and times of Queen Elizabeth II, is reportedly the most expensive television show ever made, with a production cost of $130 million.

Netflix by the Numbers

12. Unlimited

Jin Lee | Getty Images
In 1999, the company launched the model that it became known for before the service got into the streaming game -- unlimited DVD rentals with a monthly subscription.

Netflix by the Numbers

13. Predictions

Netflix Prize
In 2009, the company awarded $1 million, as part of the first Netflix Prize, to a seven-person team who came up with an algorithm to boost the accuracy of what a viewer would like to watch based on their previous choices.

Netflix by the Numbers

14. You know what, never mind

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images
In 2011, the announcement was made that Netflix was going to split in two. The DVD rental part of the company was going to be called while streaming would remain under the Netflix banner. But after a customer uproar, the plans were scuttled.

Netflix by the Numbers

15. Back from the dead

Netflix is something of a wish-granting factory for people mourning the loss of their favorite shows. Arrested Development, Black Mirror, Degrassi, Full House, Gilmore Girls, The Killing, Longmire and Star Wars: The Clone Wars have all been resurrected on the platform.

Netflix by the Numbers

16. 9


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.

Related: Netflix's Company Culture Scares Off Some Potential Hires -- and That's a Good Thing

Netflix by the Numbers

17. Going public

Daniel Acker | Getty Images
On May 23, 2002, Netflix officially became a publicly traded company. If you invested $1,000 in the company that day, your shares would be worth more than $148,000 as of Aug. 29, 2017.

Netflix by the Numbers

18. Still going strong

Mark Sagliocco | Getty Images
As of May 2017, the company was valued at $70 billion. In July, Morgan Stanley valued the content assets alone at $11 billion.

Netflix by the Numbers

19. 1991

Rational Software

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.

Netflix by the Numbers

20. Come a long way

Akio Kon | Getty Images
In an interview with USA Today in 2006, Hastings shared that as CEO of Pure Software, he wasn't always confident of his abilities. "I tried to fire myself -- twice," he said.

Netflix by the Numbers

21. 7

Chris Ratcliffe | Getty Images
The number of boards Hastings sits on, including Microsoft and Facebook.