Netflix has grown exponentially in the last few years, and the future looks even brighter for the digital media company, as it grows its library and expands its services across the globe. But why exactly has Netflix become as big as it has. Why is the competition from other media streaming sites like Hulu, Amazon Instant Video and Yahoo Screen, not to mention cable, so far behind Netflix at the moment? Will this last or will other streaming services catch up to Netflix in subscribers, awards and critical acclaim?
Netflix’s stock price reached euphoric highs as of late and it recently had a 7 for 1 stock split. Will the success of the company continue or is this the beginning of the end for the game changing media streaming service? Here’s a look at ten reasons why Netflix is so successful so far. What do you think about Netflix and the future of this media streaming giant?
15. Original programming from outside the USA
Netflix’s original programming to date has almost exclusively been produced in the United States. After all, the United States is still the biggest producer of pop culture in the world. However, Netflix has begun making non-American original content. The Canadian cult sitcom Trailer Park Boys, is now an exclusive Netflix original and it’s available on Netflix regions outside of Canada. Ricky Gervais’ dark but heart-warming sitcom Derek, is also a Netflix original. The British show is available on Netflix in regions outside of the U.K. Netflix isn’t stopping there. It has plans to produce original content from South America as well.
14. Stand up comedy
Craig Ferguson, Aziz Ansari, Chris Tucker, Bill Burr, Chelsea Handler, Jim Jefferies, Mike Birbiglia, Chris D’Elia, Russell Peters and Ralphie May – every single one of these comedians has made a stand up special for Netflix. Some of them have even had multiple stand up specials made for Netflix. However, it doesn’t end there. Numerous other comedians have stand up specials on Netflix that aren’t Netflix originals – they may have premiered on Comedy Central or HBO or as a digital download, but now they are on Netflix.
13. Kid’s shows
When parents want to babysit their kids with TV they use Netflix. They don’t use DVDs anymore. Netflix cleverly allows users to view only children’s television shows. So, if a kid wants to watch a show, he or she won’t be subject to content that was made for adults. Netflix has also teamed up with Dreamworks Animation to create a number of original TV shows based on the popular Dreamworks Animation movies. These shows include All Hail King Julien (based on Madagascar), The Adventures of Puss and Boots (based on Shrek) and Dragons: Race to the Edge (based on How to Train Your Dragon).
12. Original documentaries
Netflix has an excellent track record with original documentaries. Netflix recently premiered the original documentary called Tig. It tells the story of the recent life struggles of critically praised Tig Notaro. Notaro was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to deal with a string of other horribly tragic events, including the death of her mother. Despite her struggles she still managed to maintain her wry sense of humor. Last year Netflix premiered the documentary Virunga, which tells the story of a national park in Africa and its conservation efforts. The documentary ended up being nominated for best documentary at the Academy Awards earlier this year.
11. Excellent work environment
Netflix has made working for the company a dream. Its employees are treated like kings and are extremely lucky to have benefits that only a few other leading companies have implemented. Netflix employees get unlimited vacation, they can make expenses without manager approval and they don’t have yearly performance reviews. They also have incredibly high salaries. Netflix has become a leading company in Silicon Valley by being innovative, and that includes how its employees are treated. Netflix would not have found such success if its employees weren’t innovative as well.
10. Original dramas
Netflix proved it can stand right alongside AMC and HBO when it debuted House of Cards. The critically acclaimed, dark political satire caught the attention of viewers thanks to its villainous lead and sharp story telling. Numerous critics and fans alike have praised Kevin Spacey’s sinister portrayal of U.S. politician Frank Underwood. Spacey has even received multiple Emmy Award nominations for best actor in a dramatic role, and he’s up for the best actor statue at the Emmys again this year. Is this finally his year?
Another high-profile drama that has seen critical praise and a rapidly growing fan-base is Marvel’s Daredevil. Even though it was snubbed at the Emmys this year, Daredevil is another drama that has proven to be extremely successful for Netflix. That trend looks likely to continue in season two, as the superhero show is already getting a lot of buzz thanks to the addition of Jon Bernthal as the Punisher.
9. Original comedies
Orange is the New Black is the other one of the big three Netflix shows alongside House of Cards and Daredevil. Even though it is in the best drama category at this year’s Emmys because of the new submission rules, it is still undoubtedly a comedy. Orange is the New Black isn’t the only comedy gem in Netflix’s stable. The animated sitcom Bojack Horseman starring Will Arnett and Alison Brie, just came back for a second season.
Netflix also has a Wet Hot American Summer TV show based on the cult classic movie starring Paul Rudd, David Hyde Pierce, Molly Shannon and Amy Poehler. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which is made by Tina Fey and stars Ellie Kemper has received universal acclaim and is even an Emmy nominee for best comedy this year. Grace and Frankie, which was co-created by Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman, has also received a lot of acclaim since its debut on Netflix earlier this year, and Lilly Tomlin was nominated for best actress in a comedy at this years Emmy awards.
8. High profile classic shows
Netflix paid a ton of money to get the streaming rights to Friends, and it’s moves like this that has allowed the streaming service to retain and gain subscribers. Other high profile classic shows like MASH, Cheers, the Office and the Wonder Years are also on Netflix.
While Netflix doesn’t have Seinfeld or the Simpsons, it does still have enough classic and critically acclaimed shows to keep people interested. It is rumored that Netflix paid as much as $500,000 per episode for the streaming rights to Friends, but the Seinfeld price tag of $1 million per episode proved too much for Netflix.
7. Giving cancelled TV shows new homes
If a beloved cult show gets cancelled, it doesn’t always mean that’s the end for it. It can sometimes find a new home on DVD or on another TV network. Today, that show may even find new life on a streaming service like Netflix.
Arrested Development came back for an all-new season on Netflix after Fox canceled it, and there is another new season of Arrested Development in the works. AMC’s the Killing also came back for an additional season on Netflix after it was cancelled.
6. Available in many markets around the globe
Netflix is available in North America, South America and a number of countries in Europe. It recently debuted in Australia and it’s also expected to debut in Asian territories like Japan and China in the near future.
The streaming service has proven to be the leading media streaming service in nearly every market it has debuted in, and it’s only a matter of time before it conquers every major market around the globe by offering content that captures the interest of the viewers.
At just $7.99 USD per month, Netflix has been a very good deal for a very long time. Netflix has surprisingly managed to keep the monthly subscriptions cost of the service very low and it has barely gone up in price since it launched.
However, it seems that inflation and the cost of adding more original content means that a price increase in the future is not only a necessity, but also an eventuality. There has been talk of a gradual price increase in the service recently. We will have to wait and see if the higher cost will make subscribers jump ship.
4. Big stars
Being a big Hollywood star doesn’t mean as much as it used to anymore, and with the changing media landscapes, Hollywood a-listers are looking for other outlets to showcase their talents and latest films. That’s why Netflix signed exclusive deals with both Brad Pitt and Adam Sandler.
Adam Sandler will produce a number of original comedies that will debut on Netflix, including the first title The Ridiculous Six. Brad Pitt also made a similar deal with Netflix where he will star in movies that will debut on Netflix instead of in theaters. Pitt will star in the film based on The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan, and Netflix reportedly paid $60 million for the film.
Netflix is king because of the selection of programming it offers, and it’s way ahead of Hulu and Amazon Prime when it comes to the variety of its original content. Netflix has TV shows and movies of just about every genre you could think of from around the world, and sometimes there’s so much it seems daunting choosing what to watch.
This is perhaps the number one reason why so many people are ditching cable and their DVD collections altogether, and signing up for Netflix in droves. Netflix cleverly breaks down its content into genres when you are browsing for something to watch, and it’s certainly possible to spend hours just browsing.
Netflix was ahead of the game even before media streaming became commonplace and a more popular option than DVDs and going the movie theater. Since its inception, Netflix has offered a DVD service in the United States, and it still does to this day.
If something isn’t available to stream it can still be watched on a DVD that can be mailed to a U.S. subscriber’s home. Netflix has also recently implemented 4k streaming. Who knows what other innovative features will be implemented in the future?
Netflix has had a massive presence at the Emmy awards for a number of years, and while it hasn’t won tons of awards yet, perhaps this year it might be different. Netflix has 34 Emmy nominations this year including best TV show nominations for House of Cards, Orange is the New Black and Unbreakable Kimmy Schimdt.
Kevin Spacey once again is a best actor in a drama nominee, and Jon Hamm was nominated for best guest actor in a comedy for his role on Unbreakable Kimmy Schimdt. Wouldn’t it be awesome if Hamm finally won the Emmy he deserves?
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