Netflix - Streaming media on your TV, smartphone, and enabled devices

Netflix is a U.S. based (headquartered in Los Gatos, California) video on demand streaming service, established in 1997, which provides content on a subscription basis to subscribers all across the world. Netflix currently serves countries in North and South America, and other countries which include: the U.K., the Caribbean, Sweden, Ireland, Norway, Finalnd, and Denmark. Netflix also rents and mails DVDs by mail in the U.S. which was their premier service that was once combined with their now separate streaming service.

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In the middle of March in 2013, Netflix boasted roughly 33 millions subscribers, a number that increased to about 36.3 million just a month later. They have surpassed the subscribership of HBO.

Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix and Marc Randolph founded the company in 1997. Hastings invested a reported $2.5 million in start up cash for Netflix. He was the owner of Pure Software which he sold for a sum of $700 million. It was the $40 that Hastings was charged in late fees for the movie Apollo 13 that gave him the initial idea for Netflix.

The Netflix web site was launched on April 14th in 1998, having only 30 employees and 925 titles available for "rent by mail" at launch. The monthly subscription model was introduced in Spetember of 1999. In early 2000 they ceased the single-rental model completely. They quickly built a reputation for offering flat-fee unlimited rentals without late fees.

By 2005 the company expanded to offering 35,000 different DVD titles, shipping out as many as 1 million each and every day.

The Netflix streaming service soon followed and on September 18th, 2011 Netflix announced a separation of the two services. A year before the service separation, Netflix expanded the stream-only portion of its business to Canadians, which was the first expansion outside of the U.S. market.

Netflix streaming video-on-demand service

With the Netflix DVD by mail service only available in the United States, and dying a slow death, the streaming service is where all the attention is these days. The Netflix movie and TV show subscription streaming service is available for less than $10 per month and to several countries across the globe.

Netflix, it has been reported, contributes to about 33% of all U.S. Internet traffic during peak times. Videos are streamed from the Netflix servers to users that hold monthly subscriptions. Streams are done to computers, handheld devices, boxes that sit between the Internet and the TV, and direct to a TV in some cases.
Shows can be paused and restarted at will. The spot in which a viewer has stopped watching is remembered and the content can be restarted from that precise location. It can even be restarted on another device that holds the same Netflix subscription.

Apps are created and used on various platforms including set-top-boxes (like the Roku 3), SMART TVs (like the Samsung line of TV sets), video game consoles (like the Wii, Ouya, PlayStation, and Xbox), and smartphones (like Android and iOS devices). Computers playback the Netflix content via a browser that use the Microsoft Silverlight plugin. Future plans are to eliminate the dependency for the Silverlight plugin and use more standardized technology like HTML5.

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