Netflix has an estimated 6 million Aussie subscribers, but they share a common complaint — and they’re not alone in their complaints.
Netflix is a streaming giant, with a whopping 221.6 million subscribers worldwide and an estimated worth of $176 billion.
But the 6 million Aussie subscribers share a common complaint: the lack of titles offered Down Under compared to overseas.
For example, US users have a much larger selection of titles to choose from, with over 5,500 titles available in America as opposed to our meager 601.
But Aussies aren’t the only ones with this complaint — it’s a universal, with enforcement of copyright and royalty laws, as well as geographic licensing restrictions that vary by country, meaning everyone gets something different.
Netflix’s humble origins
This August marks Netflix’s 25th anniversary.
However, as is usually the case, read Netflix’s origins and how it gained fame as a high-budget Hollywood-funded blockbuster.
After all, you don’t break the mold of the entire film tradition without pissing off a few people along the way.
Here are the SparkNotes of their story from a quarter of a century before a Netflix Original is inevitably made to airbrush the story.
According to legend, co-founder (and by all accounts, terrifying boss) Reed Hastings came up with the idea of Netflix after paying a $40 fine for returning a copy of Apollo 13 late to his local video store.
Of course, there are different stories about the original story, with co-founder and former CEO Marc Randolph telling the much less sexy but more believable story that the seeds of the idea that Netflix would become Netflix were first sown on a series of carpools to and from Silicon. Valley, where Randolph’s company Atria merged with Hasting’s first company Pure Software.
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After much deliberation and planning, the pair officially launched Netflix as a DVD rental company in 1998, with 30 employees and 925 titles to choose from.
Amazon owner Jeff Bezos quickly developed a cult following, trying to acquire the company in 1999 for a low bid of $14-16 million.
Randolph and Hastings later attempted to sell the company to Blockbuster in 2000 in the wake of the dotcom crash.
The pair were promptly laughed out of the room during a meeting with their $50 million asking price that has since descended into an entrepreneurial legend†
Netflix would go public 24 months later, selling 0.55 million shares of common stock for $15.
Blockbuster, meanwhile, would file for bankruptcy in 2011.
Streaming, Netflix Originals and Global Dominance
In 2007, Netflix began offering subscribers the ability to stream some of its movies and television shows directly to their homes over the Internet.
It was the foundation for what would become the norm around the world, with the company abandoning physical DVDs altogether by 2010.
By 2011, the company had expanded into Latin America and Canada, and by 2016 it was essentially a global giant.
As the Netflix web expanded further abroad, the prospect of in-house original content quickly changed from an imaginative idea to an inevitable prospect.
The first title to premiere exclusively on the service (in the US) was the Norwegian-American crime drama Lilyhammer, which first aired on January 25, 2012.
However, the show was simulcast on the Norwegian channel NRK1, which in the eyes of many disqualified it as a genuine Netflix Original.
Cinematic canon instead contains political drama House of cards as the true Netflix Original debut, with the show’s “cinematic TV” formula proving to be a huge success, paving the way for future world-dominant Original series.
By far the most-watched Netflix Original series is last year Squid Gamewhich boasts a breathtaking 1.6 billion hours of combined subscriber viewing time, more than doubling the number of second-placed Bridgerton at 656 million hours.
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