Netflix is one of the most successful tech companies in history, signing up more than 209 million members worldwide and growing their revenue by an astounding percentage every year. That’s because Netflix managed to perfect a good old-fashioned recipe for success: a high-quality product at an affordable price.
This post examines how Netflix did it and what lessons other tech companies can learn from their meteoric rise. We also look at how Netflix could grow even further because if there’s one particular thing, it’s that the streaming giant isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Netflix’s Vision Is To Give Everyone The Opportunity To Watch What They Want
Netflix was founded in 1997 by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph to build a business around renting out DVDs. However, this all changed when they received a DVD of the movie “Superbad,” which they watched and enjoyed so much that they decided to offer it as an unlimited selection on their website. With this move, Netflix officially became a streaming company. Their vision was to give every member access to whatever movies, TV shows, and documentaries they wanted.
Netflix’s early growth was impressive, but it took the company a long time to gain traction. They offered two streaming services at first: an unlimited selection for $9.99 per month, available only to residents of the U.S., and a less-expensive option with content restricted to North America for $7.99 per month. Then, in 2000, Netflix introduced a third option: DVDs-by-mail for a monthly price of $4.99. However, the DVD service reimbursed only 90% of rental costs because it was less expensive for Netflix to acquire DVDs than to license streaming content.
In 2004, Netflix made significant strides when it expanded internationally and achieved a 90% adoption rate in the U.S. However, even with their growing user base, they were still having trouble turning a profit. By 2007, the company had accumulated $1 billion in debt and had not met its quarterly targets in 18 months. The pressure was on for Netflix to make more money while keeping costs low, but Hastings had big plans for the company’s future.
Netflix’s Secret Sauce Was A Class-A Customer Support Team
When Netflix needed to develop a reliable way to deliver streaming content that was fast, affordable, and easy to use, they turned back to their successful DVD service. They called it “streaming by mail” and launched it in 2007 for $9.99 per month. This time around, Netflix hit their profitability targets—but because the DVD service covered only 80% of its costs, they still weren’t profitable.
This all changed in 2010 when Netflix announced that they were splitting their services into a streaming service and a DVD-by-mail service. They raised the price of their DVD plan to $7.99 per month and made their streaming plan $7.99 per month as well—but for this price, members could access an unlimited number of movies and TV shows and didn’t have to return DVDs in the mail.
Netflix’s vast success was partially due to its outstanding customer support team, which resolved customer complaints quickly and provided individualized solutions. The best part is that the team only handled member issues related to Netflix (and not third-party devices or Internet service). That way, Netflix could guarantee a fast resolution.
Netflix’s streaming service was so successful that it began to affect the DVD business. In 2011, after Netflix announced they would remove their movie catalog from Blockbuster stores, Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy. By 2012, Netflix had quadrupled its revenue and had surpassed HBO as the most popular subscription service in America.
In 2013, Netflix achieved international expansion. The company also introduced two new features: a new streaming plan specifically designed for families and a feature that allowed members to play content on multiple devices simultaneously. It was a key victory for Netflix as they expanded into new markets and achieved a more extensive user base on a global scale.
Netflix Is An Expensive Business To Run
For Netflix to grow as rapidly as it has, it has had to keep its costs low. In 2007, Netflix was burning through $250 million per year, and they kept running on credit cards. In 2011, the company had annual revenue of around $1 billion but was still losing money at a rate of about $50 million per quarter. So to avoid going under, the company decided to begin charging some users by the hour.
By 2016, the company had grown to $11 billion in revenue and had accumulated $3.2 billion in losses. Under pressure from its investors, the company announced plans to eventually charge more money for its services and expand into new markets. At the same time, Netflix’s management team looked closely at what other companies were doing and what they were doing well. As a result, the streaming service offered original content pieces, such as “House of Cards,” which has been hugely successful.
Netflix also became one of the first companies to embrace original content because it could attract viewers by offering something unique compared to other streaming services. As a result, the company has become known for its high-quality original series (and movies). By 2017, Netflix had an estimated subscriber base of 140 million worldwide.
Though Netflix is looking ahead to the future with confidence, there are some challenges that it will have to overcome. One of the biggest challenges is the competition from streaming services like Amazon Prime, HBO Now, and Hulu. In addition, Netflix has an arsenal of unique content that viewers can’t access elsewhere. Companies creating their original content or licensing exclusive content, including Disney and Apple, the company also faces competition.
The increased competition means that Netflix will have to up its game to attract new customers. The company has always focused on offering more opportunities for customer engagement, developing solid relationships with viewers, and providing high-quality content at affordable prices. Investors responded positively to this brand strategy.
Netflix is also facing mounting pressure from a significant segment of its user base: the elderly. A growing number of senior citizens are using the service, but they need extra help using it. In addition, many of these people are unfamiliar with technology or are hesitant to invest in new technology because it may be obsolete sooner than expected. This has led Netflix to develop specialized features and additional features to make using its service easier for this population segment.
This is a massive challenge for Netflix, but it’s one that they are willing to take on. Of course, Netflix has plenty of other challenges on the table, but this issue is being taken seriously. Netflix executives have acknowledged that more senior citizens are using their service than younger subscribers, so they are doing everything possible to make sure everyone knows how easy it is to use their services.
Netflix’s Future Looks Bright
Netflix has always focused on serving customers by offering better products and greater customer satisfaction. Their primary goal is to create a positive user experience for their users, and they have done an excellent job of keeping their customers coming back for more.
The company continues to invest in its future and recently announced that it will be creating an entirely new service aimed at children and families. The company has also started rolling out exclusive content pieces, such as “Shimmer Lake,” and other original content for international markets. As the company continues to expand its reach, we should expect even more changes in the years ahead.
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