by Luke Graeme

A wide range of comedy TV shows, horror films, action movies, and more have captured the attention of a rapidly growing subscriber base.

The ability of Netflix to accurately gauge the rapid evolution of the marketplace allowed them to enter the streaming market before competitors had secured a foothold. In 1997, Netflix was in the business of providing DVDs via mail. The strategy that they employed to reach a position of market dominance was at its core, simplicity itself. The company quickly began to buy up licenses for the exclusive right to stream older TV shows and products of the silver screen. Studios were only too happy to accommodate them in this quest for quality content. This decision would be a decision that would come back to haunt them as Netflix became an ever more dominant force in the rapidly evolving streaming content arena.

Leveraging their consumer base and allowing consumers the choice of older content was to prove a masterstroke. The DVD rental business was a fading market – and when Netflix launched their streaming content, they had already gauged consumer appetite for quality content – and they were ready to revolutionise the provision of that content. Netflix judged its entry into the fledgling market to perfection. It was at this time that LCD TVs were also starting to dominate the imagination of worldwide consumers. As consumers were looking for cheaper ways to watch content without going to cinemas, a more cost-effective way to watch engaging high-quality content was through Netflix. As the years went by, Netflix also started to put more effort into Netflix Originals content for their subscriber audience. They committed themselves to providing great programming with excellent production values, with big names taking leading roles.

With more and more TV shows being made available to watch on the platform, many subscribers began to ‘binge-watch’ content. Viewers no longer had to wait to watch episodes of their favourite shows as entire seasons were made available to watch episode after episode on Netflix. Today, programming such as Brooklyn Nine-Nine, You and the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina have drawn audiences into binge-watching on the popular streaming platform. Interesting characters, incredible action, and clever storylines are just a few factors that help create an entertaining show to binge-watch. Many new TV shows have also drawn in viewers with creative soundtracks, such as the wide variety of songs featured in the new Netflix series Russian Doll.

Netflix quickly leveraged the popularity of hits such as Orange is the New Black and positioned Netflix into what today is the most influential streaming service – and one that remains committed to the provision of high-quality programming. Some of these series were possibly a gamble on the part of Netflix. Stranger Things for instance is a clever concept and has captured the imagination of a diverse demographic. The science fiction/horror stories revolving around the adventures (and misadventures) of a diverse group of friends combines the nostalgia for a simpler time with clever storytelling and leverages big names in entertainment such as Winona Ryder, Natalia Dye and Paul Reiser (among many others). The charm and childlike innocence of the stars combined with some chilling stories has made the series into a runaway success. Recently, both Orange Is The New Black and Stranger Things were also picked by subscribers as the top two favourite shows to watch on Netflix.

As one of the most popular subscription-based streaming services, Netflix continues to provide viewers with a heady mix of crime, science fiction, suspense and other niche offerings – there simply is something for everyone. The company is now positioned as a legitimate provider of feature-length productions as well and its homegrown offerings that have seen it grow from strength to strength and attract more and better respected acting talent. Netflix, at least at this point is now a powerful force that goes head to head with major motion picture studios. The quality of its series (and big-budget values when it comes to producing full-length movies) plus the declining numbers of theatergoers may spell trouble for those once mighty studios.


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