The movie-going experience has always been a big event, even now when a lot of movies are being viewed at home. Gone are the days of renting a movie from a store and returning it before the late fee kicks in. Before Netflix, however, streaming services were practically nonexistent and especially not nearly as innovative and creative as they are now.
Although Netflix launched all the way back in 1997, how it evolved and changed over the years proved to be vital for this new day and age. Ten years later, the company introduced streaming video services to what were once strictly mail-in DVD rentals. Throughout the years, it discovered some creative means to keep subscribers coming. As technology and customers grew, however, Netflix soon found out that they had to do the same.
Let’s dive into how Netflix has disrupted not just the movie industry but streaming as a whole in some clever and inventive ways.
Movies at Home: Store and Mail-In Rentals
Before Netflix, you may recall a time that you had to make a trip to a brick-and-mortar store for your movie rentals. Blockbuster ruled supreme until, eventually, Redbox took over. At the time, Netflix even offered mail-in rentals of DVDs, offering a wide selection to choose from on their website, which most stores didn’t always have.
However, even this innovation had its roadblocks, as the mail-in option generally took a few days to arrive, and late fees were still a common issue. People wanted to get their money’s worth, so Netflix had to solve that problem for itself and its customers.
So, how could Netflix keep those customers loyal and provide the instant gratification they sought? By switching to streaming, of course. Though they still had DVD rentals available on the site, Netflix started offering on-demand video thanks to the tech finally catching up with its ingenious idea.
Before 2007, bandwidth for streaming wasn’t quite up to speed but, eventually, Netflix found the right time to capitalize on this momentum. Thus, the most innovative entertainment streaming service was born.
How Streaming Changed the Game
At first, Netflix offered unlimited streaming to their mail-in subscribers at no additional monthly cost. They could receive their usual DVD rentals through the mail while also streaming the available titles on Netflix’s website. In May 2011, Netflix became the largest source of internet streaming traffic in North America.
With this amount of subscriptions, Netflix decided to pivot its platform and focus on a bigger expansion. By July 2011, the company divided its service into two subscriptions: one for mail-ins and one for streaming.
Since then, Netflix has expanded beyond the United States, becoming a more global presence. It even has selections and titles specific to these countries, giving a more unique experience to customers all over. Now, Netflix is available worldwide with over 221 million subscribers from around the globe. It has even secured deals with major studios for original content and has won prestigious awards for its series and movies as well.
Streaming Services Takeover
As Louis Armstrong once said, “A lotta cats copy the Mona Lisa, but people still line up to see the original.” Ever since Netflix changed the entertainment industry, many other companies and brands have created their own streaming service.
This level of competition has given way to many other original series and movies. Even within the past few years, some services have also offered same-day streaming as the theater release. Could this be the next step in the movie experience?
These “copycats” took what Netflix started and built their own platforms. Though Netflix paved the way, it hasn’t been left in the dust and still has a loyal subscriber base thanks to its production of original content, cutting-edge features, and exclusive titles.
Though the phrase “Be kind, rewind” is no longer in our vernacular, Netflix has created a new standard for movie-watching and how we consume content. The company asked itself, “What can we do to ensure customers are able to watch the movies they want in the easiest and most convenient way possible?” Not only did they solve this problem, but they’ve anticipated customer needs along the way since.
In summary, Netflix answered the call for on-demand movies by providing their streaming service, which has now expanded to original content and many more streaming platforms in its wake. This has made the industry evolve in groundbreaking ways ever since.
Are you ready to develop your own disruptive strategy that will shake up your industry? Schedule a consultation with Mavericks Marketing today!