Netflix is an American entertainment company specializing in online on-demand streaming video, as well as a DVD-by-mail service in the U.S. Founded in Los Gatos, California in 1997, Netflix began its current subscription model in 1999. Now the company has over 75 million subscribers in 190 countries. Most of the platform's available TV shows, movies, performances, and documentaries are licensed from distribution partners. But in 2011, Netflix began beefing up its original content, investing in its own original series like Orange Is the New Black
and political drama House of Cards
, as well as acquiring the rights to shows like Lilyhammer
and the fourth season of Arrested Development
. Having established itself as a purveyor of addictive, high-caliber TV shows , Netflix has recently ramped up its game with a steady onslaught of new, original shows and movies--for example, Aziz Ansari's Master of None
and Marvel's Jessica Jones
to Grace and Frankie
with Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda. The company's movie output, which began last year with the film festival darling Beasts of No Nation
and Adam Sandler's Ridiculous Six
, is also accelerating with films from Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie-Pitt, and Christopher Guest. Unlike traditional broadcasters, Netflix's goal isn't to appeal to as broad an audience as possible, but to cater to niches and effectively give every slice of the population a show or movie they can't live without. The strategy seems to be working. As the company has expanded into 190 countries, its subscriber numbers have steadily grown to over 75 million, and its stock has risen 500% over the last five years. In 2016, Netflix's barrage of new content will increase to 600 hours of planned programming--or more than one new show or movie a week. 2016 is a real test for whether audiences are as hungry for longer-form entertainment as they are for TV shows in their living rooms, and whether they can keep up with Netflix's pace.
The company's competitive advantage in 2016:
Netflix has expanded globally at breakneck speed and now operates in 190 countries. Its total content budget for 2016 is $5 billion.
The biggest challenges standing in this company's way in 2016:
Overcoming obstacles like broadband speed in territories like India, as well as getting studios comfortable with licensing content on a global basis.
What to look out for:
High-profile film debuts, such as Brad Pitt's political satire War Machine and Paul Reubens' Pee-wee's Big Holiday.
Top perks for employees:
One year of parental leave
Social media handles:
Leadership executives: 63% male, 66% white
Tech employees: 80% male, 38% white
Creative and corporate employees: 40% male, 48% white