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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.


For giving unexpected audiences exactly what they want

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:

Twitter: @netflix
Instagram: @netflix
G+: +Netflix

Diversity breakdown:

Leadership executives: 63% male, 66% white
Tech employees: 80% male, 38% white
Creative and corporate employees: 40% male, 48% white

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  • 02 Facebook

    For not letting size get in the way of acting like a startup
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  • 03 CVS Health

    For becoming a one-stop health shop
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  • 04 Uber

    For hustling corporate business
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  • 05 Netflix

    For giving unexpected audiences exactly what they want
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  • 06 Amazon

    For evolving from commerce to cool cloud services
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  • 07 Apple

    For acing its China test
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  • 08 Alphabet

    For finding a better way to bet big
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  • 09 Black Lives Matter

    For turning the conversation about race into results
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  • 10 Taco Bell

    For combining corn, beans, meat, and cheese into genius
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  • 11 Robinhood

    For removing all the barriers to stock trading
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  • 12 Universal Studios

    For breaking the box-office record with canny casting and marketing
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  • 13 Huawei

    For taking the upper hand in the global mobile competition
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  • 14 Cyanogen

    For offering a more open, customizable version of Android
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  • 15 InMobi

    For making mobile ads you actually want to see
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  • 16 Novocure

    For attacking tumors with electricity
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  • 17 Bristol-Myers Squibb

    For treating tumors with T cells
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  • 18 Amgen

    For making cancer therapy go viral
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  • 19 Spotify

    For finding the beat in the data
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  • 20 GE

    For leading the industrial Internet of Things
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  • 21 Warby Parker

    For prescribing social good at home
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  • 22 Riot Games

    For being in an e-sports league of its own
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  • 23 Farfetch

    For putting the world's best boutique-fashion retailers on a global stage
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  • 24 Everlane

    For matching our clothes to our values
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  • 25 Kit and Ace

    For designing luxe casual wear from next-generation performance fabrics
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  • 26 Slack

    For becoming the creative home of our work lives
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  • 27 Rethink Robotics

    For bringing precision to robotic automation
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  • 28 SoulCycle

    For cultivating a nation of spinning enthusiasts
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  • 29 Sixteen String Jack Productions

    For inspiring action along with comedic outrage
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  • 30 SANAA

    For upping the ante on architectural biomimicry
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  • 31 Airbnb

    For democratizing authentic, local travel experiences
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  • 32 Generator

    For making hosteling hip
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  • 33 BeMyGuest

    For taking Asian travelers off the beaten path
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  • 34 Social Capital

    For building a 21st-century change agent
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  • 35 Hudl

    For changing the game with mobile video
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  • 36 Box

    For becoming the backbone of major businesses
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  • 37 Fitbit

    For taking health tracking mainstream
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  • 38 Snapchat

    For creating a vibrantly addictive alternative to traditional TV
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  • 39 Sama

    For redefining what it means to be a not-for-profit business
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  • 40 Midroll Media

    For transforming podcasting from passion to phenomenon
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  • 41 Affirm

    For offering credit that doesn't suck
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  • 42 Earnest

    For building a better student loan
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  • 43 Aspiration

    For using transparency to rebuild trust in banks
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  • 44 Vail Resorts

    For creating the ultimate travel loyalty program
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  • 45 Noora Health

    For improving the lives of surgery patients in India
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  • 46 Shyp

    For eliminating the hassle from sending packages
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  • 47 Shopify

    For enabling businesses to pursue retail everywhere
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  • 48 Babbel

    For helping anyone hablar como un local
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  • 49 Jaunt

    For becoming the first VR media company
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  • 50 Hasbro

    For mastering the modern art of corporate storytelling
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HBO, Amazon, Hulu
Cofounder and CEO Reed Hastings
Head of content acquisition Ted Sarandos
$56 billion
public or private
$6.8 billion
$122 million
Over 75 million subscribers worldwide
Los Gatos, CA

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