Timeline of Netflix

Last updated

Netflix Inc. is an American technology & media-services provider and production company headquartered in Los Gatos, California, founded in 1997 by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph in Scotts Valley, California. This is an abridged history of the formation and growth of Netflix, which has grown to become the largest entertainment company in the United States in terms of market capitalization as of 2020.

Full timeline

YearMonth and dateEvent typeDetails
1997August 29CompanyNetflix founded in Scotts Valley, California, by Marc Randolph [1] [2] and Reed Hastings, who previously had worked together at Pure Software
1998April 14ProductNetflix launches its website [3] with 925 titles available for rent through a traditional pay-per-rental model (50¢US per rental U.S. postage; late fees applied). [4]
1999SeptemberProductNetflix launches its monthly subscription concept. [5]
2000CompanyNetflix offers itself for acquisition to Blockbuster for $50 million; however, Blockbuster declines the offer. [6]
2002Competition Redbox is founded. It offers DVD rentals via automated retail kiosks. A year later, it poaches Mitch Lowe, who was a founding executive at Netflix.
May 29CompanyNetflix initiates initial public offering (IPO), selling 5.5 million shares of common stock at the price of US$15.00 per share. It brings in $82.5 million. [7]
2003AprilGrowthNetflix announces that it reaches 1 million subscribers. [8]
2004August 11CompetitionBlockbuster launches Blockbuster online to compete with Netflix, offering unlimited DVD rentals at the flat fee of $19.99/month. [9]
2006September 7Competition
October 1CompanyNetflix offers a $1,000,000 prize to the first developer of a video-recommendation algorithm that could beat its existing algorithm, Cinematch, at predicting customer ratings by more than 10%. [10] and uses the same 2016 icon
2007January 15ProductNetflix announces that it will launch streaming video. [11]
FebruaryProductNetflix delivers its billionth DVD [12] and begins to move away from its original core business model of mailing DVDs by introducing video on demand via the Internet.
2008March 12Competition Hulu, a competing online streaming service, launches for public access in the United States. [13]
AugustProductNetflix experiences a giant database corruption. This drives it to start moving all its data to the Amazon Web Services cloud. It completes its shift to the cloud by January 2016. [14]
2009June 12InternationalNetflix Originals was launched.
2010September 22InternationalNetflix starts expanding its streaming service to the international market, starting with Canada." [15]
DecemberLegalThe FCC Open Internet Order bans cable television and telephone service providers from preventing access to competitors or certain web sites such as Netflix.
2011AprilCompetition Vudu announces the launch of its online streaming service. [16]
JuneTeamNetflix CEO Reed Hastings joins Facebook's board of directors. [17]
September 5InternationalNetflix launches streaming service in Brazil
September 7InternationalNetflix launches streaming service in Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay
September 8InternationalNetflix launches streaming service in Chile and Bolivia
September 9InternationalNetflix launches streaming service in Andean region, including Peru and Ecuador
September 12InternationalNetflix launches streaming service in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean
September 18Product Reed Hastings says in a Netflix blog post that the DVD section of Netflix would be split off and renamed Qwikster, and the only major change would be separate websites for the services. [18] This change would be retracted a month later.
NovemberFinanceNetflix stock plunges from 42.16/share in July to 9.12/share in November, as 800,000 subscribers quit. [19]
2012January 4InternationalNetflix starts its expansion in Europe, launching in the United Kingdom and Ireland. [20] By September 18 it has expanded to Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. [21]
AprilCompanyNetflix files with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to form a political action committee (PAC) called FLIXPAC. [22]
DecemberProductNetflix experiences massive Christmas Eve outage, due to its hosting on Amazon Web Services. Amazon issues apology several days later. [23]
2013February 1ProductNetflix starts streaming House of Cards, its first original content. [24]
August 1ProductNetflix announces a "Profiles" feature that permits accounts to accommodate up to five user profiles, associated either with individuals or themes of their choosing (e.g., "Date Night").
NovemberCompetition Dish Network announces that Blockbuster will close all remaining stores by the end of the year. [25]
2014FebruaryProductNetflix discovers that Comcast Cable has been slowing its traffic down, and announces that it will pay Comcast to end the slowdown. [26]
September 10ProductNetflix participates in the "Internet Slowdown" by intentionally slowing down its speeds, announcing its opposition to proposed changes in net neutrality rules that act against net neutrality by giving preferred websites the option to pay telecommunication companies for a guaranteed fast lane, in effect slowing down websites that don't pay for that fast lane. [27]
2015June 24FinanceNetflix announces a 7:1 stock split in form of a dividend of six additional shares for each outstanding share, payable on July 14 to stock owners of record at the July 2 close. Trading at the post-split price will start July 15.
JulyFinanceNetflix announces that its stock has surged to an all-time high (to almost $100/share), a growth of 574% over the past five years. [28]
September 2InternationalNetflix launches streaming service in Japan.
OctoberProductNetflix announces that it will raise the price of its standard HD plan to $10 per month, up from $9 per month for recent customers. This price hike will be gradually rolled in, a strategy it calls "un-grandfathering." [29]
2016January 6InternationalAt the Consumer Electronics Show, Netflix announces a major international expansion into 130 new territories; with this expansion, the company promoted that its service would now be available nearly "worldwide", with the only notable exclusions including China, and regions subject to U.S. sanctions, such as Crimea (Ukraine), Syria, and North Korea. [30]
JanuaryProductNetflix announces that it will launch originals targeting kids. [31]
February 11ProductNetflix finishes its massive migration of its data servers to Amazon Web Services. [32] [33]
MarchLegalNetflix states that it sends lower quality video to mobile subscribers on AT&T and Verizon's networks for the past 5 years. [34] Some accuse Netflix of hypocrisy on net neutrality. [35]
MayPartnershipsNetflix partners with Univision to broadcast the first season of its original show Narcos - testing whether airing old seasons on traditional TV can lure people to sign up for its service ahead of the next season. [36]
November 30ProductAfter years of requests from subscribers, Netflix rolls out an offline playback feature to all of its subscribers in all of its markets. [37]
2017OctoberCompetitionA study showed that the number of Netflix subscribers now equal that of all the cable subscribers combined; 73% of all US households. [38]
2018MarchCompanyNetflix created Netflix Animation as its first production studio.
2019June–JulyContentNetflix announced that Friends and The Office will be leaving the platform within the United States to go to other streaming platforms.[ clarification needed ]
2021NovemberProductNetflix launches its gaming platform Netflix Games, available on Android with 5 games on launch. The company also announces plans to expand its gaming service to iOS. [39]
2022JanuaryProductNetflix raises prices again and loses 1 million customers [40]
2022MarchAcquisitionNetflix acquires Boss Fight Entertainment, a mobile games developer, their third game studio acquisition after Night School Studio and Next Games. [41]
2023JanuaryCompanyReed Hastings steps down as CEO. [42]
2023AprilProductNetflix announces wind-down of DVD.com, with last shipment September 29, 2023. [43]

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dish Network</span> American television provider

DISH Network L.L.C., a subsidiary of EchoStar, provides multichannel television and satellite television via Dish Network, mobile phone service via Dish Wireless, Boost Mobile, and Boost Infinite, as well as over-the-top IPTV service via Sling TV.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Netflix</span> American video streaming service

Netflix is an American subscription video on-demand over-the-top streaming service. The service primarily distributes original and acquired films and television shows from various genres, and it is available internationally in multiple languages.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Blockbuster (retailer)</span> American video rental company

Blockbuster Video was an American video rental store chain. It was founded by David Cook in 1985 as a stand-alone mom-and-pop home video rental shop, but later grew into a national store chain featuring video game rentals, DVD-by-mail, streaming, video on demand, and cinema theater. The company expanded internationally throughout the 1990s. At its peak in 2004, Blockbuster employed 84,300 people worldwide and operated 9,094 stores.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Reed Hastings</span> American entrepreneur and education philanthropist (born 1960)

Wilmot Reed Hastings Jr. is an American billionaire businessman. He is the co-founder, and executive chairman of Netflix, Inc. and currently sits on a number of boards and non-profit organizations. A former member of the California State Board of Education, Hastings is an advocate for education reform through charter schools.

Streaming television is the digital distribution of television content, such as television shows and films, as streaming media delivered over the Internet. Streaming television stands in contrast to dedicated terrestrial television delivered by over-the-air aerial systems, cable television, and/or satellite television systems.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hulu</span> American subscription streaming service

Hulu is an American subscription streaming service owned by The Walt Disney Company. It was launched on October 29, 2007.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">FX Networks</span> American mass media company owned by Disney

FX Networks, LLC, is a company consisting of a network of cable channels plus a production company and a subsidiary of the Disney Entertainment business division of The Walt Disney Company. Originally a part of 21st Century Fox, the company was acquired by The Walt Disney Company on March 20, 2019. Consequently, FX Networks was integrated into the newly renamed Walt Disney Television unit.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Plex Inc.</span> Streaming media service

Plex Inc. is an American software company that runs its namesake ad-supported streaming media service that provides television shows and movies to users worldwide, and allows them to discuss and discover content across all major subscription streaming services. Plex also develops media server software and a series of apps that allows users to stream their personal media collections from their servers to their various devices. Plex Inc. is based in Campbell, California.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">TV Everywhere</span> Authentication for streaming video

TV Everywhere refers to a type of American subscription business model wherein access to streaming video content from a television channel requires users to "authenticate" themselves as current subscribers to the channel, via an account provided by their participating pay television provider, in order to access the content.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sling TV</span> American streaming television service

Sling TV is an American streaming television service operated by Sling TV LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dish Network. Unveiled on January 5, 2015, at the Consumer Electronics Show, the virtual multichannel video programming distributor aims to complement subscription video on demand services for cord cutters, offering a selection of major cable channels and OTT-originated services that can be streamed through smart TVs, digital media players and apps. The service is available in the United States and Puerto Rico as of 2015.

HBO Now was an American subscription video on demand streaming service for premium television network HBO owned by WarnerMedia subsidiary Home Box Office, Inc. Officially unveiled on March 9 and launched on April 7, 2015, the service allowed subscribers on-demand access to HBO's library of original programs, films and other content on personal computers, smartphones, tablet devices and digital media players. Unlike HBO Go, HBO's online video on demand service for existing subscribers of the linear television channel, HBO Now was available as a standalone service and does not require a television subscription to use, targeting cord cutters who use competing services such as Netflix and Hulu. As of February 2018, HBO Now had 5 million subscribers.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John Antioco</span> American businessman

John Antioco is an American businessman, known for being the former CEO of the now bankrupt Blockbuster Video who missed an opportunity to purchase Netflix before it became a multi-billion dollar streaming platform. He is now the chairman of the board of directors at Red Mango and the Managing Partner of JAMCO Interests LLC.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">International expansion of Netflix</span> Expansion of Netflix

Netflix is a video on demand service which began expanding its business starting in 2010. The platform started in the United States and expanded for the first time in 2010, to Canada. This marked the beginning of a long expansion process. By 2015, Netflix was operating in 50 countries. Today, Netflix is in over 190 countries, and has drastically increased their rate of expansion in the last five years. As of 2020, there were 203.67 million people paying for a Netflix subscription. Of those people, over 73 million are located in the United States.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Marc Randolph</span> American tech entrepreneur and co-founder of Netflix

Marc Bernays Randolph is an American tech entrepreneur, advisor and speaker. He is the cofounder and first CEO of Netflix.

GeForce Now is the brand used by Nvidia for its cloud gaming service. The Nvidia Shield version of GeForce Now, formerly known as Nvidia Grid, launched in beta in 2013, with Nvidia officially unveiling its name on September 30, 2015. The subscription service provided users with unlimited access to a library of games hosted on Nvidia servers for the life of the subscription, being delivered to subscribers through streaming video. Certain titles were also available via a "Buy & Play" model. This version was discontinued in 2019, and transitioned to a new version of the service that enabled Shield users to play their own games.

Game Pass is a subscription service as part of Xbox and offered by Microsoft Gaming. Launched on June 1, 2017, the service allows users to download and play video games for Xbox video game consoles or Microsoft Windows PCs from a rotating library, with the games remaining accessible as long as the user has an active subscription. Game Pass subscribers also receive discounts on purchases of games from the service's library and their respective downloadable content (DLC).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Disney+</span> American video streaming service

Disney+ is an American subscription video on-demand over-the-top streaming media service owned and operated by Disney Streaming, the streaming division of Disney Entertainment, a major business segment of the Walt Disney Company. The service primarily distributes films and television shows produced by Walt Disney Studios and Disney Television Studios, with dedicated content hubs for Disney's flagship brands; Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and Hulu as well as showcasing original and exclusive films and television shows.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Max (streaming service)</span> American video streaming service

Max, formerly and in some markets still HBO Max, is an American subscription video on-demand over-the-top streaming service. It is a proprietary unit of Warner Bros. Discovery Global Streaming & Interactive Entertainment, which is itself a division of Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD). First launched in the United States on May 27, 2020, the service offers content from the libraries of Warner Bros., Discovery Channel, HBO, CNN, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Animal Planet, Eurosport, and their related brands. The service also carries first-run original programming under the "Max Originals" banner, programming from the HBO pay television service, and content acquired via either third-party library deals or co-production agreements.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Netflix, Inc.</span> American media company

Netflix, Inc. is an American media company founded in 1997 by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph in Scotts Valley, California and currently based in Los Gatos, California. It owns and operates an eponymous over-the-top subscription video on-demand service, which showcases acquired and original programming as well as third-party content licensed from other production companies and distributors. Netflix is also the first streaming media company to be a member of the Motion Picture Association.


  1. self. "Marc Randolph LinkedIn Profile" . Retrieved October 31, 2011.
  2. Robin Wauters (7 May 2010). "Marc Randolph Techcrunch" . Retrieved October 31, 2011.
  3. Keating, Gina (2012). Netflixed: The Epic Battle for America's Eyeballs. Portfolio/ Penguin.
  4. Stephen Czar (1998). "DVD Historical Timeline". Archived from the original on March 19, 2006. Retrieved January 30, 2006.
  5. O'Brien, Jeffrey M. (December 2002). "The Netflix Effect". Wired News.
  6. "Epic Fail: How Blockbuster Could Have Owned Netflix". Variety. November 12, 2013.
  7. "Offering of Netflix Brings in $82.5 Millio". The New York Times. May 23, 2002. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  8. "Netflix Announces First Quarter 2003 Ending Subscribers of 1,052,000, Up 74% Over The Prior Year (NASDAQ:NFLX)". Ir.net. Archived from the original on August 22, 2007. Retrieved May 23, 2016.
  9. "Blockbuster Launches BLOCKBUSTER Online(TM) – The Movie Store at Your Door(TM)". Prnewswire.com. Retrieved May 23, 2016.
  10. "Netflix Prize Website" . Retrieved December 8, 2006.
  11. "Netflix to Deliver Movies to the PC". The New York Times. January 16, 2007. Retrieved May 21, 2016.
  12. "The Victoria Advocate – Feb 26, 2007". p. B4.
  13. "Welcome to Hulu « The Hulu Blog". Blog.hulu.com. Archived from the original on August 8, 2017. Retrieved May 30, 2016.
  14. "Completing the Netflix Cloud Migration" . Retrieved May 30, 2016.
  15. Star Staff; Canadian Press (September 10, 2010). "Netflix stumbles as it launches in Canada". Toronto Star. Retrieved December 3, 2014.
  16. "Vudu Launches Streaming Service". 12 April 2011. Retrieved May 30, 2016.
  17. "Netflix CEO Reed Hastings joins Facebook's Board of Directors". Engadget.com. Retrieved May 30, 2016.
  18. "An Explanation and Some Reflections". Qwikster. Retrieved September 19, 2011.
  19. "Netflix stock sinks as 800,000 subscribers quit – Oct. 25, 2011". CNN. Retrieved May 30, 2016.
  20. "Netflix launches UK film and TV streaming service". BBC News. January 9, 2012. Retrieved January 9, 2012.
  21. "Netflix Launches In Sweden, Denmark, Norway And Finland". PRNewswire (Press release). October 18, 2012. Retrieved November 14, 2014.
  22. Levinthal, Dave (April 7, 2012). "Netflix forms PAC". Politico.
  23. "Netflix outage mars Christmas Eve – CNET". Cnet.com. Retrieved May 30, 2016.
  24. Keating, Gina (2012). Netflixed: The Epic Battle for America's Eyeballs. Portfolio/ Penguin.
  25. "Netflix has won: Blockbuster is closing its last retail stores". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 21, 2016.
  26. "Netflix Agrees To Pay Comcast To End Slowdown – Consumerist". Consumerist. 23 February 2014. Retrieved May 30, 2016.
  27. Rose Eveleth (September 10, 2014). "Why Netflix Is 'Slowing Down' Its Website Today". The Atlantic. Retrieved February 26, 2015.
  28. "Netflix is up over 500% in 5 years – Jul. 16, 2015". CNN. 16 July 2015. Retrieved May 30, 2016.
  29. "Netflix prices are going up. Here's when you'll have to pay more - Apr. 19, 2016". CNN. 19 April 2016. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
  30. "At CES, Netflix Adds Over 130 Countries to Streaming Service". The New York Times. January 6, 2016. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
  31. Flint, Joe (17 January 2016). "Netflix To Ramp Up Originals Targeting Kids". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
  32. Jon Brodkin (February 11, 2016). "Netflix finishes its massive migration to the Amazon cloud". Ars Technica. Retrieved May 30, 2016.
  33. Loten, Angus (12 February 2016). "Netflix Shifts All IT to Amazon's Public Cloud - CIO Journal". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
  34. Glaser, April. "Netflix Is No Net Neutrality Hypocrite for Slowing Down Video". Wired.com. Retrieved May 30, 2016.
  35. "Netflix Throttles Its Videos on AT&T, Verizon Networks". The Wall Street Journal. 24 March 2016. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
  36. Gottfried, Miriam (17 May 2016). "At Netflix, What's Old Is New Again - MoneyBeat". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
  37. Fung, Brain. "Netflix is finally letting you download videos for offline viewing". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  38. Consumer Intelligence Series: I stream, you stream
  39. Parrish, Ash (November 2, 2021). "Netflix Games starts global rollout on Android, with iOS 'on the way'". The Verge. Retrieved November 3, 2021.
  40. Sherman, Natalie; Clayton, James (20 July 2022). "Netflix loses almost a million subscribers". BBC News. Retrieved 10 August 2022.
  41. Webster, Andrew (March 24, 2022). "Netflix bought yet another studio as part of gaming push". The Verge. Retrieved March 25, 2022.
  42. Lawler, Richard (January 19, 2023). "Reed Hastings is stepping down as Netflix's co-CEO". The Verge. Retrieved January 22, 2023.
  43. "Netflix DVD - The Final Season". About Netflix. Retrieved 2023-04-19.