- 1 History
- 2 Infrastructure [ edit ]
- 3 Operation [ edit ]
- 4 Programming [ edit ]
- 5 Device support [ edit ]
- 6 Criticism and controversies [ edit ]
- 6.1 Invasion of local markets and cultural imperialism [ edit ]
- 6.2 Social and health effects [ edit ]
- 6.3 Participation in climate change [ edit ]
- 6.4 Effects on film and television culture [ edit ]
- 6.5 Same paradigm [ edit ]
- 6.6 Processing of personal data [ edit ]
- 6.7 Option to alter playback speed [ edit ]
- 6.8 Purchase of the Egyptian Theater in LA [ edit ]
- 6.9 Criticism and controversies of original products in particular [ edit ]
- 6.10 Censorship
- 6.11 Loss of subscribers
- 6.12 End of shared accounts and price reduction.
- 7 International expansion
- 8 Competition
Netflix, Inc. is an American streaming platform and entertainment company . Located in Los Gatos ( California ), the company was founded on August 29, 1997 and a year later it began its activity, offering a DVD rental service through the postal mail . 3 Currently, Netflix participates in the production of audiovisual works, from the creation or acquisition of the product to its worldwide diffusion.
In 2000, even with DVD rental as the only service, Netflix introduced a personalized recommendation system, based on the rating of one to five stars that its customers made of the materials they rented through its Internet site. The continuous improvement of this system —which in 2017 would be changed to a “thumbs up/down” one—, as well as the use of other data that the platform obtains from its clients known as data mining, is considered the main cause of the company success. 4 5 6 7
In 2007, Netflix starts its video-on-demand service in the United States , exclusively to be used through personal computers ; As of 2008, different options are added to access the catalog by streaming : video game consoles , smart televisions , tablets , etc. On February 25, 2007, his billionth DVD entered. 8 In 2009 its physical catalog offers 100,000 titles and its clientele exceeds 10 million subscribers. 9
In 2011, the company began operations for the first time outside the United States and Canada, offering its catalog by streaming in the Latin American and Caribbean region . In 2012 it offers its services in some European countries , and as of 2016 it offers its contents to the whole world with the exception of the Crimea region , and the territories of North Korea , Continental China , Iran , Iraq and Syria . 3
On January 16, 2014, the Academy Award nomination of the documentary The Square became the first ever for a Netflix original production. 10 11 The most successful products in Spanish worldwide are the series La casa de papel and Élite , both located in the world top 10 of the most watched series in the world in 2019. 12 At the end of the first quarter of 2020, the platform had some 183 million customers around the world, the majority outside the United States. 3Although the estimates made by Wall Street for that period were 7.6 million new customers, the quarantine implemented in different countries around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to the actual number more than double ( 15.8 million); 13 During the first months of 2022, for the first time since 2011, the platform reports a loss of 200,000 customers and projects 2 million fewer for the second quarter of the year. 14
In 2022, Netflix executives reported that the platform would have ads through the “Basic Plan with Ads” from November 1st. 15 Netflix with more than 20,000,000 global subscribers
Netflix headquarters in Los Gatos
|Guy||Limited Liability Company and Subsidiary|
|stock symbol||NASDAQ : NFLX|
|legal form||Private company|
|Foundation||August 29, 1997 (age 25)|
|Founder||Reed Hastings , co-founder and CEO
|headquarters||Los Gatos , California , United States|
|operation area||Worldwide, except for China (although it is available in the special administrative regions ), Crimea , North Korea , Iran , Iraq , Syria , and Russia . 1|
|Products||Netflix recommender system
Video on demand
|Income||25 billion USD $ ( FY 2020 ) 2|
|economic benefit||$402 million ( FY 2014 ) 2|
|Net profit||$373.4 million ( FY 2017 ) 2|
|Assets||$7,056 million (2014) 2|
|Social capital||$1.85 billion ( FY 2014 ) 2|
|Owner||Capital Group Companies , BlackRock , The Vanguard Group , Morgan Stanley , Reed Hastings , The Vanguard Group, Capital Research Global Investors, and BlackRock|
|Employees||3200 (FY 2015) 2|
|Member of||Alliance for Open Media , Linux Foundation , World Wide Web Consortium , CVE Numbering Authorities, and Motion Picture Association|
Netflix emerged in 1997 in California ( United States ) as a DVD rental company delivered by post. Throughout its history, the company has undergone various transformations until, by 2019, it is a media company that participates in audiovisual production from the conception or acquisition of the product to its dissemination, in this case through a platform for Internet. 3 16 The name of Netflix comes from Net , an abbreviation for “internet” and flix for flicks , the colloquial English form of “movies”.
The myth created by the company itself indicates that it all started when Reed Hastings rented the movie Apollo 13 , from the Blockbuster video store chain , and when he returned it a few days late he had to pay a $40 fine. Resigned, Hastings decided to create a chain of video stores without fines or commitments. However, in the book Netflixed: the Epic Battle for America’s Eyeballs , the company’s co-founder, Marc Randolph , recounts that the idea came about out of a desire to start an e-commerce business that would eventually choose DVD as its product.
For months, Randolph and Hastings honed their idea on their way to work at the software company Pure Atria, where the former was director of marketing and the latter was general manager. Initially, Netflix was a virtual video store whose customers chose movies through an online platform and these were delivered by postal mail .
Subscribers made a selection of several titles from the company’s catalogue, which sent them the first one in a postage-paid envelope for their return. Once Netflix received the first movie back, it would send the second one back, and so on. 17
During those early years and up until about 2002, the company billed itself as “the world’s largest online DVD rental service.” 16
VOD service introduction [ edit ]
The first major transformation that Netflix underwent was when it introduced its streaming viewing service in 2007. Although the DVD-by-mail delivery service continued in the United States, it was not included in its international expansion plans in 2007, when it began operations in Latin America and the Caribbean. 3 18 19 20
The first months, the visualization of the electronic catalog was accessible only through computers. In 2008, the company sought alliances with different companies and products to include an application in video game consoles such as Microsoft ‘s Xbox or in various brands of Blu-ray players , so that, through these devices, they could also watch the series and catalog movies. A year later, the app was included on some smart TVs, and by 2010 on other internet-connected devices such as the Nintendo Wii , Apple ‘s iPad , iPhone and iPod touch . 3
To move forward with this digital platform, Netflix needed to offer a functional platform at all times, which would allow a large number of people to view it at the same time, without compromising image quality. This is how the company allies itself with Amazon computer services . 20
The new streaming service soon gained popularity due to the unlimited, personalized and ad-free access it offered, as well as the possibility of creating different profiles between people who shared the password of a single account, a situation that Netflix did not stop, but took advantage of. because it meant obtaining more data from different people who served to “feed” its algorithm and better understand the tastes of the public. 20
Present [ edit ]
After it began producing its own content in 2011 -which it would launch in 2013 with House of Cards- and after launching its studio in 2016, 2021 Netflix defined itself by 2018 as a “global internet TV network” or a global internet television network . 16
In the 2019 Netflix Nations book. The Geography of Digital Distribution , the researcher Ramón Lobato states that the ways of thinking about and studying Netflix are very diverse, and that it is not possible to conceive of this company only as a producer or distributor of audiovisual content (paradigm of television studies ) or exclusively as a digital platform (new media paradigm ). Thus, according to Lobato, some of the categories or roles that Netflix fulfills are: video platform, audiovisual distributor, television channel , global media corporation, technology company, software system, big-data business , cultural industry., lifestyle, mode of media consumption and, a ritual . 16
Movie theaters “Netflix” [ edit ]
At the end of November 2019, Netflix announces the 10-year lease of “The Paris”, a mythical movie theater located in Manhattan, inaugurated in 1948 and which had stopped operating in August 2019. The objective of this operation, as announced by the company itself through a digital press release, would be to present special events there, and premieres and screenings of its films. Months before, various press reports indicated Netflix’s intention to reach an agreement for 10 million dollars with the American Cinematheque, which operates the Egyptian Theater, an iconic movie theater in Los Angeles; The deal would be for the cinematheque to continue using the facilities on weekends for its regular screenings and talks, while the Los Gatos company would use the premises during the week for its own projects. In May 2020, Netflix announced that the operation had been completed and that the team and objective of the cinematheque would remain intact;22 23
Because the restoration of the Egyptian Theater was made possible, in part, with public money (Los Angeles City Hall, federal government, and the National Endowment for the Arts ), the city’s arts and culture community has expressed doubts about this sale, 23 and by the end of July 2020, more than 3,000 people had signed a petition posted on the Change.org site demanding that the cinematheque make the financial operation transparent, beginning by revealing the amount paid by Netflix. 24
In the case of these 2 operations, Netflix’s plan would be to avoid dealing with exhibitors to screen their films under the terms that they require and in which all films must remain in theaters for 90 days before distributing them by other means. such as home formats or streaming platforms. By having movie theaters and showing their films there, the company would also meet its goal of meeting the requirement of showing a film for at least 7 consecutive days that the Academy requires to compete in the Oscars . 25 26 27
Infrastructure [ edit ]
The Internet Service Provider Speed Index for Netflix is based on data from the more than 117 million Netflix members worldwide who watch more than 1 billion hours of Netflix TV shows and movies per month. The indicated speeds reflect the average performance of all Netflix streams on each ISP’s network and are an indicator of the performance typically experienced by all network users of an ISP. In general, a faster network means better image quality, faster startup times, and fewer interruptions.
The average performance is below the maximum performance. This is due to many factors, including the variety of encodings Netflix uses to stream shows and movies, the variety of devices members use, and the state of home networks. These factors cancel out in the comparison between ISPs.
As of February 2016, Netflix exclusively uses cloud servers, culminating a migration process started in 2008. Its servers are located on Amazon.com ‘s AWS network . This allows you to offer your customers an availability rate of 99.99%. Applications have evolved from a monolithic architecture to one based on microservices and a non-standard database model on NoSQL -like handlers . 28
Operation [ edit ]
Initially, Netflix worked with a Microsoft Silverlight-based player to prevent audiovisual content from being downloaded (it currently offers a download service for some movies or series episodes that can only be played in the application). Since 2014, it has been broadcasting content via HTML5. Under Linux you can watch Netflix using the Google Chrome browser , version 38 or newer. 29 When a movie is accessed, Netflix preloads a small part of it beforehand, to avoid buffering.
The service that Netflix operates is actually based on more than 700 independently running microservices that communicate with each other through application programming interfaces, or APIs , for its acronym in English. Each microservice is programmed to do a specific task, such as uploading the presentation cartoons for a recommended series or movie or charging each account for a monthly membership. In this sense, Netflix is an ecosystem of small systems with specific objectives and not a monolithic computer architecture . 16
Data mining [ edit ]
In 2000, Netflix began using a rating system for the DVD movies it rented. Through the online platform, subscribers had the possibility to rate the movies watched, giving them from 1 to 5 stars. Based on this information, the system made recommendations to the user. This first system received the name of Cinematch. 4
In October 2006, the company launched the call for the Netflix Prize or Netflix Award, which sought to improve this system. Endowed with a cash prize of 1 million dollars, the objective of the contest was to generate an algorithm that would improve Cinematch’s predictions by 10%; the winning individual or team would be the one that reached the goal first, so there was no final date set. Almost 3 years later, on July 26, 2009, the team called BellKor’s Pragmatic Chaos, made up of AT&T researchers , managed to outperform Cinematch by 10.6%, thus winning the contest and beating second place The Ensemble by just 20 minutes. , who achieved the same 10.6% improvement. 30 31 32
Until the start-up of its streaming VOD system, the data that the company had for each of its clients included, among others, name, postal code, genre and the rating given to certain films. However, from the viewing of series and movies through the streaming platform, the algorithm has a more precise knowledge of the tastes of the public thanks to data such as from which devices the catalog is viewed, the time of day in which the service is used, for how long a certain product is viewed, what genres, directors, actors/actresses or year of release is the one you prefer. With this information, in addition to personalizing the experience of each consumer (which products it recommends, which thumbnail or trailer to show to present a series or movie), Netflix has developed original projects that respond to these tastes or that they know will find an audience. 4 5 6 7 30 33
Even before starting with the streaming platform, the large amount of information that the company accumulates already raised fears among technology and privacy analysts. Similarly, the way this data is processed has been the subject of legal claims in the United States, particularly linked to the release of information used by the teams participating in the Netflix Prize. 30 34
Programming [ edit ]
The use of an algorithm as the basis for Netflix’s decision-making to produce or acquire a certain product is a constantly mentioned element among specialists, analysts, and the general public.
This tool is a complex system that, among other things, orders the platform’s product catalog based on what the user has previously seen and the way in which they have rated certain movies or series, also generating a large number of tags or categories that help customers select what to see and the platform itself allows you to make suggestions. Other data used by this system are the tastes and preferences of other users who have been classified as similar, as well as the genres, actors and year of release of the productions that the person is used to, the time of day they are seen , the devices you use (tablet, computer, video console, etc.), and how long you use the platform. 35 36
The titles of the tags are generated by human beings, employed by the company, who review all the content of the catalog with the objective of granting the series and films one of the more than 200 classifications or labels, based on certain specific criteria; in English they are known as Netflix taggers . Some of these tags relate to a certain level that the production possesses (level of comedy/action/chase scenes), others are concepts or phrases that describe the material, such as “cerebral” or “rebellious”, while others refer to to the theme, genre or recognition of the product, such as “food”, “black comedy” or “Emmy Awards” / “Golden Globes”.
According to what the company itself has revealed, the combination of all these elements has helped to accurately anticipate the tastes of the public, which has helped them to decide on the themes, actors or actresses, or directors in which they should invest, or if it is pertinent to invest in a proposed project. Two examples in this regard are the service’s first original series, House of Cards , and the film Roma by Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón . In both cases, the information that the platform had at the time would have made it possible to know that, indeed, there was an audience for each production. 21 20
Original production [ edit ]
In March 2011, Netflix began acquiring original content for its subscription streaming service, beginning with the hour-long political drama House of Cards , which premiered in February 2013. The series was produced by David Fincher and starred Kevin Spacey . 38 In late 2011, Netflix picked up two eight-episode seasons of Lilyhammer and a fourth season of the former Fox series Arrested Development . 39 Netflix announced that it would premiere the supernatural drama series Hemlock Grove in early 2013. 40 In February 2013, DreamWorks Animationand Netflix agreed to produce a new cartoon series called Turbo FAST , based on the film Turbo , which was released in July of that year. 41 42 In March 2013, Netflix announced that it had signed on with the Wachowskis and Michael Straczynski to write and produce their new science fiction series, Sense8 , 43 which premiered on June 5, 2015.
While some of these series are conceived as niche products, others reach global audiences and hits like Stranger Things and Narcos . 16
In addition, Netflix produces various documentaries in both feature-length and medium-length formats, as well as documentary series, covering various topics. Among the documentary series we can find several with themes associated with art and gastronomy, such as ‘ Tales by light (photography), Abstract (design) or Cooked (gastronomy) among others.
According to what was reported by the company, in 2018 it invested 8 billion dollars in original productions, 2,000 more than in the previous year. This investment would serve to produce more than 100 works, of which about 80 would be films from 16 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, made in 16 different languages. 44 45 46
Local production [ edit ]
Since the beginning of operations in the Latin American and Caribbean region, Netflix has turned to local productions, first with those already created and positioned among the public, and then to generate its own products under its own label. In the first case, negotiations with Telemundo , Televisa , Univision , Telefe , TVN , TV Perú , América Televisión , Caracol Televisión and RCN Televisión, among other companies, allowed it to offer at one point up to 20% of soap operas to its subscribers, against about 80% of American movies and series. Subsequently, the criteria was to develop their own products in the language and with well-known figures from each country, with the aim of creating ties with local audiences and capturing the attention of the media. 20 47
Following this formula, the platform has produced or acquired for its exclusive broadcast, highly successful series such as La casa de papel (Spain), Marseille ( France ), Club de Cuervos ( Mexico ), Narcos ( Colombia ), Dhamer ( United States ) or Dark ( Germany ). 47
Device support [ edit ]
Devices that are compatible with Netflix streaming services include Blu-ray disc players , tablets , smartphones , Smart TVs , browsers , computers , digital media players, and video game consoles (including Xbox One , PlayStation 4 , Wii U , Xbox 360 , PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita ).
4K streaming requires a 4K-capable device and display, both of which support HDCP 2.2. 4K streaming on personal computers requires hardware and software support of Microsoft PlayReady 3.0 digital rights management solution , which requires a compatible CPU, graphics card, and software environment. This feature is currently limited to 7th generation Intel Core or later CPUs, Windows 10 , Nvidia Geforce 10 series , and AMD Radeon 400 or later, running through the Microsoft Edge web browser or the Netflix Universal app available in the Microsoft Store . 4849 5051
Netflix VR [ edit ]
Netflix VR is an additional Netflix application that allows you to view the productions in the catalog as if it were a Virtual Reality experience (hence its name ‘VR’, virtual reality ). To do this, in addition to downloading said application, it is necessary to have a VR device (glasses or helmet). 52 53
Criticism and controversies [ edit ]
Invasion of local markets and cultural imperialism [ edit ]
As was the case with cable and satellite television in its day , Netflix has been accused of encroaching on and disrupting local markets. Similarly, it has been considered a vehicle for American cultural imperialism . 16
The start of its services in certain countries has been surrounded by accusations of breaking regulations imposed on other media actors, which it has achieved by presenting itself, depending on the particular case, as an Internet service or any other status other than that of a media company or of entertainment.
In March 2015, with the announcement of the start of services in Australia, local chains expressed their discontent that Netflix would not comply with the regulations that they had to follow. For its part, in January 2016, when Netflix began operations in more than 130 countries, Kenya issued a statement through its Film Classification Board (Kenya Film Classification Board in English), where it said that the company’s entry meant a violation of television and film distribution laws, in addition to considering that, as a progressive country, it could not allow itself to be a passive recipient of foreign content that could corrupt the moral values of children and compromise national security. 16 54
” The pornography, child prostitution and massive violence themes in some of the movies [available in Netflix’s catalog] threaten our moral values our moral values )” 16 55
In the same year and context, the Russian Deputy Communications Ministry, Alexei Volin, regretted that Netflix had not consulted with the country’s authorities, including media regulatory agencies, while the Culture Minister, Vladimir Medinsky, equated the platform to a Trojan horse with which the US government intends to infiltrate homes around the world. 16
Despite accusations of US cultural imperialism, Netflix has made efforts to offer culturally diverse content from various parts of the world to make its catalog appeal across borders and thus reach more customers. For example, when it launched operations in Asia, it invested in more than 180 original productions across the region, hiring local staff and creating more than 8,000 producer, cast and crew jobs, as well as shooting in places like Bali , Bangkok , Chiangmai and Penang . 56
[ edit ]
The video-on-demand model of which Netflix is a part, along with other companies such as Hulu or Amazon Prime Video , has received various criticisms related to the social and health effects of viewing more than one movie or series episodes in a single session, a practice known as binge-watching or binge-watching . Its system that favors these practices, such as the existence of series with episodes with inconclusive or shocking endings, the automatic playback of subsequent episodes activated by default, and their presentation in the form of to-do lists, is especially criticized. 57 58 59
Participation in climate change [ edit ]
Netflix accounts for more than a third of the Internet traffic in the United States. 60 This leads to significant energy consumption and, associated with that, significant greenhouse gas emissions . 60 Streaming and viewing video-on-demand services such as Netflix releases around 100 million tons of carbon dioxide each year. This corresponds to approximately 0.3% of global emissions. Using such video services releases roughly as much CO 2 per year as the state of Belgium . 61Netflix has a substantial hand in this. Unlike other major video streaming platforms, Netflix does not provide regular reports on energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, or the actual energy mix of its global activities. 62 Up to now, Netflix has not publicly committed to using renewable energy . 62
Effects on film and television culture [ edit ]
One of the biggest criticisms or opposing positions that have been built around streaming platforms in general, and Netflix in particular, revolves around the way in which they have changed the audiovisual culture of their audience. These critical voices affirm that, by prioritizing their own productions (Netflix increasingly produces series of higher quality and budget) 63 64 and regularly deleting more and more films and productions from other companies from its catalogue, 65 as well as having a limited catalog of old films, the company generates changes in consumption habits, particularly among its younger members. 66 67One of the most notorious cases in this regard is the withdrawal of the catalog of films and series made or under the control of Disney, this due to the large number of products that this means and the attachment of the public to many of these productions. 68
This position of the industry and of some media specialists contrasts with the highly positive perception that Netflix has among its users, mainly among the youngest. 69 Faced with this criticism, Netflix defends itself by arguing the high costs of renewing the licenses of external products, so when its license expires and cannot be renewed, it notifies its subscribers in advance so that they can see the affected content before your demise. 70
Specifically, the company located in California has been openly criticized by the film industry, which considers that Netflix’s refusal to release its original films in theaters will cause the death of the model as it has been known up to now. Situation that was already seen since the appearance of television, VHS and DVD. 71 72
In its December 2014 editorial, Film Journal International considered this strategy of not exhibiting its original productions in the traditional way in theaters before making them available to its partners in the digital catalog as unfair. In the text, written as a letter addressed to Ted Sarandos, the company’s programming manager, the magazine said:
” Going to the movies is an American pastime. Do you want to be known Ted, like, a traitor? ” – An Open Letter to Netflix’s Ted Sarandos 73
Reed Hastings, the company’s president and founder, declared in 2015 that television will be obsolete in 30 years. This provoked several criticisms, since one of the problems that Netflix and other similar platforms face is the fragmentation of content due to licensing problems. 74 Another criticism is an alleged ideological bias towards the political left of the platform’s productions, which would cause some conservative sectors to look at it with mistrust. 75
Another aspect that generates debates about Netflix is the collection of data that it uses from its users for the production of new content. According to the journalist Alejandro Eloy Rodríguez, in his book ‘El planeta Netflix’, he indicates how Netflix studies the behavior of subscribers to measure the creation of new content, reducing the economic risks of production:
“Netflix productions will be increasingly measured, based on the information that users have provided to the platform for years. This opens up new questions on the cultural level: how much room will there be for artistic expression, for the unpredictable, the instantaneous, that sincerity of the human spirit that cannot be explained in algorithms? Perhaps what is worrying is not what Netflix is doing in the television world, but in the cinematographic world” 76
Same paradigm [ edit ]
Although a large number of academics and media specialists consider digital services that distribute audiovisual content over the Internet as the revolution within the entertainment industry, 77 authors such as Michael Wolff have a contrary opinion. For this journalist, the essence of Netflix is closer to that of television than to the Internet.
According to what he proposes in his book Television is the New Television (Television is the new television, 2015) , instead of promoting the interactive characteristics of the Internet, Netflix decided to favor structures, narratives and aesthetics already established by the television industry . In the same way, he argues that by transforming from a DVD rental company into a digital studio, the streaming platform transferred behaviors, values, schemes and experiences of the television industry to computer screens -such as the passive viewing of content- , making what until then was considered interactive tools and two-way flow of information, in something more similar to the old television. 1678
In this sense, the French journalist Thibault Henneton from Le Monde diplomatique believes that Netflix is still a “talent swallowing machine”, which feeds on what traditional channels and studios around the world reject. It is thus, for example, that he ended up supporting Cuarón’s Roma project , not because he had been part of the development from the beginning, but because all the studios that the Mexican filmmaker approached rejected him. The virtue of Netflix would be in having the data “value” to resell niche products, and not just superhero stories, like Hollywood studios. 20
For their part, authors such as Toby Miller recall that the institutional power of television remains, although many consider it a thing of the past. For Miller, the continuity of the television industry is perceived in the production of programs and in advertising: they highlight that much of the production of content distributed over the Internet continues to be basically television, that traditional TV channels (open signal or cable) continue to being fundamental for the streaming market. In summary, he points out in his book Television Studies: The Basics (The foundations of television studies, 2011), people continue to watch television and even in larger numbers than in other decades, the only thing that has changed is how they are distributed the content. 16
Processing of personal data [ edit ]
Due to the large amount of personal data that Netflix manages, specialists in the field have expressed fear of the way in which they are treated by the company, even before the launch of its streaming VOD service. 34 The legal action known as “Doe Vs. Netflix” is an example of such fears.
In December 2009, a customer of the DVD mail-order rental service in the United States filed a lawsuit in federal court for privacy violations committed by Netflix. The plaintiff, known under the pseudonym ” Jane Doe “, was a lesbian parent residing in the state of Ohio .who blamed the company for invading his privacy by releasing the data from his rental record -along with that of almost half a million clients- so that the participants of the Netflix Prize or Netflix Prize could improve the platform’s prediction system. Although said data did not include the name of the clients but only identified them with a numerical code, two weeks after the call for the contest was launched, two researchers from the University of Texas, Arvind Narayanan and Vitaly Shmatikov, were able to identify by name to some of the customers whose data was released.
Published online, Narayanan and Shmatikov’s draft academic paper claimed that by crossing Netflix data with reviews from the Internet Movie Database ( IMDb ) site, they could determine not only a person’s name but even personality traits such as preferences. politics, religious affiliation, sexuality and even physical complexion. Although the identity of the woman was never discovered by any contest team or anyone else, the argument in the lawsuit was the fear that her homosexuality would be discovered through her consumption of films (which included a high number of titles with homosexual theme) and that this revelation would affect his family and professional life.
In March 2010, Netflix and “Jane Doe” reached an agreement that was never made public. As a result of the lawsuit, the second edition of the Netflix Award never took place even though it had been announced. 30 31
Option to alter playback speed [ edit ]
At the end of October 2019, Netflix tested for its users with the Android operating system the option to alter the playback speed of their videos – slow it down 0.5x or 0.75x; or speed it up 1.25x or 1.5x. The above generated criticism on social networks from filmmakers such as Judd Apatow and Peyton Read , and actor Aaron Paul who considered that it was a terrible idea and that it was the decision of the content creators and not the distributors, how the films were presented. plays. Netflix replied that it was just a test and that it probably wouldn’t go beyond this stage. 79 80 81
The French edition of 20 Minutes considered the controversy as “a storm in a glass of water” and recalled that the possibility of viewing audiovisual materials at a different speed existed since before Netflix made this test available on Android and mentioned that the speed- watching – watching videos at high speed – has long been a common practice available on devices like the VLC player and on the YouTube platform . 81
Purchase of the Egyptian Theater in LA [ edit ]
In 2019, various press reports indicated Netflix’s intention to reach an agreement for 10 million dollars with the American Cinematheque, which operates the Egyptian Theater, an iconic movie theater in Los Angeles. In May of the following year, the streaming service announced that the operation had been finalized but neither it nor the cinematheque revealed the final amount of the deal. The artistic community of Los Angeles opposed the deal from the beginning because the restoration of the place involved public investment of municipal and federal order, this despite the fact that Netflix assured that the equipment and operations of the cinematheque would continue as until then, while the Los Gatos company would use the premises only during the week for its own projects. 22 23
By the end of July 2020, more than 3,000 people had signed a petition posted on the Change.org site demanding that the film library make the financial operation transparent, beginning by revealing the amount paid by Netflix. 24
Criticism and controversies of original products in particular [ edit ]
Among the original productions that the company has created since 2013, there are several cases that have caused criticism and controversy due to the treatment of a subject or its content, such as the fictional series 13 Reasons Why 82 83 or the documentary series starring Gwyneth Paltrow , Goop Lab .
Goop Lab [ edit ]
Premiering in the catalog on January 24, 2020, the documentary series Goop Lab , starring Gwyneth Paltrow , caused controversy over the potential repercussions of its content for public health and for how the public perceives science.
The project was born when in February 2019, Paltrow-owned lifestyle brand Goop signed a deal to produce a documentary-format promotional series with wellness and ” natural health ” themes for Netflix. From the beginning, said agreement generated criticism of the streaming service for considering that it gave Paltrow a platform to promote its brand, which has been criticized for making unsubstantiated claims about the effectiveness of the health treatments and products it promotes.
Multiple critics argued that the signing of the agreement was “a victory for pseudoscience “. 84 85 86 87 Once Goop Lab became available in the series catalogue, numerous media outlets published harsh criticism of Netflix’s decision to promote Goop:
- The Spanish newspaper El País published a strong criticism entitled “Gwyneth Paltrow on Netflix, a public health problem” in which it is stated that the program is a manual of tricks and fallacies to defend false remedies and does “terrible damage to the popular confidence in science. And that finally the result of the series seems to be the exaltation of charlatanism and the bulge of Paltrow’s bank account. 88
- Religion and spirituality site Patheos published an article titled ” Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop Lab Is Anti-Scientific Trash. Then It Gets Worse.” The text states that it is a shame that Netflix promotes this “harmful nonsense”, and that the show can cause great harm to public health if viewers take it seriously. 89
- Wired magazine , in its British version, wrote several criticisms focused on the series 9091 in particular and Netflix in general, saying “Do you think Goop is bad? It’s just the tip of the iceberg of pseudoscience on Netflix” . 92
Netflix censors parts of videos that they believe may violate the age rating. 93
Loss of subscribers
In April 2022, Netflix was reported to have lost around 200,000 subscribers, causing its shares to drop 25% and losing around $30 billion. Some of the reasons for this situation could be the announcement of establishing a method to avoid the use of shared accounts, the high cost of the monthly payment, and the fact that users, after 2 years of the pandemic, have seen a large part of the catalog and They decided to migrate to other platforms in search of new content. 94
The 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine also caused a loss of around 700,000 subscribers between February and March 2022: in retaliation for the invasion, Netflix suspended its service in Russia, thus losing subscribers in that country. 95
In February 2023, the implementation of the ban on accounts in different households began, a measure that became unpopular worldwide; in response, the platform initiated a price reduction, starting in 30 countries such as Croatia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Yemen, Jordan, Libya, Iran, Kenya, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines. 96
Since 2016, the Netflix VOD service has been available worldwide with the exception of the Crimea region and the national territories of China, North Korea and Syria. In the case of China, as of July 2019, the company was still studying how to offer its services, although many people access them through a virtual private network or VPN ; while the restrictions established by the US government prevent any company from doing business in Russia, North Korea, Syria and Crimea. 97
Although Netflix’s presence in the international market makes it an “indisputable icon of television transformations”, 98 the role it plays in each country or region is very different, ranging from a disruptive actor in English-speaking markets to United States, Canada or Australia, going through a niche service in Europe and Latin America, until reaching a minor player in Africa and the Middle East. 16 In Poland, for example, during its first month (September 2016), it reached close to one million subscribers thanks to the 30-day free trial service. However, by the end of 2018 the number had dropped to around 750,000 clients, most of whom are young people from big cities and the upper class. 98
In general, when talking about the impact of Netflix worldwide, it must be taken into account that the service is a fact in theory but not in practice. This is often due to factors unrelated to the company, such as bandwidth and general Internet connectivity conditions or the high cost of high-speed data packages necessary to support video viewing on the platform. In other cases, it is the conditions established by the company itself, which cannot be met by customers, such as the restriction to pay only with a debit or credit card. 16 99
The example of Cuba serves to illustrate the above. In February 2015, Netflix announced its entry into the Caribbean country after the administration of President Barack Obama withdrew sanctions imposed on the island since the Cold War era . However, even if the service is available, only 5% of people have access to the Internet and it has very low speed; Cuban citizens are not allowed credit cards and Netflix does not accept cash payments in the country; and finally, the service cost of 7.99 per month is very high considering that the average salary on the island is 17 dollars per month. 16 100 101
In the opinion of some media and expert voices, entering certain markets such as Cuba has a symbolic justification, such as being able to affirm that Netflix is a global service and that it was one of the US companies that brought its services to a certain market. 100 101
|2010||The company began offering streaming service in the international market on September 22, 2010 in Canada . 102|
|2011||Netflix announced its plans to launch its streaming service in Latin America . 103|
|2012||Netflix kicked off its expansion into Europe in 2012 with the launch in the UK and Ireland on January 4th. 104By September 18, it had already been extended to Denmark , Finland , Norway and Sweden . 105|
|2013||The Netherlands was the only country Netflix expanded to in 2013, as the company decided to slow down its expansion in order to control subscription costs. 106|
|2014||Netflix is available in Austria , Belgium , France , Germany , Luxembourg , and Switzerland . 107|
|2015||Expansion to Australia , New Zealand , Japan , 108 109 110 Italy , Portugal , and Spain . 111|
|2015-2016||Netflix announced expansion into Asia, beginning with launch in Pakistan , Singapore , South Korea , and Taiwan in early 2016, and the Philippines and Southeast Asia in the near future. 112|
|2016||Netflix expanded its presence to 130 countries, increasing its coverage to the entire world except the People’s Republic of China (except for Hong Kong and Macau ), Syria , and North Korea ; furthermore it is also not available in the European regions of Crimea and Sevastopol .|
|2017||20% of the broadband capacity used this year worldwide was for Netflix services 113|
|2019||It allies with Canal+ in France to offer a joint package. 114 115|
Shutdown of Netflix in Russia
Netflix is no longer serving customers in Russia amid Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine .
They confirmed that the streaming platform completely shut down in Russia , on Sunday, March 6, 2022.
“Given the circumstances on the ground, we have decided to suspend our service in Russia”a spokesperson said, via Variety . 116
Netflix previously announced that it would cancel all future Russian projects and acquisitions, joining many countries that have similarly cut ties with the country due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine . 117
Situation in the United States
The success of Netflix was followed by the establishment of many other DVD rental companies, both in the United States and abroad, with Walmart starting an online rental service in October 2002, but exiting the market in May 2005. However, it later acquired the Voodoo rental service, in 2010. 118
Currently its biggest competitor is Hulu , since it offers a free mode in the United States and Japan that includes ads, limited access to its video library and only one PC, and a paid mode with full access, without advertising and fewer restrictions. This made him popular and earned him the nickname “The Spotify of TV.”
Blockbuster Video entered the US online market in August 2004 with a $19.95 monthly subscription service. This sparked a price war; Netflix had raised its popular three-disc plan from $19.95 to $21.99 just before Blockbuster went live, but in October, Netflix lowers this rate to $17.99. Blockbuster responded with rates as low as $14.99 for a while, but, in August 2005, both companies settled on identical rates. 119 On July 22, 2007, Netflix dropped the prices of its two most popular plans by $1.00 in an effort to better compete with Blockbuster online. 120 On October 4, 2012, Dish Networkscrapped plans to make Blockbuster a competitor to Netflix. 121 (Dish acquired the failing Blockbuster, LLC in 2011 and continued to license the franchise brand, plus it will keep its “Blockbuster on Demand” streaming video service open.) 122
In 2005, Netflix cited Amazon.com as a potential competitor , 123 which until 2008 offered online video rentals in the United Kingdom and Germany. This division of the company was sold to LoveFilm; however, Amazon bought it in 2011. 124 In addition, it now streams movies and TV shows through Amazon Video (formerly Amazon Video On Demand and LOVEFiLM Instant). 125
Redbox is another competitor that uses a kiosk approach: Instead of shipping DVDs, customers pick up and return DVDs at self-service kiosks located in metropolitan areas. In September 2012, Coinstar, the owners of Redbox, announced plans to partner with Verizon to launch Redbox Instant by Verizon in late 2012. 126 In early 2013, Redbox Instant by Verizon began a limited beta version of its service. , 127 which was described by critics as “Not a killer Netflix”, 128 due to “technical problems and lackluster search.” 129
CuriosityStream, an ad-free premium subscription-based service, similar to Netflix, was launched in March 2015, offering strictly non-fiction content, focused on the areas of science, technology, civilization, and the human spirit. has dubbed the “new nonfiction Netflix.” 130
Hulu Plus , like Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video , “has its own offerings of exclusive and original content,” like Netflix “to not only continue to attract new subscribers, but also maintain existing ones.” 131
Another company that took the model was DAZN , which applied it to sports, offering live and recorded sports at a flat rate. It gained notoriety recently after HBO abandoned the broadcast of boxing matches to be taken over later by this company.
Netflix and Blockbuster largely avoid offering pornography , but several “adult” video subscription services were inspired by Netflix, such as SugarDVD and WantedList. 132 133
In October 2019, the US media reported and informed that Disney would stop broadcasting Netflix advertising on its different networks, both on US open television, especially ABC , and on cable. The only exception at that time would be ESPN , a cable network specializing in sports, where it does not compete with Netflix. According to special reports, this action would be part of Disney’s preparations before the launch of its Disney+ streaming service , announced for November of the same year in the United States and Canada. 134 135 136 137
In March 2020, WarnerMedia Direct pulled its entire catalog from Cartoon Network , Adult Swim , TNT , and the Warner Bros library . from Netflix in the United States to migrate to HBO Max and compete with Netflix. 138
Other countries and regions
In Australia , Netflix competes with several local streaming companies, including Presto’s Foxtel /Seven West Media, Stan’s Nine Entertainment Co./Fairfax Media, and Quickflix . In Scandinavia , Netflix competes with Viaplay, HBO Nordic and CMore Play. In Southeast Asia , Netflix competes with Astro On the Go, Sky on Demand, Singtel TV, HomeCable OnDemand, and iflix. 139 In New Zealand , Netflix competes with local streaming companies, including Television New Zealand (TVNZ), Mediaworks New Zealand, Sky Network Television, Lightbox, Neon and Quickflix. in italy, Netflix only competes with Infinity (Mediaset), Sky Online and TIMvision. In South Africa , Netflix competes with ShowMax. 140
In Latin America , Netflix competes in Mexico with Blim 141 from Grupo Televisa , 142 Cinépolis Klic and Totalplay . 143 In other countries in the region, it competes with HBO GO (now HBO Max ), 144 , 145 QubitTV , 146 Disney + , Star+ (formerly FOX Play ) and Claro video . 147 148
In Argentina, it competes with Cablevisión Flow from Telecom , TeleCentro Play from Grupo Pierri, Cont.ar and CINE.AR Play , owned by Contenidos Públicos SE 149 .
In Spain, it was initially speculated that Netflix would not start operating its services due to the high copyright prices compared to other European countries 150 such as France or Germany 151 and due to the high rate of illegal streaming websites 152 and piracy . . 153 In October 2015 154 Netflix arrived in the European country 155 independently, and with Vodafone TV 156 where it was integrated into the decoders 157 of the Vodafone TV company to counteract Movistar+ and Yomvi . 156Currently, Netflix competes with the streaming services of Movistar+ , 158 159 HBO , Amazon Prime , Apple TV , RakutenTV , Filmin , and, to a lesser extent since they are free platforms, with Atresplayer and Flooxer (owned by Atresmedia ), Mitele and Mtmad (owned by Mediaset España ), iTunes and Google Play . 160
In 2019, Canal+ , Netflix’s competitor in France, became its ally when the companies presented a joint package that came into force on October 15 of that year. The offer, offered through Canal+, consists of paying for your CINEMA/SERIES package, you get access to the more than 20 channels of the French company, as well as the standard service of 2 screens and HD quality of Netflix.