Television can be described as a relationship. It asks for our time, dedication, and trust. This relationship is one-sided in many ways. The control largely remains in the hands of the viewer, and the show alone carries the burden of satisfaction. The beginning of a new television show is like a courtship. The new show makes its case and tries to grab our attention as the viewers. People who subscribe to cable companies must wait each week for the television show to air. It really is like a relationship because each week a person waits for that specific day and time to watch the show. Netflix began in 1997. It consisted of going online, picking some movies, and having them delivered in a petite red envelope in the mail. Netflix began streaming in 2007.
Over the past 11 years, Netflix has become the biggest streaming service in the United States and is making its way worldwide. Netflix releases entire seasons of its shows together so people can binge watch and not have to wait one week in between episodes. This strategy has arguably encouraged to creators to reconsider emphasis within this viewing relationship. When someone views a new show on Netflix and they are not amused by the pilot episode, the next episode is only a short fifteen seconds away from staring. Why not give it the benefit of the doubt? Without having a week break between episodes, the Netflix model potentially extends the courtship period. Each episode is right at peoples fingertips. A relationship with a series that requires consistent viewing no longer seems so high maintenance. If the series disappoints us, moving on is proven to be simpler than it once was. Refining how to watch television and whether to follow a series has led Netflix to enormous growth. Netflix’s continuous growth and expansion have negatively impacted the business of the film industry and linear TV by encouraging streaming instead of cable. Netflix’s growing popularity continues to rise, showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
The shifts have occurred since the birth of television; thus, technological and industrial shifts since the birth of television have continually produced and delivered series. These changes have impacted how creators tell stories and how we the viewers receive them. In February of 2013, Netflix premiered the political drama House of Cards as its first exclusive original series. This was a watershed moment in the growth of streaming television. This rise in popularity also includes a significant growth outside the United States. Netflix’s CEO, Reed Hastings, stated that the international growth of Netflix outside the United States has reached 72 million. France has recently become a rapidly growing part of the rise of Netflix. As a result, Netflix is launching a fully staffed bureau in Paris. This will be the third largest European outpost with Amsterdam and London being at the top. The Pew Research Center conducted a survey of people aged 18 to 29 in August 2017. Six in ten people in the survey group said the primary way they watch television is using the streaming service Netflix. Only thirty one percent of the people said they watch their television mostly via cable or satellite. This research proves that most young adults use Netflix and other streaming devices and services to watch television and movies.
Those with a college education are more likely to watch their television using a streaming service rather than people who do not have a college education. The conclusion from this study shows that this is only the beginning of the growth of Netflix, and streaming will continue to grow. As of July 2018, Netflix continues to keep rising and now has one hundred and thirty million subscribers in one hundred ninety different countries. Netflix will spend approximately eight billion dollars in original programming in 2018. Netflix has not thrived in its programming of different demographics, but it has thrived in “taste communities”. Freelance journalist Joshua Frulinger has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Observer, and GQ shedding some light on the demographics vs. taste communities. He says demographics are not a good indicator of what people enjoying watching. There are more connections between content types.
Netflix analyzes the viewing habits within the taste communities and develops new programming based on the results. Netflix’s algorithm will display shows to other subscribers in the same taste community in hopes titles grab the viewers’ attention. Netflix announced in 2017 that its subscriber base in the United States has doubled over the past five years. According to research obtained by the Leichtman Research Group, Netflix now has approximately fifty-one million viewers in the United States. The number of viewers and subscribers Netflix had in 2017 is higher than the total number of customers for the country’s six largest cable companies combined. Comcast was the top cable company with a total of twenty-two million customers. This research also estimated that these higher-ranking cable companies lost more than one hundred thousand subscribers in one quarter of 2017. Netflix stated they secured roughly one million United States subscribers in the same quarter. Netflix offers TV shows and movies on demand. There are no commercials, and a person can view the programming on any device.
The monthly cost of Netflix is much more accommodating to the average person rather than trying to afford the cost of cable TV. AT&T has charges around $113.43 per month. Netflix is only one tenth of the monthly price of AT&T. This specific research suggests that while Netflix is thriving and continues to bloom, cable companies are starting to lose some of their customer base. Many people enjoy and support Netflix because of its convenience. Netflix has stepped out of the box by creating their own original films. In recent years, with the success of Netflix original films, famous actors like Will Smith and Adam Sandler have played main roles in some of the movies. The streaming giant earned eight Oscar nominations in all: four for its post- World War II race-relations drama Mudbound and four more across the documentary and foreign-film categories. This proves it is a film force to be reckoned with. This could become serious trouble for cinema. Netflix released eighty new original films in 2018. The change in how people can watch movies by using Netflix takes away the tradition of theatrical release of films. On the other hand, Frulinger thinks differently about how Netflix is affecting the movie industry. He feels that the cinema has not yet been affected.
According to Frulinger, Netflix has become an added bonus to the movie industry. Netflix has been beneficial for the cinema because they have become a bidder at movie festivals and some Netflix movies have been released in theatres. Joshua ponders if independent filmmakers are being hurt by Netflix because of their overly formulaic way they go about funding for movies. “Time will only tell” said Joshua. Some people may think that, like many other things, Netflix and streaming services like it are just a trend or a fade that will slow down and fade out over time. But research and history since these streaming services have been available to us suggests otherwise. Netflix will continue to expand just like it has over recent history. Due to Netflix’s fast pace growth, the television industry has to find a way to compete with Netflix.
They’re all getting into the streaming business themselves. Virtually all major networks offer apps that work on streaming devices like Apple TV or Chromecast, and they’re all structured very similarly to Netflix. They just need to figure out their monetization models. Currently, most require a cable (or streaming TV) subscription as a way to sign you in and authenticate that you’re paying for their content somehow (Fruhlinger). Since the growth of Netflix has been fast moving and now spreading out globally, it will not be slowing down anytime soon. The problem of the growth of streaming lies for the older generation of people. A potential solution would be to convince people that do not stream to cut the cord with their cable company and try Netflix. There are so many reasons Netflix is a better choice for TV and movie watching at the end of the day. Not only does Netflix create its own content, but they also have a large selection of TV shows that are on broadcasting networks. Netflix is very diverse with their type of content. Besides movies and TV series, Netflix has documentaries, stand-up comedy specials, anime series, etc.
After being around for two decades, there are still no advertisements. Most companies would have found a way by now to sneak in advertisements at any chance they can get. CBS All-Access and Hulu are other streaming services and subscription based with advertisements. If a person does not want to deal with watching the advertisements, they have to pay more a month to remove the ads. With Netflix, an individual can sit down and get right into action watching the show with no disruptions. Netflix is also very customizable. The service allows the ability to create up to five different profiles per account. The basic plan for Netflix only costs eight dollars a month. The most a person can spend on your subscription with Netflix is fourteen dollars a month with the premium plan. Most users do not typically need the premium plan because the only additional benefits are the ability to watch certain titles in 4K Ultra HD and to stream on up to four devices simultaneously.
Netflix is fighting for net neutrality. In 2017, Netflix really upset the applecart for many people when they claimed they were popular enough to not need net neutrality rules. Netflix turned around and doubled down on its commitment to fighting for net neutrality after the backlash they received. The FCC voted to repeal net neutrality laws and Netflix stood beside other internet giants like Facebook to help fund the ongoing lawsuits to bring back net neutrality. In closing, Netflix has a continuous growth worldwide that shows no signs of letting up any time in the near future. Netflix has already surpassed top cable companies in the united states Comcast and AT&T and is trending toward many people cutting the cord and dropping their cable providers all together. Netflix has undoubtedly affected how people enjoy cinema, television, and the entertainment industry as a whole. Netflix is here and it is here to stay.
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