Founded in 1997 as an online mail DVD rental service, Netflix is now the world’s leading provider of on-demand movie streaming through Netflix.com.
Originally operating solely in the US, its move into the UK market (along with Amazon’s LoveFilm) has been successful to such an extent that it was one of the main reasons for the bankruptcy of high street video rental chain Blockbuster in 2014.
Netflix currently has over 10,000 titles available for streaming to UK customers for a flat price of £5.99 per month. Although both have a large number of movies in their catalogue, the main advantage Netflix has over rival LoveFilm is their extensive library of television shows and box-sets – with Breaking Bad believed to be their most popular exclusive.
Netflix have also commissioned a number of shows themselves – prison drama Orange Is The New Black and political thriller House Of Cards have proved popular with subscribers, further serving to emphasise the company’s aim to become more than simply a platform for streaming material made by others.
With different arms of the company now operating in South America, Scandinavia and parts of Central Europe, as of 2013 it was estimated that Netflix had 40 million global subscribers – with around 2 million of those based in the UK and Ireland.