by Micaela Mueller
100 Winchester Circle, Los Gatos, CA 95032
Netflix is an international public company that allows users to stream movies and television shows online with a monthly subscription. They also offer rentals by mail for an additional cost and produce their own original programming.
Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph founded Netflix in 1997 as an online movie rental service. In 2007, Netflix introduced streaming services that allowed members to use personal computers to instantly watch movies and television shows online. In 2012, Netflix began producing original content and became the first Internet TV network to be nominated for the primetime Emmy with 31 nominations in 2013 . Currently in 2014, Netflix has over 53 million members in nearly 50 countries worldwide and accounts for more than 34 percent of the peak wired download traffic in North America .
Netflix is publically held. According to the company’s 2014 third quarter report, it has $1,223 billion in total revenue, a 27% increase from the same quarter of the previous year. The company reported a 20% increase in domestic revenue from the same quarter of the previous year and a 47% increase in international revenue due to their expanded global market. Netflix predicts a 6% increase in total revenue and an additional 4 million subscribers by the end of the fourth quarter, bringing their total revenue up to $1,305 billion and their global membership to 57 million. Netflix’s two major competitors are Hulu and Amazon .
Over a 3-month period, Netflix’s highest share price was $484.39. However, after a massive 25% drop on October 16th, the price dropped to $361.70 and eventually reached it’s lowest share price of $346.59 on November 30th .
The 25% drop in share price occurred a day after Netflix reported that the company’s subscriber growth was below the original forecast. Netflix speculates that the subscriber growth was lower than anticipated as a result of the increased price for membership that was announced in May 2014 . The price increased $1 from $7.99 to $8.99 monthly .
For the past couple of years, Netflix has been working to increase their international presence. Since 2012, Netflix has been available internationally in the UK, Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden and in the Netherlands since 2013. In September of 2014, Netflix announced that streaming services are now available to subscribers in Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and Luxembourg via all devices with Internet access including computers, smartphones, and video game consoles .
Then, in November of 2014, Netflix announced, that by March of 2015, it will expand into New Zealand and Australia .
Netflix and Nielsen
Since its start in 1997, the company has never released how many people watch each show on Netflix. The company claims that because their revenue comes from subscribers and not advertisers, the only number that matters is their subscriber count. The company’s decision bothers networks such as HBO, Showtime, and Starz, who also rely on subscribers and not advertisers, but who have their ratings recorded by Nielsen .
However, according to the Wall Street Journal, Nielsen is going to start measuring viewership for streaming services like Netflix. Starting next month, Nielsen will use already existing in-home metering devices to record Netflix viewership without the need of the company’s permission. Nielsen, however, will not be able to record viewership via mobile devices, a platform heavily used for Netflix streaming .
Recent Original Content
Netflix started producing original programming in 2012 with the release their first series Lilyhammer starring former Sopranos star Steven Van Zandt . Since then, the company has produced a number of successes such as Orange is the New Black, winning 3 Primetime Emmy Awards , and House of Cards, winning 4 Primetime Emmy Awards .
In addition to producing their own content, Netflix picks up dropped on-the-air television shows and continues to produce them. Arrested Development, for example, was off the air for a number of years before Netflix produced its fourth season in 2013. In August of 2014, the network confirmed that it will be producing a fifth season in the coming year .
On June 19, 2014, Netflix announced the company’s pairing with Chelsea Handler to produce a Netflix original comedy talk show. Handler decided to pair with Netflix in order to keep herself new and interesting. The talk show will debut in early 2016 . However, on October 10th, the network premiered a stand up comedy performance from Handler’s latest comedy tour, Uganda Be Kidding Me, as her debut to Netflix .
On September 30, 2014, Netflix announced their pairing with the Weinstein Company to release their first original movie. The movie will be a sequel to Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, a 2002 martial-arts epic movie directed by Ang Lee, also the director of Life of Pi and Brokeback Mountain . The sequel will be titled Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend and will be directed by Yuen Wo-ping. It will be produced by Harvey Weinstein, Academy Award winner for The King’s Speech, Peter Berg, Emmy Award winner for Friday Night Lights, and Sarah Aubrey, producer of Lone Survivor. The film tells a martial arts story where good and evil battle for the fate of the Martial World. Major stars of the film will include Harry Shum Jr., Jason Scott Lee, Roger Yuan, and Eugenia Yuan . It will be released and available to all subscribers on August 28, 2015 as well as in select global IMAX theaters .
Days later, on October 2nd, Netflix announced a deal they made with Adam Sandler, comedy actor and founder of Happy Madison Productions . Sandler, alongside Happy Madison Productions, committed to acting and producing four films exclusively available through Netflix. The first movie could come as early as late 2015 and currently has no theatrical component .
Netflix will be premiering two original programming pieces on December 12, 2014. The first is Marco Polo, a series centered on Marco Polo’s exploration during the time of the 13th century war in China and will be produced by The Weinstein Company .
The company will continue their original series in 2016 with a relationship sitcom called Love. Judd Apatow, known for producing Knocked Up and 40-Year-Old Virgin, will co-write and produce this Netflix original series .
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