Timeline of Netflix

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This is a timeline of Netflix, an American global provider of streaming films and television series.

Big picture

Time period Key developments at Netflix
1997–2006 Netflix is founded on a mail-rental DVD service, goes IPO, and faces vicious competition with Blockbuster.
2007–2015 Netflix starts its online subscription service in 2007 (a year after just over 50% of American households have broadband access), and online streaming ultimately forms the basis of Netflix's business model (as usage of DVDs starts declining). Netflix starts internationalization in 2010, reaches over 26 million subscribers worldwide by April 2011, 40.4 million subscribers by September 2013, and 81 million by April 2016. By 2015, it starts accounting for over one-third of all US Internet traffic.[1] As Blockbuster declines, Netflix's primary competition is with other online streaming services like Amazon Video and Hulu in the US.

Full timeline

Year Month and date Event type Details
1997 August 29 Company Netflix founded in Scotts Valley, California by Marc Randolph[2][3] and Reed Hastings, who previously had worked together at Pure Software.
1998 April 14 Product Netflix launches its website [4] with 925 works available for rent through a traditional pay-per-rental model (50¢US per rental U.S. postage; late fees applied).[5]
1999 July Funding Netflix raises up $30 million in private equity.[6]
1998 September Product Netflix launches its monthly subscription concept.[7]
2000 Company Netflix offers itself for acquisition to Blockbuster for $50 million; however, Blockbuster declines the offer.[8]
2001 October Company Netflix announces that it will lay off one-third of its employees.
2002 Competition 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.
2002 May 29 Company Netflix 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.
2003 April Growth Netflix announces that it reaches 1 million subscribers.[9]
2004 August 11 Competition Blockbuster launches Blockbuster online to compete with Netflix, offering unlimited DVD rentals at the flat fee of $19.99/month.[10]
2006 September 7 Competition Amazon introduces video on demand service Amazon Video.
2006 October 1 Company Netflix 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%.[11]
2007 January 15 Product Netflix announces that it will launch streaming video.[12]
2007 February Product Netflix delivers its billionth DVD[13] and begins to move away from its original core business model of mailing DVDs by introducing video on demand via the Internet.
2008 March 12 Competition Hulu, a competing online streaming service, launches for public access in the United States.[14]
2008 August Product Netflix experiences a giant database corruption. This drives it to shift moving all its data to the Amazon Web Services cloud. It finally shifts all its data to the cloud by January 2016.[15]
2010 September 22 International Netflix starts expanding its streaming service to the international market, starting with Canada."[16]
2010 December Legal The FCC Open Internet Order bans cable television and telephone service providers from preventing access to competitors or certain web sites such as Netflix.
2011 April Competition Vudu announces the launch of its online streaming service.[17]
2011 June Team Netflix CEO Reed Hastings joins Facebook's board of directors.[18]
2011 September 5 International Netflix launches streaming service in Brazil
2011 September 7 International Netflix launches streaming service in Argentina, Uruguay, & Paraguay
2011 September 8 International Netflix launches streaming service in Chile & Bolivia
2011 September 9 International Netflix launches streaming service in Andean region, including Peru and Ecuador
2011 September 12 International Netflix launches streaming service in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean
2011 September 18 Product 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.[19] This change would be retracted a month later.
2011 November Finance Netflix stock plunges from 42.16/share in July to 9.12/share in November, as 800,000 subscribers quit.[20]
2012 January 4 International Netflix starts its expansion in Europe, launching in the United Kingdom and Ireland.[21] By September 18 it has expanded to Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.[22]
2012 April Company Netflix files with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to form a political action committee (PAC) called FLIXPAC.[23]
2012 June 4 Product Netflix announces Open Connect, its initiative to work with partnering Internet Service Providers, to store (and keep updated) its video library in the locations the ISP desires, so that the ISP can serve the traffic cheaply and efficiently, reducing costs for Netflix and the ISP and improving latency for end users.[24][25][26] Along with this announcement, Netflix also reveals that it is streaming a billion hours of video a month.
2012 December Product Netflix experiences massive Christmas Eve outage, due to its hosting on Amazon Web Services. Amazon issues apology several days later.[27]
2013 February 1 Product Netflix starts streaming House of Cards, its first original content.[28]
2013 August 1 Product Netflix 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").
2013 November Competition Dish Networks announces that Blockbuster will close all remaining stores by the end of the year.[29]
2014 February Product Netflix discovers that Comcast Cable has been slowing its traffic down, and announces that it will pay Comcast to end the slowdown.[30]
2014 September 10 Product Netflix 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.[31]
2015 July Finance Netflix announces that its stock has surged to an all-time high (to almost $100/share), a growth of 574% over the past five years.[32]
2015 September 2 International Netflix launches streaming service in Japan.
2015 October Product Netflix 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." [33]
2016 January 6 International At 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.[34]
2016 January Product Netflix announces that it will launch originals targeting kids.[35]
2016 February 11 Product Netflix finishes its massive migration of its data servers to Amazon Web Services.[36][37]
2016 March Legal Netflix, supposedly a defender of net neutrality, admits that it sends lower quality video to mobile subscribers on AT&T and Verizon’s networks for the past 5 years.[38] This may hand the telecommunication giants a potent weapon in their legal fight against Net Neutrality. Some accuse Netflix of hypocrisy.[39]
2016 March 17 Product Netflix announces that Netflix Open Connect now delivers 100% of its video traffic, currently over 125 million hours of video per day, and 90% of traffic is served through direct connections between Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Open Connect. The Open Connect Appliances (OCAs) can stream at 90 Gbps per server. Content is synced from Netflix's main video library to the OCAs periodically, during hours of low Internet traffic.[40][41]
2016 May Partnerships Netflix 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.[42]
2016 November 30 Product After years of requests from subscribers, Netflix rolls out an offline playback feature to all of its subscribers in all of its markets.[43]

References

  1. "Netflix Accounts for More Than One-Third of Internet Traffic". Time.com. Retrieved May 22, 2016. 
  2. self. "Marc Randolph LinkedIn Profile". Retrieved October 31, 2011. 
  3. Robin Wauters. "Marc Randolph Techcrunch". Retrieved October 31, 2011. 
  4. Keating, Gina (2012). Netflixed: The Epic Battle for America's Eyeballs. Portfolio/ Penguin. 
  5. Stephen Czar (1998). "DVD Historical Timeline". Retrieved January 30, 2006. 
  6. "Netflix". Crunchbase. Retrieved May 21, 2016. 
  7. O'Brien, Jeffrey M. (December 2002). "The Netflix Effect". Wired News. 
  8. "Blockbuster to Remake Itself Under Creditors". The Wall Street Journal. September 24, 2010. 
  9. "Netflix Announces First Quarter 2003 Ending Subscribers of 1,052,000, Up 74% Over The Prior Year (NASDAQ:NFLX)". Ir.net. Retrieved May 23, 2016. 
  10. "Blockbuster Launches BLOCKBUSTER Online(TM) – The Movie Store at Your Door(TM)". Prnewswire.com. Retrieved May 23, 2016. 
  11. "Netflix Prize Website". Retrieved December 8, 2006. 
  12. "Netflix to Deliver Movies to the PC". The New York Times. January 16, 2007. Retrieved May 21, 2016. 
  13. "The Victoria Advocate – Feb 26, 2007". p. B4. 
  14. "Welcome to Hulu « The Hulu Blog". Blog.hulu.com. Retrieved May 30, 2016. 
  15. "Completing the Netflix Cloud Migration". Retrieved May 30, 2016. 
  16. Star Staff; Canadian Press (September 10, 2010). "Netflix stumbles as it launches in Canada". Toronto Star. Toronto Star. Retrieved December 3, 2014. 
  17. "Vudu Launches Streaming Service". Retrieved May 30, 2016. 
  18. "Netflix CEO Reed Hastings joins Facebook's Board of Directors". Engadget.com. Retrieved May 30, 2016. 
  19. "An Explanation and Some Reflections". Qwikster. Retrieved September 19, 2011. 
  20. "Netflix stock sinks as 800,000 subscribers quit – Oct. 25, 2011". CNN. Retrieved May 30, 2016. 
  21. "Netflix launches UK film and TV streaming service". BBC News. January 9, 2012. Retrieved January 9, 2012. 
  22. "Netflix Launches In Sweden, Denmark, Norway And Finland". PRNewswire (Press release). October 18, 2012. Retrieved November 14, 2014. 
  23. Levinthal, Dave (April 7, 2012). "Netflix forms PAC". Politico. 
  24. Florance, Ken (June 4, 2012). "Announcing the Netflix Open Connect Network". Netflix. Retrieved May 13, 2017. 
  25. "Netflix Rolls Out Its Own CDN: Open Connect". TechCrunch. June 4, 2012. Retrieved May 13, 2017. 
  26. Limer, Eric (July 23, 2014). "This Box Can Hold an Entire Netflix". Gizmodo. Retrieved May 13, 2017. 
  27. "Netflix outage mars Christmas Eve – CNET". Cnet.com. Retrieved May 30, 2016. 
  28. Keating, Gina (2012). Netflixed: The Epic Battle for America's Eyeballs. Portfolio/ Penguin. 
  29. "Netflix has won: Blockbuster is closing its last retail stores". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 21, 2016. 
  30. "Netflix Agrees To Pay Comcast To End Slowdown – Consumerist". Consumerist. Retrieved May 30, 2016. 
  31. Rose Eveleth (September 10, 2014). "Why Netflix Is 'Slowing Down' Its Website Today". The Atlantic. Retrieved February 26, 2015. 
  32. "Netflix is up over 500% in 5 years – Jul. 16, 2015". CNN. Retrieved May 30, 2016. 
  33. "Netflix prices are going up. Here's when you'll have to pay more - Apr. 19, 2016". CNN. Retrieved September 11, 2016. 
  34. "At CES, Netflix Adds Over 130 Countries to Streaming Service". The New York Times. January 6, 2016. Retrieved September 11, 2016. 
  35. "Netflix To Ramp Up Originals Targeting Kids". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved September 11, 2016. 
  36. Jon Brodkin (February 11, 2016). "Netflix finishes its massive migration to the Amazon cloud". Ars Technica. Retrieved May 30, 2016. 
  37. "Netflix Shifts All IT to Amazon's Public Cloud - CIO Journal.". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved September 11, 2016. 
  38. "Netflix Is No Net Neutrality Hypocrite for Slowing Down Video". Wired.com. Retrieved May 30, 2016. 
  39. "Netflix Throttles Its Videos on AT&T, Verizon Networks". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved September 11, 2016. 
  40. "How Netflix Works With ISPs Around the Globe to Deliver a Great Viewing Experience". Netflix. March 17, 2016. Retrieved May 13, 2017. 
  41. Roettgers, Janko (August 11, 2016). "Here's What's Going Down With Netflix's Servers Before You Get 'The Get Down'". Variety. Retrieved May 13, 2017. 
  42. "At Netflix, What's Old Is New Again - MoneyBeat". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved September 11, 2016. 
  43. Fung, Brain. "Netflix is finally letting you download videos for offline viewing". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 30, 2016. 

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