Timeline of Netflix
This is a timeline of Netflix, an American global provider of streaming films and television series.
|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. As Blockbuster declines, Netflix's primary competition is with other online streaming services like Amazon Video and Hulu in the US.|
|Year||Month and date||Event type||Details|
|1997||August 29||Company||Netflix founded in Scotts Valley, California by Marc Randolph and Reed Hastings, who previously had worked together at Pure Software.|
|1998||April 14||Product||Netflix launches its website  with 925 works available for rent through a traditional pay-per-rental model (50¢US per rental U.S. postage; late fees applied).|
|1999||July||Funding||Netflix raises up $30 million in private equity.|
|1998||September||Product||Netflix launches its monthly subscription concept.|
|2000||Company||Netflix offers itself for acquisition to Blockbuster for $50 million; however, Blockbuster declines the offer.|
|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.|
|2004||August 11||Competition||Blockbuster launches Blockbuster online to compete with Netflix, offering unlimited DVD rentals at the flat fee of $19.99/month.|
|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%.|
|2007||January 15||Product||Netflix announces that it will launch streaming video.|
|2007||February||Product||Netflix delivers its billionth DVD 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.|
|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.|
|2010||September 22||International||Netflix starts expanding its streaming service to the international market, starting with Canada."|
|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.|
|2011||June||Team||Netflix CEO Reed Hastings joins Facebook's board of directors.|
|2011||September 5||International||Netflix launches streaming service in Brazil.|
|2011||September 7||International||Netflix launches streaming service in Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay.|
|2011||September 8||International||Netflix launches streaming service in Chile and 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. 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.|
|2012||January 4||International||Netflix starts its expansion in Europe, launching in the United Kingdom and Ireland. By September 18 it has expanded to Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.|
|2012||April||Company||Netflix files with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to form a political action committee (PAC) called FLIXPAC.|
|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. 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.|
|2013||February 1||Product (original content)||Netflix starts streaming House of Cards, its first original content.|
|2013||April 19||Product (original content)||Netflix starts streaming original horror series Hemlock Grove.|
|2013||July 11||Product (original content)||Netflix starts streaming original comedy-drama series Orange Is the New Black.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|2014||December 12||Product (original content)||Netflix starts streaming original drama series Marco Polo.|
|2015||March 20||Product (original content)||Netflix starts streaming thriller–drama series Bloodline.|
|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.|
|2015||June 5||Product (original content)||Netflix starts streaming science fiction drama series Sense8.|
|2015||August 28||Product (original content)||Netflix starts streaming crime drama series Narcos.|
|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." |
|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.|
|2016||January||Product||Netflix announces that it will launch originals targeting kids.|
|2016||February 11||Product||Netflix finishes its massive migration of its data servers to Amazon Web Services.|
|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. This may hand the telecommunication giants a potent weapon in their legal fight against Net Neutrality. Some accuse Netflix of hypocrisy.|
|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.|
|2016||April||Netflix announces it would be ending a loyalty rate in certain countries for subscribers who were continuously subscribed before price rises.|
|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.|
|2016||July 15||Product (original content)||Netflix starts streaming original horror series Stranger Things.|
|2016||August 12||Product (original content)||Netflix starts streaming original musical drama series The Get Down.|
|2016||November 4||Product (original content)||Netflix starts streaming original historical drama series The Crown.|
|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.|
|2016||December 16||Product (original content)||Netflix starts streaming original mystery series The OA.|
|2017||January 13||Product (original content)||Netflix starts streaming original black-comedy mystery series A Series of Unfortunate Events.|
|2017||March 31||Product (original content)||Netflix starts streaming original teen drama/mystery series 13 Reasons Why.|
|2017||June 30||Product (original content)||Netflix starts streaming original psychological thriller series Gypsy.|
|2017||October 13||Product (original content)||Netflix starts streaming original drama series Mindhunter.|
|2018||February 2||Porduct (original content)||Netflix starts streaming original science fiction series Altered Carbon.|
|2018||February 23||Product (original content)||Netflix starts streaming original crime drama series Seven Seconds.|
|2018||April 13||Product (original content)||Netflix starts streaming original science fiction series Lost in space.|
|2018||July||Netflix decides to remove tool for writing user reviews from its desktop website, reducing ratings to thumbs up and thumbs down. Starting July 30, users would no longer be able to add new reviews of shows or movies, and by the middle of August, they would no longer be able to read previously written reviews either.|
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