So there is this company right, and they thought up this idea where you should be able to watch video content you want with a low priced subscription, without paying $5 at Blockbuster. They build a nice business out of mail order DVDs and it was a nice idea, then they added an “extra subscription feature” that changed everything.
Netflix rolled out this new thing called “watch instantly”, and they didn’t charge extra for it. I first discovered this when I got access to watch instantly through a friend with Netfilx and XBOX Live accounts. My world was changed. You mean I don’t have to watch what is on TV anymore? Wait… how many movies are there to choose from? And its all I want, not limit? So needless to say I was personally hooked, and in time so it seems so was everybody else. And that is when Netflix changed the internet.
In late January 2011 Netflix was told by the major ISPs that they had to slow their roll. The ISPs couldn’t keep up with all of the streaming high quality (big files) video that Netflix customers were demanding. In the past the ISPs would have had their way on this one. Them being in complete control of all the lines of distribution and all. Well, not so fast. Netflix had become so big at this point that their performance on the top ISPs would be considered a strong sample from which to judge the best and worst ISPs. (Can you say leverage.) So they released these stats to the public. (You can see the results here: http://techblog.netflix.com/2011/01/netflix-performance-on-top-isp-networks.html ) Netflix had created such an awesome product with so much usage that they literally forced the networks to improve at a faster rate. Netflix accelerated the improvement of your internet connects. (I’m a fan of anyone or company that can make the ISPs get better.)
They did something else to change the internet. They made streamed and downloaded content legal again. More traffic was driven by Netflix this last year than bit.torrent websites. More content was paid for via Netflix rather than downloaded for free. (Wait a second, you mean people will actually pay for content?) It turns out all we needed was a good platform/subscription to be a part of in order to pay for our content consumption. I have no ideas what the details are of the agreement between Netflix and the video content creators, but if I was in the movie biz… I’d have a Netflix account just out of principle if nothing else. (Want more details on how Netflix is 30+% of internet usage in North America, check this out: http://blog.moviefone.com/2011/05/20/netflix-bandwidth-internet/ )
So lets recap:
-Netflix is driving ISPs to develop faster and more efficient ways to deliver you content online… (Gold Star)
-Netflix is making content consumption online a business model rather than a piracy case… (Double Gold Star)
In closing… awesome job Netflix. I’m proud to currently have an account with you, and blown away by how easy it makes my life.
*One disclaimer on this post, I was in NO way paid to write this. These are my own thoughts. Also I’m very disappointed I wasn’t able to work the word “Paradigm Shift” into this post.