Netflix celebrated its 25th anniversary with a retrospective of how far its business model has come.
Netflix released a 25th anniversary video to YouTube detailing the streaming service’s history and evolution since Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph founded it in 1997. “When Netflix arrived 25 years ago, the net looked a lot like this and the flix looked a lot like that, ” the video states, looking back on the design of early internet and VHS players where early Netflix — a DVD rental-by-mail service — got its start. After revisiting old Netflix commercials promoting the original red DVD return envelopes, the voiceover admits, “But at a certain point, DVDs just couldn’t keep up. Luckily by that time, the internet could.”
The video also documented the early years of streaming and popular shows like Stranger Things, Orange is the New Black and Bojack Horseman. Netflix also addressed the power of fandoms on its brand longevity, recognizing “the fans who found something unexpected to love and turned it into something incredible,” while teasing much more to come in Netflix’s future.
Netflix Celebrates 25 Years of (Streaming) Service
On top of ongoing series like Stranger Things, Sex Educationand The WitcherNetflix added a new collection of programs to its 2022 roster with shows like The Lincoln Lawyer, The Cuphead Show and a live-action adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman. For movie releases, the service dropped Ryan Reynold’s sci-fi time-travel movie The Adam Project in March, The Gray Man in July and, most recently, the vampire-action film Day Shift. Notable projects set to release before the end of 2022 include Mike Flannigan’s horror series The Midnight Clubas well as the Marilyn Monroe psychological drama, Blonde.
Despite its abundance of titles, Netflix has recently struggled with its subscribers count. According to an April report, the company lost 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter of 2022, with viewership declining in every geographical region worldwide. However, this excluded the Pacific market, which saw a significant increase. Reports also suggested that Netflix would lose nearly 2 million subscribers in its second quarter, though it only suffered a loss of under one million, something Hastings attributed to the critical success of Stranger Things Season 4.
As of the past month, Netflix’s streaming competitor Disney+ has surpassed it in terms of subscribers, garnering 221.1 million worldwide compared to its 220.7 million. Another competitor, HBO Max, has overseen a massive, controversial overhaul of its programming lineup, canceling multiple streaming-exclusive TV shows and films like Batgirl and The Amazing World of Gumball Movie.