The most fascinating facts about Netflix

Netflix is one of the most popular streaming services all over the world. The service is becoming so popular that an estimated 37 percent of the world’s internet users use it and as a media empire, it has its own stories to tell. Let’s take a look at some fascinating facts about the streaming giant.

1. Netflix was called as Kibble before the launch

The co-founder and first CEO of Netflix, Marc Randolph says: I was concerned about building a service that looked good but that nobody wanted to use. So I chose Kibble to remind us of the old advertising adage that “It doesn’t matter how good your dog food advertising campaign is if the dogs won’t eat the dog food”.

Other names such as ‘Webflix’, ‘TakeOne’, ‘Netpix’ were considered too but, eventually, they named it ‘Netflix’.

2. Netflix staffers used to make house calls

Since Netflix started working, it has been involved with seeing how its users interact with the service in order to choose new titles. 

In the 1990s, subscribers who lived near the company in California received phone calls and were asked a couple of questions about the service. Then executives would ask if they could stop by to watch them use the service and most of them agreed!

3. Netflix has done some research about spoilers

We all have had the experience of having a TV show spoiled for us and that’s not certainly a good experience. Who has not avoided the internet for days so you wouldn’t have the latest episodes of GoT spoiled for you?

Netflix commissioned cultural anthropologist Grant McCracken to perform ethnographic research about how spoilers affect a person’s viewing habits. His findings show that spoilers are all about power. It means that some people enjoy the power they get from having knowledge of spoilers. But, fortunately, if a show is good enough, knowing about key scenes won’t prevent viewers from watching.

4. Netflix knows it takes only seconds before it could lose you

Netflix estimates that if a typical subscriber doesn’t find something to watch in about 60 or 90 seconds, they could lose interest and move on to something else, like a video game. That’s the reason why Netflix spends more than $150 million on improving its recommendation system every year, trying to sort selections based on what they think you might like.

5. The first “Netflix original” was an abstract test footage short

In 2011 Netflix produced 11 minutes of test footage in order to test frame rates and how their streaming service handles different kinds of content. The short became a very strange, abstract art film, showing an anonymous man juggling and reciting Shakespeare. (It can be viewed by typing “example show” in the Netflix search engine.)

6. 2.7 million subscribers still use Netflix’s DVD service

You may think that DVDs are dead, but some people still like them. In fact, Netflix’s DVD services generate the company some revenue each year. In 2019 there were just 2.15 million DVD subscribers in the United States. Netflix declined to report its DVD subscriber numbers in 2020.

7. An Australian Netflix viewer watched Madagascar 3,352 times in 2017

An unnamed Australian viewer watched this film a ton of times in 2017. Netflix didn’t release any other information alongside the number of times the film has been watched which is equivalent to 22.7 days of a year!

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