The Evolution of Netflix

Sofia Dean, Staff Writer

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Netflix. It’s where you can watch all your favorites shows and movies, from Stranger Things, Moana and Mean Girls, to Orange is the New Black, Riverdale and 13 Reasons Why. On Friday nights, you stay up late, glued to the screen, waiting to find out what happens next, and after you finish the final season, you wait in anticipation for a long period of time for Netflix to drop their next big hit.

This is the Netflix we have come to know and love. But what was it before our recommendation for the best streaming service?

When I was a kid, Netflix was a service where you could order any DVD you wanted to rent online, and a few days later, it would arrive in your mailbox. It was always thrilling for me to come home and see that red envelope. I would watch the movie I had ordered and then we would have to send it back.

Then my family got a Blu-Ray DVD player in 2007. This new device came with a new kind of Netflix. It had lists of all sorts of movies you could watch for free if you had a subscription. My brother and I loved to watch movies on Saturday mornings and we found this streaming service to be convenient when we wanted to watch something.

Over time, as we clicked through the lists of movies Netflix offered, I realized that it only seemed to be an archive fora��bad movies. Not so bad that one couldn’t watch them, but bad enough that I would consider them to be a waste of time. There were sequel movies that went straight to DVD or movies that didn’t make as much money as they had intended to make when they first hit the theaters.

And all in all, the quality of the connection to the streaming service wasn’t ten out of ten; it often buffered, making it a chore to watch anything on Netflix. After a while I gave up on it and switched over to Amazon Instant Video, which was a better streaming quality at the time.

Then, in 2013, Netflix decided to change big-time. It had started something called “Netflix Originals.” This meant that the company had produced its own content, their first original show being House of Cards. Viewers suddenly had a newfound interest in Netflix, and the once hall of bad movies had a substantial amount of subscribers. It got more intense after that; by 2016, Netflix had produced over 126 Netflix Original TV shows and films. The subscriber number had risen from 33.1 million in 2013 to 109.25 million in 2017.

Since then, popular shows, such as Stranger Things, Orange is the New Black and others have developed into entire franchises. Hot Topic began to sell figurines and t-shirts of all the best characters. All anyone could talk about was the premieres of the next seasons of their favorite shows. Now instead of rolling my eyes at the latest bad Disney sequel, my brain lights up when I see “New Episodes” on a Netflix Original. I grab the popcorn, press play and get drawn into the world of Netflix. Now, I spend about every minute of my free time watching the latest shows and movies that the streaming service has to offer. Don’t judge!


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The Evolution of Netflix