Netflix & Chill?

Netflix started as an answer to avoiding late DVD fines and has transformed into its own powerhouse, so we went searching for some facts about the influential entity.

Photo Credit: Forbes
Photo Credit: Forbes


I wasn’t kidding about the fines thing. The creator of Netflix, Reed Hastings, actually started it way back in 1997 after Blockbuster charged him $40 for an overdue VHS. It was also Blockbuster that rejected the offer to buy Netflix for $50 million, which may seem like a lot, but compared to its current networth of $20 billion, I bet they’re kicking themselves… especially when they went bankrupt, which must have given Hastings the ultimate sense of satisfaction.

Netflix is the single largest contributor to internet traffic, counting for about 1/3 of that in the U.S. Now imagine how much time you spend on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and even combined, that doesn’t register on Netflix’s radar.

Photo Credit: digitaltrends
Photo Credit: digitaltrends


This traffic isn’t surprising with the company’s 60 million subscribers, 40 million of which are from the U.S. The other 20 million spread over 50 countries. As of last month, only 1.42 million of its subscribers were from Australia, which is still an impressive effort seeing as how late it was in coming to our shores. When The Sydney Morning Herald asked why exactly it had taken so long, Netflix representative Ted Sarandos said,

“[when we choose to launch in a country] is determined by the rate of broadband adoption and high-speed internet … and Australian and New Zealand internet infrastructure built up very slowly”

Typical. Listen to the man Turnbull, give us our NBN. Sarandos also told SMH Netflix was in a position to help stop the Aussies from being the amongst the worst illicit-downloaders in the world.

“If you use the internet to create demand – and then don’t use it to give access – the gap between demand and access is where piracy comes from. You’re inviting it. I do think that people – with a well-distributed, well-priced service that works – will choose that over questionably illegal activity online.”

Netflix is unique from Australia’s other pathetic excuses for streaming services, Stan, Presto, Foxtel Play, Quickflix and Ezyflix, in its creation of original content. It’s well-known for its cult shows like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, and its new shows include Marco Polo, Daredevil, Sense8, BoJack Horseman, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Grace & Frankie, Bloodline, plus others!

We can stop pretending they’re not a real network now. Netflix became the first original online programming service to win any major television award, and they went straight to the top with three Golden Globes! One went to House of Cards‘ Robin Wright for Best Actress in a drama television, and Netflix won the other two for Orange is the New Black and Arrested Development.

It’s most watched show is unsurprisingly Breaking Bad, with thousands of people watching the show all the way from the beginning before the season finale. So I’ll assume you’ve all seen the show and I’ll give you some bloopers.. wait til the shower scene..

The advantages of all their original shows being released in one hit is more than just not having to wait a week for the next episode. It also means Netflix don’t do that thing other American shows do where they tell you what you saw last week, what you saw before the ad break, and what you’re about to see before the next ad break. That means their hour long shows actually go for an hour, not 36 minutes.

That also means there’s no need for cliffhangers at the end of every episode, they know you’ll hit next episode straight away… even if it is 2am and you promised yourself you’d only watch 2 episodes at 10pm. Sarandos says,

“If you watched the first season of House of Cards, the second episode ends with Frank rowing [on a gym machine]. It’s the anti-cliffhanger. You couldn’t do that on network TV.”


The average time spent by users watching Netflix is 90 minutes a day. Ummmm, that’s only 1 and a half episodes of Orange is the New Black… Does that mean there’s people out there who don’t actually follow their binge-watching model? I’m so confused. Why watch a show in moderation when you can watch 3 seasons in a weekend? What is this, amateur hour?

Even though this peasant 90 minute average doesn’t sound like much to a truTV watcher, Netflix users watched 10 billion hours last quarter. That honestly doesn’t even sound like a real amount of time. It’s more like when someone asks how much House of Cards you could watch in one sitting and you’re like “I dunno, 10 billion hours”.

Although 90 minutes a night implies Netflix could replace, not just augment, normal TV, 88% of subscribers still pay for TV. Netflix may be the future, but I don’t think we’ll be saying goodbye to pay TV right now.