If there’s one thing that people of all ages can agree on, it’s that over the past few years, we have seen a surge in the amount of lifestyle subscription services aimed at making our lives easier. Whether it’s clothing deliveries, ready-to-make dinner recipes, or television, subscription services have become the next huge trend that have taken over several different consumer markets.
Subscription and “pay as you go” services have taken markets by storm because they allow consumers to pick the type of subscriptions they want when they want them, all while offering a much more personalized experience. One of the biggest pioneers behind this trend? Netflix. What was once an extra TV perk has now become a staple for many households.
Netflix was originally founded after Reed Hastings, one of the founders of the huge media company, had a lot of overdue video rentals in 1997. After thinking that others must have been experiencing the same problem, as well as hefty fines as a result, Hastings and his partner, Marc Rudolph, decided to develop a business model where customers could have unlimited movie rentals for a flat fee charged to their account every month. And the rest is history. Since its founding, Netflix has since attracted over 125 million subscribers, developed its own movies and hit series, and even started to branch into the realm of virtual reality. With such a popular and overwhelmingly successful business model and strategy, it’s no wonder that several other companies have begun to shift to a subscription-based model.
Competitors in a Crowded Market
Although Netflix still possesses the majority of market share and subscribers, the playing field is becoming increasingly more competitive. For one, companies like Amazon, Hulu, and HBO have started to develop their own original content to compete with Netflix originals like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. Walt Disney Company is also planning on spending less on traditional media to invest more heavily in video services. Other tv providers have begun to offer tv packages that are more customizable and personalized in order to offer a more appealing (and cheaper) package to attract more subscribers, such as DISH Network and Sling TV. Perhaps the most obvious new take on Netflix’s model is YouTube TV, where besides being able to watch uploaded videos that gave the media company its start, YouTube users are now able to pay a monthly fee in order to stream live tv and shows.
Netflix Takes the Cake
On top of being simply more convenient, Netflix’s model is so successful because it relies heavily on consumer feedback to adapt and improve. Netflix allows different account profiles within a single household so that family members can have their specific shows on standby whenever they’re ready to watch. In addition, Netflix offers a great “suggestion” component that highlights shows and movies based on the user’s preferences and viewing history. This ability to adapt and become more personal to each individual user has widely been praised by critics as the main reason why Netflix has seen such a success.
In a technical time that stresses user feedback and personalization, Netflix was able to seize the niche market and develop a unique concept that soon transformed into an empire. However, with our society’s constant need to improve and innovate, specialized consumer media is no longer a submarket, but rather, a necessity to compete in an increasingly crowded market. Netflix has forever changed the way that we watch TV and how we think about our viewing experiences as a whole.
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