Netflix’s milestone is significant for several reasons.
1. It proves you can come back from the brink.
A little more than a year ago, Netflix was in deep trouble with subscribers not only jumping ship, they were actively campaigning to take their friends with them. Reed Hastings spoke too soon about anticipated changes to the system and then his quick turnaround on the subject made things worse. Now, here they are breaking records for viewership. Just shows you what you can get away with when you’re the best game in town.
2. It proves that you can change your company’s focus and still win.
The world is changing and fast. What was a great idea five years ago might not be so hot now, and that means companies have to be willing to change in order to keep up. And not just small changes either. Netflix built its business on the concept of mail-order DVD rentals. They were largely responsible for putting the local video store out of business but then streaming came along. At first, it was a novelty, but then internet speeds got faster and cable companies started charging more and suddenly it was the way to go.
Now, Netflix has pinned the majority of their revenue on the streaming side as they slowly phase out mail-order discs. For only $8.00 a month, you can have access to a huge library of movies and TV shows that stream on your computer, tablet, smartphone and internet accessible-TV. Unlike competitor Hulu, there are no commercials. For media lovers, there’s no better deal.
3. It proves that the streaming isn’t just for techies anymore.
It wasn’t long ago that only tech savvy media junkies were streaming long-form content and all of them were doing it on their computer. Now, we’ve cracked the curtain open and all kinds of people are streaming video as an alternative to watching TV or renting / buying DVDs. Moms use it to entertain kids on long car trips. College students use it to keep up with their favorite shows. Some are cutting the expensive cable cord altogether. And millions are streaming entertainment while commuting, eating lunch at their desk and while waiting in line at the post office.
Streaming allows people to watch what they want, when they want. It’s a total disruption of the prime-time schedule that’s been around since TV began. It’s forcing networks to rethink their game and it’s creating a demand for even more content.
What’s in it for you?
Netflix’s success is good news for anyone who makes a living online. It’s another step toward making the internet and mobile part of everyone’s daily experience and that means more exposure for your online company. Sponsored programming, product placement, promotional tie-ins – streaming video offers a variety of ways to advertise without actually sticking an ad on the front end of the piece.
Think Netflix is out of the woods for good or is this just the calm before another storm?