With a variety of offerings, such as television shows, movies, documentaries, and original series, the online streaming application that is Netflix has changed how we watch television. Since 1997, the Los Gatos, California based company has been offering a DVD rental service unlike any other. Jump to the modern day, where DVD players and VHS tapes are considered pre-historic, and Netflix is still the leader in online entertainment.
What started as a DVD delivery system that relied on the US Postal Service has transformed into a television application that streams to nearly 60 million viewers and covers 50 countries.
Netflix offers users what regular television channels can’t: instant stream-ability. Its availability to be used on multiple electronic platforms has made Netflix easier to use than other companies and has allowed viewers to finish seasons of their favorite shows faster than ever.
“It’s definitely good for catching up on old shows or movies. I can watch seasons of shows that I missed from a few years ago,” said seventh grader Noah Pillsbury.
Netflix certainly makes watching entire seasons of television shows much easier. One can fly through a season in just a weekend on Netflix. The act is often called “binge watching.”
It’s hard to find a Netflix user who hasn’t binged through a season or two of their favorite show in just a couple of weeks, if not less. There is something about the product of Netflix that instills some sort of guilty addiction in the viewer. Upon finishing an episode in a series, the viewer is taken back to the list of episodes that follow, making the viewer feel obliged to watch the next episode and delve deeper into the show.
However, some consider Netflix to be overrated and prefer rival services such as Hulu or Amazon Fire TV.
“The only reason Netflix is so popular is because of its marketing. It has the best name recognition out of any instant-streaming devices out there,” said senior Tommy Brett.
Brett also said that when it comes down to instant-streaming entertainment applications, Netflix doesn’t even compare with Hulu or Amazon Fire.
“I’d say that Hulu and Amazon offer just as much if not more. Plus they have more recent material than Netflix,” Brett said.
Surprisingly, Hulu and Amazon trail Netflix in popularity despite each of the three companies costing $7.99 per month. Perhaps what sets Netflix apart is the success of their original series, shows that are produced by Netflix that can’t be found on TV. Popular original series such as House of Cards and Orange is the New Black have viewers abstaining from television and binging on Netflix instead.
Its dominance has even had an effect on TV itself. Most Netflix users admit to watching more Netflix than TV in a given week, mostly due to the timing of feature shows. TV channels air their feature shows at night, and consistently tuning into one particular show can be difficult.
On the other hand, Netflix makes it easy to pick a show and stay with it until it’s finished.
Shows can be watched during free time, unlike the shows offered on television.
“I honestly haven’t followed or watched any TV shows in a couple of years,” said senior Drew Mitchell,“now it’s almost like every time that I turn my TV on, it’s Netflix.”