Who founded Netflix?

Netflix was co-founded in 1997 by executives Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph.

Global streaming giant Netflix began as an online movie rental service.

Netflix was co-founded in 1997 by executives Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph. At the time, Hastings had just sold his software company, Pure Atria, to Rational Software.

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“The genesis of Netflix came in 1997 when I got this late fee, about $40, for Apollo 13,” Hastings told Fortune Magazine in 2009. “I remember the fee because I was embarrassed about it. That was back in the VHS days, and it got me thinking that there's a big market out there. So I started to investigate the idea of how to create a movie-rental business by mail.”

Netflix debuted its first DVD rental and sales website in 1998. The company’s first movie subscription service came out one year later. In the years before digital streaming became the industry norm, Netflix’s primary rival was Blockbuster, a brick-and-mortar retail brand that had long dominated the movie rental space.

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In 2000, with Netflix losing money and struggling to gain ground, Hastings and Randolph offered to sell the brand to Blockbuster for $50 million. Blockbuster executives rejected the deal.

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When Netflix went public in 2002, it had just 600,000 members in the United States. The service grew steadily, reaching five million members in 2006.

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The turning point occurred in 2007, when Netflix unveiled its streaming service, sparking a major shift in the entertainment industry. As the Netflix’s content library grew and its app became available on more platforms, consumers grew less reliant on physical DVDs to watch their favorite movies and TV shows.

Netflix had nearly 183 million global subscribers as of the end of March 2020. It is considered the global leader in a streaming industry that now features rival platforms developed by Apple, Disney, AT&T and various other blue-chip companies.

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