Big Companies Changing Everyday Life: Netflix

As part of our blog series, we will occasionally spotlight an exciting, fast-growing, or game-changing company. These businesses are working to disrupt their industries—in the best way possible.

 

If you’ve ever streamed a movie or television show online, you likely did it through Netflix. Headquartered in Los Gatos, California, this company was founded in 1997. Netflix offers a subscription-based streaming service, offering consumers a large library of films and television shows. Though Netflix has been around for over twenty years, its current form is relatively new.

Netflix began as a DVD subscription service. The idea was to bring the flexibility of a video rental store to the convenience of home; users would request films, which were then mailed to their homes. This rental by mail model was popular among American households, but Netflix truly changed the home entertainment world when it began to provide streaming services. In 2007, the company expanded its business with the introduction of streaming media, though it continued its DBD and Blu-ray rental service. The first of its kind, this streaming service became extremely popular; by January of 2006, Netflix operated in over 190 countries. The service is available worldwide except in Mainland China, Syria, North Korea, and Crimea.

Netflix continued to expand as a media company by entering the content-production industry. In 2012, the company debuted its first original series. Since then, it has continued to expand the production of both film and television series. Netflix released an estimated 126 original series or films in 2016—more than any other network or cable channel. In 2018, the company received more Emmy Award nominations than any other network, including HBO.

As of April 2018, Netflix had 125 million total subscribers worldwide. Around 57 million of those subscribers live in the United States, meaning around 20% of all Americans have a subscription. The company continues to break ground in the home entertainment and production industries, and we’re looking forward to see what they do next.

 

Big Companies Changing Everyday Life: Amazon

As part of our blog series, we will occasionally spotlight an exciting, fast-growing, or game-changing company. These businesses are working to disrupt their industries—in the best way possible.

If you’ve purchased something online in the past week, there’s a big chance it came from Amazon. This company now represents nearly half of all U.S. e-commerce sales, and more than 75% of U.S. online consumers shop on Amazon. The company was founded by Jeff Bezos in 1994, but it originally operated as an online bookstore. The website later diversified to sell video downloads and streaming, MP3 downloads and streaming, audiobook downloads, software, video games, and electronics. In its current iteration, customers can purchase and sell nearly everything and anything on Amazon—and its changing the way Americans shop.

Amazon did not expect to make a profit for four to five years after its rebranding in 2000. They experienced slow growth, causing stockholders to complain that the company was not reaching profitability fast enough. However, when the dot-com bubble burst, Amazon survived. The company eventually turns its first profit in the fourth quarter of 2001: $5 million on more than $1 billion. In 2011, Amazon had 30,000 full-time employees in the United States. By the end of 2016, it had 180,000 employees in the country.

In 2015, Amazon surpassed Walmart as the most valuable retailed in the United States by market capitalization, and it is the fourth most valuable public company in the world. It is the largest Internet company by revenue and the second largest employer in the United States. Amazon currently has thirteen subsidiaries, including Audible.com, Whole Foods Market, Goodreads, and Junglee.

So, why have we listed Amazon as an Upcoming Company? Because its innovations continue to change American life. Through services like AmazonFresh, customers can have groceries delivered to their doorstep. Through Amazon Video, customers can watch and stream thousands of movies and television shows. Users can utilize Amazon Drive, the company’s cloud storage application, or read any book on their e-Reader, the Kindle. This company developed Amazon Alexa, a game-changing virtual assistant and a step forward in smart home technology. Amazon continues to innovate, and we can’t wait to see their next service, product, or invention.