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Few websites have so fundamentally altered the landscape of digital media and streaming the way that Netflix has. There is no denying the fact that Netflix completely changed the game. Even before they were a streaming site, they had already revolutionized the ways in which people access movies and TV shows, effectively single-handedly shutting down hundreds of video rental stores like Blockbuster and Family Video. When Netflix came on the scene, they rattled the very foundation of media consumption.
Netflix quickly created a reputation for themselves as one of the online entities that would usher in a whole new culture. When people talk about what sites have had the most lasting impression on modern culture, the list usually includes sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Amazon, and, yes, Netflix. As one of the first streaming platforms to find mainstream success, the whole concept of a show being ‘binge-worthy’ can be credited to Netflix. Whether in the form of high-quality syndicated content or, eventually, the extremely impressive and award-winning roster of original shows and movies that Netflix has put out, this site has forever changed the way people view TV and movies.
Nowadays, everybody wants in on the Netflix model. Today, almost every TV network either has or is developing its own streaming platform, rushing in order to try and compete with this media behemoth. In the mold of Netflix, we saw sites like Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, HBO (Go, Now, Max), CBS, and Disney Plus all propped up to get a piece of the pie. Although all of these sites have proven to be worth their own weight, and many of which were able to directly compete with Netflix in terms of original content, I don’t think that any of these sites will ever truly come close to touching Netflix’s status of a cultural phenomenon, if only because it came before all the others.
That being said, it can be difficult sometimes to keep up to date with what content Netflix is releasing, removing, or replacing. Netflix is a labyrinth of complex contractual agreements, especially when it comes to syndicated material. And there is nothing worse than visiting Netflix and hoping to throw on one of your favorite comforts shows only to discover that they have unexpectedly taken it down. Plus, Netflix is constantly working to improve upon its design and features. So, if you are an avid Netflix user, you need a reliable source of insider information so that you aren’t blindsided by sudden changes.
And one place to get all the latest in Netflix news, whether it takes the form of upcoming releases, content being taken down soon, or changing features, is Reddit. As one could probably have assumed, there is a Netflix specific subreddit, r/Netflix, and it is a bustling community of fellow Netflix-obsessed film and TV buffs. If you want to make sure that you never miss a beat in the world of Netflix, joining r/Netflix is a great place to start.
Marc Randolph and Reed Hastings founded Netflix in Scotts Valley, California on August 29th, 1997. Randolph was a marketing director at Hastings’ company, Pure Altria, and the two of them joined forces over a shared love of film. The dream was able to become a reality thanks to an initial investment of $2.5 million on behalf of Hastings. Hastings reportedly admired the then-fledgling company, Amazon and his first vision for Netflix stemmed from wanting to find a large enough category of portable items to sell online.
The pair initially toyed with the idea of simply selling VHS tapes online, but that proved to be too expensive and cumbersome to store. Then, they heard about the advent of DVDs, which lowered their price points significantly. That is how they happened upon the idea not to sell movies on the internet, but to rent them. With this idea, the two decided to take on the $16 billion home video sales and rental industry.
Hastings has been quoted saying that he “decided to start Netflix after being fined $40 at a Blockbuster store for being late to return a copy of Apollo 13.” Later, though, it came out that this was an apocryphal story that he and Randolph devised in order to explain the company’s business model and mission statement in the early days.
Netflix officially launched on April 14th, 1998 and became the world’s first online DVD rental outlet. The company started with a relatively small 30 employees and 925 available titles – almost the entirety of every DVD available at the time.
However, over the next 10 years or so, the DVD industry would grow increasingly limp in light of the rise of digital streaming and video-on-demand services. Thus, in February of 2007, upon delivering its one billionth DVD, Netflix decided to pivot away from its rental model, favoring instead a video-on-demand streaming service. And by January od 2013, Netflix announced that it had added 2 million United States subscribers to its new streaming model. This put the service at 29.4 million total streaming customers globally.
Almost immediately upon switching to a primarily streaming service, Netflix had begun production on its own original content. In fact, Red Envelope Entertainment (Netflix’s production studio) began working on seminal independent Netflix films like Born into Brothels and Sherrybaby as early as 2006. Today, of course, Netflix is one of the biggest film & TV production studios of all time, having won numerous Oscars and other awards for its content.
The history of Netflix’s subreddit, however, is not quite as easy to track. It does look, though, as if the community has been in existence since 2008 – so, it is probably accurate to say that the subreddit was founded around the same time that Netflix began to prop itself up as a video-on-demand streaming service. Since then, r/Netflix has been steadily gaining traction. Today, the community has 447 thousand members, with around 2 thousand active members at any given time.
r/Netflix, as is the case with just about any subreddit, at the whims of its users when it comes to what content it will feature. That being said, on the whole, the subreddit is dedicated to any relevant discussion of Netflix – either as a streaming service, new or upcoming features, original content, featured content, announcements of upcoming or soon to be canceled content, Netflix business news, etc. Basically, if it pertains to Netflix and is relevant to the community, you can probably find it on r/Netflix. And if you can’t, well, you can always just post about it yourself once you join!
It may make more sense to discuss what you can’t do on r/Netflix in order to get a better idea of r/Netflix’s content. As per the mods’ rule board, users cannot discuss VPNs (there are other subreddits for that); lecture about politics or social concerns; request accounts or passwords; post screen grabs; re-post; offer free Netflix accounts; beg for accounts; make suggestions to Netflix, or post spoilers of content. Other than that, though, users can freely discuss anything and everything related to their favorite streaming service.
Pricing and Plans
Well, Reddit itself, of course, is a completely free site to use. However, if you so desire, you can choose to upgrade to Reddit Pro ($5.99/month). The only other price you’ll have to worry about in order to make the most out of r/Netflix is the monthly Netflix fee. Of course, Netflix’s monthly fee varies by plan option (and oscillates over time), but it currently will run you about $12.99/month as a single user.
Suggestions that I have for r/Netflix
My main suggestion for r/Netflix concerns community engagement as per the mods. I would like to see more engagement in general. Some subreddits, for instance, have regular polls and social activities for members to partake in. Games like “Survivor” (where users vote out, say, a song from an album once a week) can be fun, and I think would easily translate to a community like r/Netflix (users could, for instance, vote out a program a week or something similar). So, my biggest piece of advice would be for r/Netflix’s mods to take a more active role in facilitating conversation and activity.
Other than that, though, r/Netflix is a great resource for news and discourse pertaining to the top streaming service on the web.