American entrepreneurs Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph are the founders of Netflix.  The corporate headquarters of the popular company are in Los Gatos, California. Netflix , in full Netflix, Inc., a media-streaming and video-rental company was founded in 1997. The company’s primary business is a subscription-based streaming service offering online streaming from a library of films and television series. Which also includes the creation of original programming. Netflix began offering an online subscription service through the Internet in 1999. The subscribers used to choose movie and television titles from the Website of Netflix and then, the shows were mailed to customers in the form of DVDs, along with prepaid return envelopes.

He and business partner Marc Randolph (who left the company in 2004) started mail-order DVD operations in 1998. Reed became the company’s CEO later that year. DVDs were new to the market, but Hastings felt that they would travel well through the mail. It had tens of thousands of movie titles in its catalog. Moreover, customers typically charged for a flat monthly fee for as many movies per month as they wished. Actually, according to their subscription plan, the number of DVDs in their possession at a time was limited. Although they selected DVDs and controlled their accounts via the Netflix Website, DVDs (up to three at a time) were sent and returned by mail. Once a DVD was returned, the next movie on the customer’s account list was automatically mailed.


Name of the siteNetflix
Type of businessPublic
Type of siteOTT platform
Traded asNasdaq: NFLX, NASDAQ-100 component, S&P 100 component and S&P 500 component
Founded August 29, 1997
HeadquartersLos Gatos, California, U.S.
Area servedWorldwide (excluding Mainland China, Crimea, North Korea and Syria)
Founder(s) Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph
Key peopleReed Hastings (Chairman, Co-CEO), Ted Sarandos (Co-CEO, CCO), Greg Peters (COO, CPO)
IndustryTech & Entertainment, mass media
ProductsStreaming media, video on demand
RevenueUS$25 billion (2020)
Operating incomeUS$4.585 billion (2020)
Net income US$2.761 billion (2020)
Employees 12,135 (2021)
Divisions US Streaming, International Streaming, Domestic DVD
Users 208 million (paid; as of April, 2021)


  • Wilmot Reed Hastings, Jr. was born on October 8, 1960 in Boston, Massachusetts, United States.
  • This very American entrepreneur was cofounder in 1997 and became the CEO of Netflix in 1998.
  • He studied mathematics at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine and accomplished a bachelor’s degree in 1983.
  • He spent two years with the Peace Corps, after serving in the S. Marine Corps.
  • He spent most of the time teaching math in Swaziland, now Eswatini.
  • Then, he went to Stanford University after returning to the United States, where he received a master’s degree in computer science in 1988.
  • Subsequently, Wilmot became a software developer and in 1991 he founded Pure Software. Later, he sold it in 1997 for a significant profit.
  • Hastings conceived the idea of a subscription based movie rental service in 1997. But unfortunately, he incurred a huge late fee, when he failed to return a store rented videocassette.
  • He expanded Netflix through movie studio partnerships and significant marketing campaigns. Even emphasizing Netflix’s catalog of indie films, documentaries and other movies, not easily available through other services.
  • Finally, Netflix shipped its billionth DVD in February 2007. Meanwhile, the company launched an application which authorized customers to access movies and TV shows through streaming downloads.
  • Netflix’s first offering was the episodic drama series House of Cards, which debuted in 2013.
  • This content was successful greatly and became a main focus of the company. During this time Netflix also began producing films.
  • It was announced that Ted Sarandos will serve as co-CEO with Reed Hastings in the year 2020.
  • He was the president of the California State Board of Education from 2000 to 2004.


  • Netflix launched the $1 million Netflix Prize contest in 2006 to see if anyone could improve by 10 percent its recommendation system, an algorithm for predicting its viewer’s movie preferences based on previous rental data.
  • BellKor’s Pragmatic Chaos was awarded with the prize three years later. He made up a team of seven mathematicians, computer scientists, and engineers from the United States, Canada, Austria, and Israel.
  • In 2007, Netflix started offering subscribers the option to publish some of its movies and shows directly to their homes through the Internet. The streaming service was unlimited for most of the subscription plans.
  • Netflix introduced a streaming plan in 2010 that offered unlimited streaming service but no DVDs to the subscribers.
  • In 2010, it expanded beyond the United States by offering the only plan in Canada, Latin America. Then it started offering in the Caribbean in 2011 and in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Scandinavia in 2012.
  • Its streaming service was available in more than 190 countries and territories till 2016.
  • Meanwhile, its streaming services became the biggest revenue generator with more than 130 million subscribers in 2018.
  • And, it offered approximately 1,000 original titles by the end of 2018. From then the video content became a major focus of Netflix.