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Conceived out of protest towards Blockbuster's high rental fees, Netflix is a service that began in 1999 as a subscription DVD rental service where movies were ordered via the Internet and delivered by the U.S. Postal Service in the United States. Starting in 2007, they began to offer movies via streaming video over the Internet as a value-added service for their subscribers. However, over the next 3-4 years, as DVD and Blu-ray sales began to fade and Internet access became faster and cheaper, Netflix quickly evolved and now has become the most prominent entertainment streaming service. Its available content includes both television shows and movies, though some of their material is still limited to physical disc rentals.

The service can be viewed on all major computer operating systems (Windows, Mac and Linux), as well as nearly all internet-connected game consolesnote , most Blu-ray Disc players, smartphones, tablets, TiVo, smart televisions, and set-top streaming boxes such as Apple TV and Roku. Basically, if it has an Internet connection, you can almost certainly watch Netflix on it.

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In late 2015, Netflix started moving away from using the Microsoft plugin "Silverlight" to rely on Video DRM and streaming, instead opting to use HTML5 on the Desktop versions of Netflix for three reasons: 1. So other browsers besides Google Chrome (such as Safari, Chromium, Opera, and Mozilla Firefox) could use Netflix. 2. So it wouldn't need to rely on a third-party plugin note , and 3. To add Support for basically every Linux Distro that has support for any of the browsers listed abovenote 

On the television front, Netflix primarily competes with Hulu for reruns; Where Netflix's library of reruns is extensive, both services in the past couple of years have made exclusivity deals for certain shows (Friends for Netflix, and Seinfeld for Hulu) to keep them off other services, and Hulu has become a serious competitor when it comes to streaming recently-aired shows (being partially owned by three of the major networks helps.)

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In the past few years, Netflix has competes with HBO as a maker of prestige television, making a heavy push towards original, exclusive content, with great success. Several of its new shows (including House of Cards, Orange Is the New Black, the Arrested Development revival, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and Stranger Things) have been massive hits (at least in the demographics that count), and House of Cards became the first direct-to-streaming show to win Emmy Awards. Netflix's success in this regard has legitimized the idea of online distribution of original TV shows outside of cable or network television, with competitors like Hulu, Amazon, and Yahoo! also now having success with their own programming. All three even went as far as to revive or rescue other shows from cancellation, just as Netflix did for Arrested Development. It's also developed a reputation for being extremely willing to give shows a chance to build an audience; basically, if you get your show on Netflix, you will get at least one season renewal. It took four years for one of their shows (Marco Polo) to be cancelled before a third season.

Building on that success, Netflix inked an exclusive content deal with DreamWorks Animation in 2013 for original animated shows, such as the 2016 Voltron reboot, Legendary Defender. A similar deal was made with Marvel Comics in 2014 for original Super Hero dramas. Set within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, these shows - Daredevil (2015), Jessica Jones, Luke Cage (2016), and Iron Fist - also had its own Avengers-style team up event with The Defenders (2017). Meanwhile, a series starring The Punisher (a major character in the second season of Daredevil) was announced in April 2016.

Finally, due to the increased popularity of anime, where it competes primarily with services like Crunchyroll in the streaming market, Netflix also aims to be an anime producer. In the interim, they licensed, simulcast, and even dubbed the likes of Knights of Sidonia and The Seven Deadly Sins. To that end, they made partnerships with anime heavyweights Production I.G and Studio Bones, as well as lesser-knowns Sublimination, Anima and David Production, to create exclusive content for the platform. In 2018, they began to roll out the first batch of true original anime with content like DEVILMAN crybaby, B: The Beginning, Aggretsuko, and A.I.C.O. Incarnation, to great success. With the looming threat of numerous streaming services all vying for Netflix's spot at the top, they have doubled down on the production of original anime as one of its biggest selling points over the competition.

Netflix is so popular, as much as one-third of all internet traffic in the US during the hours of 7 pm to 1 am is Netflix streaming. And if you want a measure of how important the business has become internationally, take Canada's example. Its telecommunications authority, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (the CRTC, the analog to the US' FCC) has a yearly conference on the state of television in Canada. In 2009, Netflix was only mentioned twice. By 2014, its burgeoning media presence was first & foremost in nearly all of that year's presentations, and it climaxed with Netflix's representative on the hot seat arguing with the main regulators.

Also to that point, as Netflix continued to expand to other countries, it announced in 2011 that they wouldn't become available in New Zealand, due to the low speed of an average Internet connection and unrealistic data quotas. After a huge Internet Backdraft from New Zealanders pointing out that many of the same bandwidth limitations existed in the US, they ate their words and launched in the country shortly after. By 2014, Netflix was available in 40 countries.

In late 2015, Netflix announced a plan to launch in all remaining countries worldwide, rolling out in phases through 2016, culminating in a full worldwide release at the end of 2016. This was then promptly thrown out the window with a surprise announcement during the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show that the service has been simultaneously launched in all remaining countries worldwide, immediately, on January 7th 2016. As of that announcement, only three countries and one territorynote  do not have access to the service and despite the move being receiving standing ovation from people worldwide, it has received threats of blockages from the Malaysian government (although they've stood down after a rather huge backlash from the people) and one ISP in Indonesia has blocked the service for allegedly carrying family-unfriendly shows.

Additionally, there are criticisms regarding the Region Coding scheme, with some users being dissatisfied that a show isn't being made available in their region despite said show being available in a different region. This intensified when Netflix started actively clamping down on VPN users, with said users crying foul over the limiting of shows in their country while Netflix themselves say that the user should request them to make the show available in their region in the first place.

In January 2019, Netflix made history by joining the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), Hollywood's largest lobbying group representing the major studios, becoming the first (and so far only) streaming service to receive membership of the association. The move was due to Netflix's increasing presence within the motion picture industry, as well as 20th Century Fox vacating its seat due to its absorption into fellow major studio and MPAA member Disney.

Netflix is also notable for starting what some refer to as the "streaming wars". Their success, which both killed video rentals and marginalized cable TV, while delivering high-end entertainment through their originals, has created a ripple effect of other big name companies such as Amazon, Apple, Disney and Warner Brothers, wishing to do the same. Having enjoyed their spot at the top, it remains to be seen if they can maintain that position in the coming years, with all the big name companies pulling out their content from Netflix and adding it to their own services. As such, Netflix has doubled down their already massive efforts to secure original and exclusive content in all areas, to better compete with the pack.

Netflix had at one point been a distributor of films, via its Red Envelope (a play off of Netflix's signature DVD mailers) subsidiary, but then closed the company in 2008 as it didn't want to compete with the same film studios that provided their content. However, in recent years, Netflix has gotten back into the film game, buying the rights for high-profile films like The Square, Beasts of No Nation, and Roma. In that arena, they have found a big competitor in Amazon Studios, who have also branched into original programming and films for its streaming service, with both companies becoming serious players in a short time, and even going so far as to be involved in several bidding wars at the 2016 Sundance Festival. After the Cannes Film Festival announced in 2018 that it would no longer allow films that cannot be theatrically released in France during a given year to play in competition (French law states that theatrically released films have to wait three years before a streaming release), Netflix announced its decision to deemphasize prestige movie commissioning.

Netflix also at one time was going to distribute its own set-top box, after seeing the success Apple was beginning to have with its AppleTV. Again, the company decided they didn't want to compete against companies who would be ultimately creating equipment that Netflix would want to be installed on. So, in 2007, the project nicknamed 'Project Griffin' was spun off into its own company - Roku - which has become successful in America as that market expanded. The move allowed Netflix to be included in more electronics as it hoped, as it is 'baked in' to nearly all new Blu-Ray players and smart televisions.


Netflix's original and exclusive works include (available worldwide unless noted otherwise):

    open/close all folders 

    Animation (Other) 
This folder lists Netflix cartoons which are neither Japanese Anime nor Western Animation; see Asian Animation and Eastern European Animation.
  • Next Gen (a Netflix original in some countries, except in China where it's theatrically released)
  • Trese

    Anime 
Produced
Anime series produced/funded by Netflix and air exclusively on the platform worldwide.
Licensed
Anime series produced elsewhere and air on other networks, billed as "Original" in Western markets.

    Films — Animation 
  • Klaus
  • Leo the Lion (created in 2004, 2005 or 2006 by an Italian film company and dubbed into English in 2013)
  • The Little Prince (A Netflix Original in the US and various US/UK territories, was available in the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand but has since been withdrawn from said regions, not available in Asia outside Japan) (released by Paramount outside the US)
  • Over The Moon
  • Sahara

    Films — Live-Action 

    Live-Action TV 

    Western Animation 

Tropes associated with Netflix:

  • April Fools' Day: Netflix has been doing these since 2013.
    • In 2013, Netflix added genres that were overly detailed. These included "Movies Starring Estelle Getty and Some Other Guy", "Movies That Are in English, But Still Require Subtitles", and "TV Shows Where Defiantly Crossed Arms Mean Business!", which had nothing to do with the shows themselves, but rather listed shows whose icons had men with their arms crossed on it.
    • In 2014, two Netflix Originals were added, titled Sizzling Bacon and Rotisserie Chicken. They were nothing but long, unedited stock footage of the respective foods being made.
    • In 2015, if you binge watched something, instead of the usual "Are you still watching" message, one of 13 Public Service Announcements would play about the dangers of binge watching, each starring an actor of a Netflix Original.
    • In 2016, Netflix once again added overly detailed genres, though this time they were all John Stamos-themed (possibly to advertise Fuller House, which was added earlier that year). A video was also "leaked" of Stamos at the Netflix headquarters upset that the company was not greenlighting his documentary about himself. The next day, Netflix added a video jokingly apologizing about the incident.
    • In 2017, a new Netflix Original was added titled Netflix Live on March 31, featuring Will Arnett giving commentary about various mundane things. On April 1, they announced that the segment had been cancelled, citing that they had overestimated how many people wanted to binge watch microwaves.
    • In 2018, Netflix announced that they were acquiring Seth Rogen. Not any of his projects, him literally.
  • Bad Export for You: When Netflix turned on its services worldwide in January 2016, many countries were left with English-only programs and optional audio in a non-native language. For example, Hungary has a long history of dubbing, but only a handful of programs have Hungarian audio (including language Total Drama, Gotham, and a few Lego cartoons).
  • Banned in China: Literally. China is currently the only non-sanctioned country that does not have access to the service. Netflix themselves hinted that the Chinese government prohibited them from launching in the country in its current form. Besides that, Syria, North Korea, and the Crimean Peninsula (part of Ukraine that has been de facto annexed by Russia) are the only other countries in the world who do not have access to Netflix. Some Netflix original series are available in China on locally owned streamer iQiyi.
  • Breakthrough Hit: House of Cards (US) and Orange Is the New Black established Netflix as a provider of original programming. The latter has reached a level of popularity comparable to some of cable TV's biggest hits, like The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones. The former, while also highly acclaimed, keeps a relatively low profile more comparable to Mad Men.
    • When a new season of a Netflix show is released, Netflix traffic, which dominates much of North America's bandwidth already in the evening hours, sees jumps of up to 35%.
  • Colbert Bump: This tends to happen to any non-original series or film when it's added to Netflix.
  • Creator Killer: Not Netflix itself, but Netflix did kill off video rental stores once the internet and Netflix became a thing, especially Blockbuster, who eventually filed for Bankruptcy. Becomes Irony when you look at It Will Never Catch On.
  • Darker and Edgier: Because of the absence of the guidelines network TV has to follow, and no Executive Meddling or appeasing of advertisers to keep creators from putting in what they want, shows and movies on Netflix are often this compared to what you'll find on basic cable or in theaters. Notable examples include Sense8, GLOW (2017), Narcos, Orange Is the New Black, Ozark, 3%, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe shows (them being this to the rest of the franchise) to name a few. That said, there are plenty of shows that are perfectly acceptable for viewers of all ages.
  • Digital Destruction: Netflix has annoyed film buffs by showing some movies in incorrect aspect ratios.
  • Easter Egg: The Gear VR version has tons of set pieces that reference a few Netflix Originals.
  • Executive Meddling: Netflix is notorious for averting this for its original content, unlike the pressure many creators get when working for TV networks or Hollywoodian majors.
  • Follow the Leader: With the success of Netflix's original programming, many companies have started to introduce their own streaming services with original programming of their own, whether it be existing ones like Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Yahoo View, or brand new ones like the CBS All Access, Disney+, the WarnerMedia Streaming Service, and Apple TV+. This has kickstarted what is colloquially referred to as the "streaming wars", where numerous big-name companies are all vying to be the victor.
  • Friday Night Death Slot: Averted, as time slots are meaningless when viewers can watch on their own schedules. Netflix has started debuting its original movies and series on Fridays in time for weekend binge watching.
  • Friendly Enemy: While both Amazon and Netflix have competing streaming services, and both are becoming heavy-hitters in distributing original content and bidding for films, Netflix recently moved all data center operations for the streaming service (except for content delivery, which is housed in Netflix-maintained boxes throughout the Internet backbone providers) onto Amazon's cloud services. Only the DVD rental business still uses a physical data center. And to top it off, Amazon Studios actually went worldwide 11 months later, which many see as a in a bid to play catch up with Netflix.
  • In Name Only: Anything Netflix licenses but otherwise has no part in making/producing will be called a Netflix Original in those markets. This comes to the chagrin of anime fans in particular, as they feel it should only apply to the true originals that are exclusive to the platform everywhere and not on shows that already aired in Japan.
  • It Will Never Catch On:
    • In 2000, CEO Reed Hastings made a proposal to Blockbuster, which was the video rental store at the time, that he would handle a DVD mailing service for them. He was then laughed out of the room. Less than a decade later, Netflix popularity rapidly increased while Blockbuster's sank, and despite an attempt to create their own mailing service, the store ended up declaring bankruptcy in 2010. As of 2019, there is only one Blockbuster store left.
    • There were quite a few who scoffed at the idea of Netflix having original programming, given the stigma that was often associated with it for having low budgets and poor direction. Now, after these shows rivaled prime-time TV and brought more than a few franchises from the dead, it seems like everyone is trying to get original programming on a streaming service these days.
  • Killer App:
    • Netflix was one of the major reasons to own a DVD player when it first started. Many people found being able to watch rented movies at their leisure with no late fees irresistible.
    • Its streaming option is also a killer app for set-top boxes like Apple TV and Roku, as well as smart TVs and tablets.
    • For a good while, the only non-PC device that supported Netflix streaming was the Xbox 360, which gave it a noticeable popularity bump.
    • In 2013, Netflix started to release original programming. While this certainly boosted Netflix's subscription numbers quite a bit, it helped that there are some other killer apps for different genres, such as:
    • The ability to blow through entire seasons at once is one of Netflix's selling points. Netflix releases all the episodes to the seasons of its original shows at once for this reason. And that's why "binge-watch" has made it into the public lexicon.
    • Netflix is one of the killer apps for broadband internet, especially cord-cutting. A lot of people are finding that with the massive selection of TV shows and movies, they don't need cable or satellite TV. The possibility of cable companies throttling their binge-watching sessions is a catalyst for net neutrality activism.
  • Konami Code: Most devices that provide Netflix use this code, though "B A" is replaced with pressing "up" four more times. Most of the time this brings up a diagnostics menu.
  • Lighter and Softer:
    • Stranger Things is this compared to most Netflix shows of the horror genre. While still dark, it's TV-14 and focuses on Kid Heroes and never goes beyond the PG-13 range of content.
    • The Umbrella Academy in a similar vein, is also TV-14, and is lighter than many of their other originals especially compared to its predecessor superhero series that make up the Defenders.
    • Rilakkuma and Kaoru is a lot more adorable and cute than many of Netflix's true original anime. Whereas many of them hold TV-14 or TV-MA ratings, this is TV-PG.
    • Kids mode, which is available on all devices. Basically it blocks out any shows not Y-, G- and PG- rated and presents a chunkier and brighter interface.
  • Multiple Demographic Appeal: Netflix aims for this with their diverse assortment of original content, covering all manners of formats from Live-Action TV and Movies, to Western Animation, to Anime, and just about every genre of entertainment.
  • No Export for You: Historical example. Up until January 2016, more than two thirds of the world do not have access to Netflix. This changed on January 7th 2016, when the service was simultaneously launched almost worldwide in a surprise announcement. Even then, it is still not available in three countries due to US embargoes, and China (where certain Netflix Originals run on a domestically-owned streaming service).
    • Even still, some of the "Netflix Originals" can't be seen in certain countries. For instance, Glitter Force isn't shown in Japan due to them already having the source material Smile Pretty Cure! while certain countries can't watch Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return due to limitations made by the movie studios that own the movies used in the series.
  • Pan and Scan: They have been known to do this without warning the user, and often against the director's wishes.
  • Port Overdosed: In The New '10s, you'd be hard pressed to find a device with both a screen and Internet connectivity that can't stream Netflix, either through the web or a dedicated app. It's available on pretty much anything with an internet connection, and this is very much intentional, with the Nintendo Switch being a notable exception.
  • Production Posse: Mainly releases newer shows from the DreamWorks Animation library since 2013.
  • Role Reprisal: Whenever a film or series is released onto Netflix and dubbed into another language, Netflix has a policy of keeping the official voice actors whenever possible. One of the biggest exceptions was Fuller House in Latin America (Mexico to Argentina for Spanish; and Rio de Janeiro to Sao Paulo in Brazilian Portuguese).
  • Sturgeon's Law: They have a somewhat better track record than other studios and production companies, but if you see a movie or series produced by Netflix that hasn't gotten critical or media buzz of some sort, there's usually a good reason for that. Whenever the company raises prices, comment sections are filled with people bemoaning that there's supposedly nothing good to watch on Netflix to justify the fee increases. Other people like to paint Netflix originals this way when popular movies or TV shows disappear from the service.
  • Vindicated by Cable: Netflix has allowed shows that were Too Good to Last and films that were Box Office Bombs to find new audiences.

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