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Creator / Netflix

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The former DVD rental service that killed DVD rentals.

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 via most computer platforms, as well as nearly all internet-connected game consoles, most Blu-ray-Disc players, smartphones, tablets, TiVo, smart televisions, and set-top streaming boxes such as Apple TV and Roku. If it has an Internet connection, you can probably watch Netflix on it.

In late 2015, Netflix started moving away from using the plugin Silverlight to rely on Video DRM and streaming, instead opting to use HTML5 on the Desktop versions of Netflix for largely three reasons: 1. So other browsers besides Google Chrome, such as Safari, Chromium 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 above.note 

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.)

In the past few years, Netflix has made 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 - will also have 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 have licensed, simulcast, and even dubbed the likes of Knights of Sidonia and The Seven Deadly Sins.

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.

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 and Beasts of No Nation. 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.

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 

  • Aggretsuko (Season 1 released worldwide on April 20, 2018, Season 2 to follow in 2019)
  • AICO Incarnation (new original series from Studio Bones, released on March 9, 2018)
  • Ajin (Both seasons. Sentai Filmworks has the home video license.)
  • Baki (will air in 2018, adapting the "Most Evil Death Row Convicts" story arc)
  • Blame! (exclusive streaming rights. Viz Media has the home video license.)
  • B: The Beginning (premiered on March 2, 2018. First anime announced to be released everywhere on Netflix exclusively. Second to be released. Produced by Production I.G).
  • Cannon Busters (premiering on April 1, 2019.)
  • Children of the Whales (2017 series; released worldwide on March 13, 2018)
  • Cyborg 009: Call of Justice (Originally 3 movies edited into 12 episodes. The vs. Devilman OVA is also streaming worldwide and had a dub commissioned for it but it's not labelled as an Original).
  • DEVILMAN crybaby (premiered on January 5, 2018, announced to be the second anime to be exclusively released on Netflix worldwide, first to be released.)
  • Fate/Apocrypha (2017 series; exclusive worldwide streaming rights. US & Canada receive Season 1 on November 7, the rest of the world on December 2)
  • Fate/Extra Last Encore (2018 series; exclusive worldwide streaming rights. First 10 episodes, titled as Oblitus Copernican Theory, were streamed on June 30, 2018)
  • Flavors of Youth (will be released on August 4, 2018)
  • Glitter Force/Glitter Force Doki Doki (The Saban Brands-produced version of Smile/Doki Doki Pretty Cure. Not available in Asia outside of Japan due to licensing terms).
  • Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters (premiered on January 17, 2018)
  • Hisone and Masotan (will be released on September 21, 2018)
  • ID-0 (2017 series; exclusive worldwide streaming rights)
  • Ingress (will stream in October, 2018)
  • Kakegurui (2017 series; exclusive worldwide streaming rights. Released on February 1, 2018)
  • Kengan Ashura (will be released in 2019)
  • Knights of Sidonia (billed as a Netflix Original outside Japan; Streaming rights only, Sentai Filmworks has the home video license. Not available in Asia outside of Japan due to licensing terms).
  • Knights of the Zodiac: Saint Seiya (airing in 2018, new re-imagining of the series)
  • Kuromukuro (2016 series; exclusive worldwide streaming rights, Asian region outside Japan got the show later than the Americas and Europe).
  • Last Hope/Juushinki Pandora (Spring 2018 Anime, will be released in 2 parts. Part 1 on September 14 and Part 2 on December 21)
  • Little Witch Academia (2017 TV Series billed as a Netflix Original outside Japan, they stream the original two films worldwide and commissioned the dubs for them)
  • Lost Song (began airing on Netflix Japan from March 31, 2018, will be released worldwide on September 30)
  • Magi: The Adventures of Sinbad (2016 series; exclusive worldwide streaming rights, Asian region outside Japan got the show later than the Americas and Europe).
  • Piano no Mori (Spring 2018 Anime, will be released worldwide in Fall, 2018)
  • Revisions (Winter 2019 series)
  • Rilakkuma and Kaoru (first stop motion animated series, will be released worldwide in Spring 2019)
  • The Seven Deadly Sins (billed as a Netflix original series, not available in certain Asian regions; Streaming rights only, Funimation has the home video license).
  • Sword Gai: The Animation (Part 1 premiered worldwide on March 23, 2018, Part 2 will follow on July 30)
  • Ultraman (will be released worldwide in Spring 2019)
  • Violet Evergarden (streamed weekly in several territories including Japan, Canada and the UK from January 11, 2018, worldwide release followed on April 5, 2018)

    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.
  • Darker and Edgier: Because of the absence of guidelines network TV has to follow, and no Executive Meddling to keep creators from putting in what they want, shows on Netflix are often this compared to what you find on basic cable. 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 series) to name a few. That said, there are plenty of shows that are perfectly acceptable for viewers of all ages.
  • Easter Egg: The Gear VR version has tons of set pieces that reference a few Netflix Originals.
  • 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 same genre.
    • 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.
  • Pan and Scan: They have been known to do this without warning the user, and often against the director's wishes.