It is the afternoon on a July weekend. You have just finished binge-watching Stranger Things and finally sat down with yourself. You are now wondering about how mind-blowing Sacred Games was, and your thoughts wander over to thinking of how you are yet to enjoy Season 5 of Breaking Bad with a bowl of popcorn. With all these thoughts accumulating in your mind, you crawl your way right back to hearing that ‘tudum’ sound once again.
However, instead of watching Netflix today, you will read and learn about what goes on backstage for the OTT giant. This read will answer a question as important to you as watching the shows: Who owns Netflix?
Get yourself a bowl of popcorn and a complimentary ice cream because the show is about to start.
For the uninitiated, let us start with a quick introduction to Netflix.
Netflix is a streaming service offering a wide variety of movies, documentaries, TV shows, and so much more for its worldwide consumer base. After subscribing and signing in with your account, you can stream content on your mobile, tablet, laptop, personal computer, smart TV, or any other device with internet connectivity that supports the Netflix app.
Netflix and its Founding Fathers
With over a billion app downloads, a wave of content, and more than 200 million subscribers globally, it feels like Netflix was always a part of the picture. Some Netflix enthusiasts find it rather impossible to think of a time when they did not have a web series or film to watch.
The name ‘Netflix’ is a combination of net, which stands for internet, and flix, which means movies. The OTT platform came into existence on August 29, 1997, in Scotts Valley, a small city in California, USA. Wilmot Reed Hastings Jr. and Marc Bernays Randolph were the masterminds behind this revolutionary development. It is headquartered in Los Gatos, California, USA, and has over 9400 employees.
Marc Bernays Randolph
Born on April 29, 1958, in Chappaqua, New York, USA, Marc Randolph is the co-founder of Netflix and was the first CEO of the platform for one year, 1997-98. An alumnus of Hamilton College, New York, the 63-year-old has been into various jobs before hitting the idea to launch Netflix. After successfully launching and guiding the company on its path to success, Randolph decided to exit from Netflix in 2002.
Wilmot Reed Hastings Jr.
Born on October 8, 1960, in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, Reed Hastings is the co-founder, Chairman, and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Netflix. The 61-year-old has been the CEO of the online juggernaut since 1998. Hastings is an alumnus of Bowdoin College and Stanford University.
Before laying the foundation of Netflix, he was into various occupations. Hastings joined the Marine Corps but eventually did not complete his training and later enrolled in the Peace Corps. After pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics, he turned towards teaching Mathematics in Switzerland and Africa.
The Rise of Netflix
Netflix was made public in the year 2002. It was initially launched for operating as a DVD subscription service but began actively streaming content in 2007 as the internet and technology witnessed ground-breaking successes. After being made public, Reed Hastings owns about 1% of the total stakes of the company.
Now you must be wondering, if not Reed Hastings, then who is on the top of the list of stakeholders? According to the data published by CNN, Capital Research Global Investors own 8.6% of total shares while the Vanguard Group, Inc. owns 7.14% stakes in Netflix.
Netflix has featured in various Forbes Lists across the years. Here are a few of them:
- The Forbes Halo 100, 2022
- World’s Top Female-Friendly Companies, 2021
- America’s Best Employers, 2021
- World’s Most Valuable Brands, 2020
- Top Regarded Companies
The list does not end here. For all of its innovative and disruptive introductions to the market, Netflix has been the torchbearer for other streaming platforms.
Net Worth of Reed Hastings
After looking at the mind-boggling number of subscribers and app downloads, it becomes the right of a consumer to know how much money the founder is making by selling his idea to the world. According to the data put forward by Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Reed Hastings has a collective net worth of 5.95 billion dollars.
Moreover, Hastings has etched his name on a bunch of Forbes Lists, including the following:
- Forbes 400, 2021
- Billionaires, 2021
- Innovative Leaders, 2019
- Powerful People, 2018
- Global Game Changers, 2016
Net Worth of Marc Randolph
According to celebrity networth, Marc Randolph is estimated to have a 100-million-dollar net worth.
Books Authored by Reed Hastings and Marc Rudolph
The massive success of Netflix speaks for itself. Be it the truckloads of data available on the internet, the five-star ratings of the shows on Netflix, the revenue generated by the platform, or how much of a formidable competitor it is to other streaming platforms. All these things make it impossible for people to control their desire to know the secret behind the growth of Netflix from the founders themselves.
The New York Times Bestseller, ‘No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention’ is authored by Reed Hastings and Erin Meyer. The 320 pages book is published by Penguin Press and has a global Amazon rating of 4.6.
Although Marc Rudolph is no longer a part of Netflix, his contribution to the platform cannot be left behind, which brings us to his book, ‘That Will Never Work: The Birth of Netflix and the Amazing Life of an Idea.’ Published by Endeavour, the book has a global Amazon rating of 4.6.
Netflix in India
After setting its foot in Europe in 2014, Netflix saw an official launch in India on January 6, 2016. The Netflix India team is managed by its three robust pillars, Vice President Monica Shergill, Director of Business Development Abhishek Nag, and Director of International Original Film Srishti Behl Arya.
The growth of Netflix India has been sky high since its launch in the country. One of its shows, ‘Delhi Crime,’ has won the International Emmy for Best Drama Series. This win has cemented the growth of the OTT giant. Along with the list of international shows, here is a list of some of the best original series from Netflix India.
Best Netflix India Original Series
- Sacred Games
- Delhi Crime
- Bombay Begums
- 21 Sarfarosh – Saragarhi 1897
Top-Rated Netflix Series
The rating says it is all about the performance of a web series. According to the IMDb ratings given to various web series, the 10 best Netflix series of all time are as follows:
- Money Heist
- Stranger Things
- Our Planet
- The Fall
- After Life
Netflix reported that it generated a revenue of 25 billion dollars in 2020 from the massive successes of two of its shows, ‘Stranger Things’ and ‘The Irishman.’
Netflix Subscription Plans in the Indian Subcontinent
When it initially launched in the country in 2016, the monthly plan started at Rs. 500. As the competition from other emerging OTT platforms intensified, the monthly mobile plan was reduced from 199/month to 149/month in December 2021.
In this article, we have had an extensive discussion about the world of the OTT tycoon Netflix. As the world evolves at speeds like never seen before, so does its content. With the help of streaming platforms like this, TV shows are no longer limited to specific timings and are available to stream anytime, anywhere.
To conclude, we think it is safe to say Netflix has proven to be tenacious in its run to be at the top of the game and will continue so for a long time to come.