NETFLIX- How It Emerged as the Biggest OTT Platform

Juthika Baruah

The Over-The-Top (OTT) platforms have emerged as a global hub for media and entertainment and the COVID-19 pandemic was game-changing for the industry as people mostly rely on these platforms after the cinema halls and theatres have been shut down due to the pandemic.

The year 2020 turned out to be the year of OTT platforms unlike the multiplexes in the last decade. At the time when the cinema halls and theatres were shut down during the pandemic, it was the OTT platforms which have given a ray of hope to the people to spend their idle time by watching movies, web series etc.

One such platform, NETFLIX has won hearts of millions for providing entertainment to the people which even Facebook and Youtube has failed to do so.

In October 2017, there were 109.25 million viewers in NETFLIX but these numbers have doubled after the COVID-19 pandemic hits the country as well as the world. At present, there were 765 million viewers of NETFLIX in the world and out of these, more than 50 million viewers are from United States of America.

In India, there are almost 5 million viewers if NETFLIX and this OTT platform has earned a revenue of 14% in the online video revenue market in the country. Meanwhile, 1.02 million viewers have increased in India during the pandemic.

India is the world’s fastest-growing market for streaming platforms, also known as over-the-top or OTT service providers, according to a recent report by PwC. With an annual growth rate of 28.6 percent, it is expected to become the sixth-largest market by 2024, ahead of South Korea, Germany, and Australia.

Emergence of NETFLIX

Netflix, media-streaming and video-rental company founded in 1997 by American entrepreneurs Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph. It is also involved in the creation of original programming. Corporate headquarters are in Los Gatos, California.

In 1999 Netflix began offering an online subscription service through the Internet. Subscribers chose movie and television titles from Netflix’s Web site; the shows were then mailed to customers in the form of DVDs, along with prepaid return envelopes, from one of more than 100 distribution centres. Although customers typically rented for a flat monthly fee as many movies per month as they wished, the number of DVDs in their possession at any one time was limited according to their subscription plans. Netflix had tens of thousands of movie titles in its catalog.

In 2006 Netflix launched the $1 million Netflix Prize contest to see if anyone could improve by 10 percent its recommendation system, an algorithm for predicting an individual’s movie preferences based on previous rental data. Three years later the prize was awarded to BellKor’s Pragmatic Chaos, a team made up of seven mathematicians, computer scientists, and engineers from the United States, Canada, Austria, and Israel.

Leading Netflix markets worldwide in 2nd quarter 2021, by number of subscribers

NETFLIX

Awards

On July 18, 2013, Netflix earned the first Primetime Emmy Award nominations for original online-only web television programs at the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards. Three of its web series, Arrested DevelopmentHemlock Grove and House of Cards, earned a combined 14 nominations (nine for House of Cards, three for Arrested Development and two for Hemlock Grove). The House of Cards episode “Chapter 1” received four nominations for both the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards and 65th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards, becoming the first webisode of a television series to receive a major Primetime Emmy Award nomination: David Fincher was nominated in the category of Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series. “Chapter 1” joined Arrested Development‘s “Flight of the Phoenix” and Hemlock Grove‘s “Children of the Night” as the first webisodes to earn Creative Arts Emmy Award nomination, and with its win for Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series, “Chapter 1” became the first webisode to be awarded an Emmy. Fincher’s win for Directing for a Drama Series made the episode the first Primetime Emmy-awarded webisode.

On December 12, 2013, the network earned six nominations for Golden Globe Awards, including four for House of Cards. Among those nominations was Wright for Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama for her portrayal of Claire Underwood, which she won at the 71st Golden Globe Awards on January 12. With the accolade, Wright became the first actress to win a Golden Globe for an online-only web television series. It also marked Netflix’ first major acting award. House of Cards and Orange is the New Black also won Peabody Awards in 2013.

On July 10, 2014, Netflix received 31 Emmy nominations. Among other nominations, House of Cards received nominations for Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series and Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series. Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright were nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor and Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. Orange is the New Black was nominated in the comedy categories, earning nominations for Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series and Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series. Taylor Schilling, Kate Mulgrew, and Uzo Aduba were respectively nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series and Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series (the latter was for Aduba’s recurring role in season one, as she was promoted to series regular for the show’s second season).

Netflix got the largest share of 2016 Emmy award nominations among its competitors, with 16 major nominations. However, streaming shows only got 24 nominations out of a total of 139, falling significantly behind cable. The 16 Netflix nominees were: House of Cards with Kevin Spacey, A Very Murray Christmas with Bill Murray, Unbreakable Kimmy SchmidtMaster of None, and Bloodline.

Stranger Things received 19 nominations at the 2017 Primetime Emmy Awards, while The Crown received 13 nominations. In April 2017, it was nominated for Broadcaster of the Year in the UK’s Diversity in Media Awards. In December 2017, it was awarded PETA’s Company of the Year for promoting animal rights movies and documentaries like Forks Over Knives and What the Health.

At the 90th Academy Awards, held on March 4, 2018, Netflix won the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature for the film Icarus. During his remarks backstage, director and writer Bryan Fogel remarked that Netflix had “single-handedly changed the documentary world”. Icarus had its premiere at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and was bought by Netflix for $5 million, one of the biggest deals ever for a non-fiction film. Netflix became the most nominated network at the 2018 Primetime and Creative Arts Emmy Awards with 112 nominations, therefore breaking HBO’s 17-years record as most nominated network at the Emmys, which received 108 nominations.

On January 22, 2019, Netflix scored 15 nominations for the 91st Academy Awards, including Best Picture for Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma, which was nominated for 10 awards. The 15 nominations equal the total nominations Netflix had received in previous years. Its increased presence in the Academy Awards has led filmmakers such as Steven Spielberg to speak out against the nomination of streaming content. As a possible solution, Netflix is in the process of buying Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre to host events and screen its films and series. However, there are no plans to roll out full theatrical releases there.

In 2020, Netflix gained 20 TV nominations and 22 film nominations at the Golden Globes awards. It secured three out of the five nominations for best drama TV series for The CrownOzark and Ratched and four of the five nominations for best actress in a TV series: Olivia Colman, Emma Corrin, Laura Linney and Sarah Paulson. Netflix also gained 30 nominations at the Screen Actor Guilds Awards (won 7 awards) and 35 nominations at the Academy Awards (also won 7 awards).

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