The Internet changed the way people consume media. Gone are the days where you absolutely sit through commercial after commercial before you get to the content that matters. You could download different shows, e-books, and everything in between with a few simple keystrokes. Ignore the fact that for the most all of these options were illegal. Well, that is until Netflix entered the fray and changed Internet streaming operated.
Netflix led the charge towards legitimizing streaming licensed video content over the Internet. Netflix got started as a mail order DVD rental service in the mid-2000’s. By entering the game as a “Blockbuster killer” Netflix looked for different ways to expand their brand and revolutionize the way that people interact with various forms visual media. That’s when Netflix offered online streaming and not only legitimized an activity that many across the internet engaged in but also brought another alternative to the brick and mortar rental stores of yesteryear. However, the real turning point for Netflix as a cultural phenomenon came in the form of a simple app. That found it’s way to every major videogame console of the past generation.
Giving gamers the ability to stream their favorite shows and movies to their console of choice via a simple Netflix app paved the way for a new target demographic. The Xbox 360 was the first to bring the streaming service to its consumer base. The results were staggering and the after shocks are still being felt across the industry. The Netflix app was one of the first true 3rd party apps available to videogame consoles that truly took off. Netflix quickly made its way to both the PS3 and the Wii and to this day, this PS3 gamer doesn’t spend a night without my PS3 playing some combination of Mythbusters, How I Met Your Mother, or some random movie I found before bed. It’s ingrained as a part of my nightly tradition that it would seem absolutely bizarre to not have option. Netflix forever changed the way that people access widely released film and television content. However, they are not the only name in the game.
The success of Netflix spawned a brand new industry that has taken the world by storm. Services like Hulu and Amazon have entered the game and offer a nice challenge to Netflix. This competition has led to a change in tactics for the streaming giants. Each company has entered the realm of original content, with Netflix of course leading the way. So far the Netflix originals have outpaced the competition in terms of quality programming and have set the next trend for the foreseeable future.