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If you’re old enough to go on a blockbuster looking for a new movie or remembering old favorite watching days like the 100th, you might have thought “those were the old days.” In reality, they were, but things changed dramatically when Netflix came into view.
On August 29, 1997, Netflix was started as an online DVD rental service by Reed Hastings and Mark Randolph, but it has now become the largest online streaming platform in the world.
What can we learn from Netflix founder Mark Randolph? Thanks to the wise business decisions of Randolph and his co-founders, Netflix is now worth billions of dollars. So, let’s explore the 10 best business lessons we can learn from Randolph and his journey to success.
1. Stay ahead of new competitors
Although Netflix is the first of its kind, competitors have flooded the market year after year. Amazon, Disney, TV Network and many more companies offer successful streaming networks. In addition, Netflix’s business model changes over time. It started out as a DVD rental company, then offered viewers subscription services, and by 2007, it had been rebranded into an online streaming service.
Related: The crazy number behind Netflix’s 20 years of success
2. Set the trend
Trends change all the time, and to stay relevant, companies need to be at the top of their game. Randolph and Netflix have introduced the “binge-watching” concept, so their listeners don’t have to wait every week to see their favorite show.
3. Be disruptive
If you want to be successful, you have to be a breaker and make the competition uncomfortable. Randolph, for example, knew that they could disrupt the blockbuster business by skipping videos and renting DVDs directly.
“But the biggest reason for our confidence in our future is that we plan to do something in their business that they couldn’t do – or at least are reluctant to do.”
– Mark Randolph
Related: Co-founder of Netflix: Here’s how to be disruptive
4. Seize the opportunity
Randolph saw an opportunity to expand their business not only by providing subscription streaming services but also by providing a monopoly on in-house production. As a result, the company created such hit shows Orange is the new black, Umbrella Academy And YouWhich can only be found on Netflix.
5. Consumer experience
The streaming portal is designed to personalize the user experience. It tracks consumer behavior, recommends movies and shows based on their search and viewing history, and saves user progress to improve their experience when using the platform later.
Randolph and Hastings offered customers a monthly flat-rate fee to watch unlimited DVDs to further compete with the blockbuster. Their position on the flat-rate model has remained the same since its introduction in 1997, with the exception of a subscription-based service. Although prices have risen year after year, consumers are still aware and committed to the opportunity to watch quality Netflix shows and dilemmas.
Another incredible way for Randolph and his team to take Netflix to new heights is to go global. They didn’t just offer Netflix to the world market. Instead, they researched each country’s regulations, technical requirements, politics, culture, and consumer preferences to ensure launch success. As a result, Netflix can now be streamed to 190 countries worldwide.
Related: 3 strategies co-founders of Netflix use to make difficult decisions easier
8. Data driven platform
In 2013, Netflix released its first critically acclaimed original show, House of cards. But why did you choose this show after spending millions of rupees to make it? Netflix already knew what consumers wanted through data collected from the market. Initially, it uses a simple rating system and studies consumer preferences to make sure they get it right.
9. Changes over time
Randolph and Hastings saw a huge opportunity for the growing popularity of smart TVs, so they integrated themselves into LCD TVs to expand viewers’ access to the platform. As a result, families across the United States used Netflix as their primary source of television entertainment. Netflix knew how to pay for its streaming site according to the current economic climate. When it moved to streaming in 2007 and 2008, the country experienced a recession and Netflix provided affordable home entertainment.
10. Always evolve
Netflix started in a market that didn’t even know it needed to change. Randolph and Hastings have developed Netflix to make DVD rental convenient for customers at no extra charge. Consumers no longer have to go to video rental stores, home entertainment has been simplified and they have completely changed the game. Netflix has consistently adjusted its business model to stay ahead of the game and set trends.
Related: How Netflix co-founder Mark Randolph succeeded