From the popularity of Stranger Things to vintage DVD cases, Netflix is celebrating 25 years of storytelling with a video retrospective.
Looking back at how far the financial model has come, Netflix celebrated its 25th anniversary by uploading a movie to YouTube. The video traces the evolution of the streaming service started by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph in 1997.
“When Netflix arrived 25 years ago, the net looked a lot like this and the flix looked a lot like that,” the video states, looking back on the design of early internet and VHS players where early Netflix — a DVD rental-by-mail service — got its start. After revisiting old Netflix commercials promoting the original red DVD return envelopes, the voiceover admits, “But at a certain point, DVDs just couldn’t keep up. Luckily by that time, the internet could.”
The documentary also touches on the younger days of streaming and hit shows like Orange is the New Black, Bojack Horseman, and Stranger Things. While hinting at more to come in the future, Netflix also talked about the impact of fandoms on brand sustainability. As it recognizes viewers who see something unusual to love and turns it into something extraordinary.
Netflix’s 2022 schedule features ongoing series like Stranger Things, Sex Education and The Witcher, along with new projects like Lincoln Lawyer, The Cuphead Show and Neil Gaiman’s live-action adaptation of The Sandman. Ryan Reynolds’ sci-fi time-travel film The Adam Project was removed in March, followed by The Gray Man in July and most recently the vampire action film Day Shift. Notable projects through the end of 2022 include Psycho his drama ‘Blonde’ starring Marilyn Monroe and Mike Flanigan’s horror his series ‘Midnight Club’.
Netflix has recently been challenged with its member base despite its plethora of titles. In the first quarter of 2022, the company lost 200,000 subscribers, according to an April report, and viewership dropped worldwide. This does not include the Pacific market, a market with significant growth. Netflix actually lost about a million subscribers in the second quarter, contrary to reports that it lost more than two million, Hastings attributed to the popularity of Stranger Things season 4.
Disney+, a streaming service that competes with Netflix, amassed 221.1 million users worldwide in the past month, surpassing the 220.7 million subscriber mark. Another rival, HBO Max, oversaw a major and controversial overhaul of its programming, which led to the cancellation of many stream-only TV shows and movies, including The Amazing World of Gumball Movies and Batgirls. Watch the commemorative video here.