Netflix’s highly flexible interface is much more than a website. It feels more like a video games platform, automatically adjusting resolution to download speed to avoid interruptions, any place, any time, for an exponentially growing number of users. Netflix has achieved its conquest of the world (with the notable exception of China) with the help of Amazon’s cloud service. This costs the company an estimated $30-$80m a month, a necessary expense to entice potential subscribers away from illegal downloads. To keep subscribers loyal, Netflix needs attractive content. Since the late 2000s it has negotiated distribution rights with Hollywood studios and profited from the global popularity of TV series such as Friends and La Casa de Papel, which account for around two-thirds of its catalogue and viewing, in terms of programming times. But it also targeted niche audiences from the start. Vincent Maraval, a French distributor, recalls: ‘Their reps used to say “What Iranian films have you got?” So I’d say “Well, this one’s interesting, and so is this”. And they’d say “OK, whatever. You’ve got 30? We’ll take the lot”.’ Since then Netflix has spent ever more on content, taking on debt to do so, a method tried and tested… Read full this story
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