Netflix has been a trend-setter since it first entered the DVD rental scene with its big red envelopes in 1999. Since then, it has continued to push the envelope of what rentals should be:
- Engaging and easy to use web service which is continually being improved (and mimicked)
- Instant streaming service that launched in 2007
- Portable experience available on various set-top, TV, and gaming devices, including TiVo, Xbox 360, LG HDTV among others
- A service that is easy to stick with, particularly as it allows you to go on hiatus/holiday mode seamlessly
- Good customer support with a very good automated support online and (once you get a number and person on the phone) a helpful staff that cares about customer retention
- As with any good subscription service, a continually improving service with experimentation:
- Do you remember the previews channel where you could watch previews back-to-back in specific genres (if not, it wouldn’t be a surprise as it wasn’t very prominent, but a cool feature nonetheless)
- Most recently, Netflix announced a winner of its open contest to improve its movie recommendation engine with an improvement of 10.05% accuracy. This is a highly welcomed improvement and a commendable approach.
All this and still room for improvement… not bad for a company that got started based on a $40 late fee (read the full story of how Netflix got started).