Netflix was founded in 1997 as a movie rental site, delivering DVDs directly to your mailbox for a small fee. Ten years later, Netflix launched their streaming service and cemented themselves as the go-to source for movies and television. Boasting over 70 million subscribers, Netflix has forever changed how we consume visual media.
And if that wasn't enough, recent years have seen Netflix branch out in to original programming, producing a slew of highly acclaimed programs, almost single-handedly cultivating the culture of binge-watching. Since its 2007 launch, Netflix's streaming service has expanded to include over 60 countries, but as of today that number grows with the service's simultaneous global launch in an additional 130 countries.
As part of the announcement, Netflix threw together a celebratory clip show (above) highlighting their best programming -- House of Cards, Daredevil, Orange is the New Black, Beasts of No Nation, Ridiculous 6... well, who knows how that got in there.
The announcement came during CES 2015, where at Netflix's presentation, co-founder and chief executive Reed Hastings said in his keynote speech:
"Today you are witnessing the birth of a new global Internet TV network. With this launch, consumers around the world -- from Singapore to St. Petersburg, from San Francisco to Sao Paulo -- will be able to enjoy TV shows and movies simultaneously -- no more waiting. With the help of the Internet, we are putting power in consumers’ hands to watch whenever, wherever and on whatever device."
As of today's announcement, Netlix and all its hit original content is available to stream worldwide (with a few exceptions, namely China, though they're working on it, and North Korea, Crimea, and Syria due to U.S. government restrictions). For a complete listing of countries, you can click here.
There's little doubt Netflix has been leading the charge in streaming for years, but with this global launch they've cemented themselves as the leading streaming content provider. Add to that their impressive line-up of original series -- Jessica Jones, Master of None, Sense8, Bloodline, Wet Hot American Summer, the list goes on -- and it's easy to see why Hastings is confident broadcast television will be dead by 2030.
Netflix isn't slowing down anytime soon, either, transforming itself into a veritable media empire. This year will see even more original programming, with everyone from Chelsea Handler to Pee-Wee Herman inking a deal for a Netflix show. And with Netflix now available on basically any Internet-connected device the world over, it appears their global domination is just about complete.
What televisions shows or movies are you currently streaming from Netlflix? Any readers residing in a country that only gained access to Netlflix recently? What's the first thing you watched? Sound off in the comments!