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What is Netflix?

Netflix is a global video streaming service, media and film production company with more than 137 million subscribers. The Los Gatos, Calif.,-based company was started in 1997 by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph. While working together at a Silicon Valley startup, the two brainstormed the initial idea for Netflix (NFLX) - Get Report during their morning commutes. Combining Randolph's direct marketing skills and Hastings' discipline and mathematical prowess, they created what would become one of the world's most successful internet businesses.

Cost of Netflix Today

Netflix is far from being just the DVD mail order service of its infancy. Though the company still offers DVD rentals by mail, its streaming service operates in 190 countries and CEO Reed Hastings hopes to expand into China someday.

U.S. streaming customers can choose from three monthly subscription plans - Basic for $7.99, Standard for $10.99 and Premium for $13.99 for unlimited access to video content from from several different countries. The basic plan lets viewers stream TV shows and movies from Netflix's digital library on only one internet-connected device at a time in Standard Definition (SD). The standard plan allows customers to watch on two screens and offers high definition (HD) picture quality, while the premium plan offers four screens, and HD and Ultra HD quality are available. This price is around the same level as other streaming services, such as Hulu.

Accessible via mobile app, set-top box, gaming consoles like the X-Box, or streaming players like Roku and Amazon Fire TV Stick, as well as on smart-TVs that come equipped with the app, Netflix offers dozens of original series, documentaries, specials and movies that are only available on its platform.

What Content Does Netflix have

Netflix has three major content sources: licensed non-first-window content like Showtime's "Shameless," licensed original first-window content such as "Orange is the New Black," which is owned and developed by Lionsgate, and owned original first-window content from the Netflix studio, such as "Stranger Things." First-window content means that it airs on Netflix first.

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"Orange Is the New Black," is among Netflix's most-watched series and has won four Emmy awards. Netflix original content includes "Big Mouth," "The Ranch," "Bright," "Godless," "The Kissing Booth," "3%," "Dark, Sacred Games" and "Nailed It."

The company has said it plans to continue to grow its exclusive content offerings, both through partnerships and original content. Netflix is sharpening its focus on original content because it gives the company creative control and savings on licensing other studios' content while allowing it to retain lifetime licensing control over its own films.

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