Netflix by the Numbers: Statistics, Demographics, and Fun Facts

Over the years, Netflix has become a force to be reckoned with in the entertainment industry.

From hit TV series like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black to winning the highest number of Emmy awards nominations, the company is showing its prowess as an internet TV company.

With such a big company, there are usually numbers that wow the public. Just because these numbers sound surreal and only a few companies can dream of achieving them.

Netflix Homepage

In this post, I’m going to examine some big numbers behind one of the largest TV companies in the world.

Netflix Company Statistics

1). The company was founded in 1997

How many people would have thought that Netflix was in existence before Facebook? Or even Google? Very few.

Yet, Netflix was founded on August 29, 1997, in Scotts Valley, California, more than 21 years ago. Netflix was founded by current CEO Reed Hastings and former CEO Marc Randolph as it became the first online DVD rental store.

2). The company filed its IPO in 2002

In May 2002, Netflix initiated its initial public offering (IPO) by selling 5.5 million shares at a price of $15 per share to bring the company’s evaluation to $82.5 million. Today, a share is worth $339 and the company is valued at $147 billion.

Netflix Inc NASDAQ

3). Netflix started its streaming service with 1,000 titles

In January 2007, Netflix launched its streaming service with “Watch Now” that had 1,000 titles. This was partly as a result of tougher competition from other DVD rental services.

The streaming service has a simple premise. Instead of subscribers waiting for their DVD to be delivered, they can watch immediately on their computer. Even though such an idea looks normal today, it was new at the time.

4). In January 2018, Netflix has nearly 15,400 titles across all of its regional libraries

There has been a decline in over the years in the Library size. In the past years, Netflix’s library size was staunted which was a major concern. As of January 2018, Netflix had recorded 5,599 titles (source: uNoGS).

In 2014, there were over 8,000 titles in the U.S. content library, so it’s still a decline but we’re hopeful there will even be more by December 2018.

5). Netflix delivered its billionth DVD in 2007

After about seven and a half years of operation, Netflix delivered its billionth DVD in February 2007. To commemorate this, Netflix awarded a lifetime subscription to the subscriber who made the order of the DVD, Babel.

6). Netflix has 112 Emmy Award Nominations in 2018

With its increase in the number of television series, Netflix has racked up Emmy nominations over the years. And in 2018, the company got 112 nominations.

Netflix 112 Emmy Nomination Award

This was enough to break HBO’s 17-year long run as the TV company with the highest number of Emmy award nominations every year.

This is up from 91 nominations in 2017 and 54 in 2016. This shows Netflix’s investment to take on the traditional TV companies and compete with popular and quality TV shows.

7). Netflix streams take 15% of the world’s downstream bandwidth

According to the October 2018 Global Internet Phenomena Report by Sandvine, Netflix takes up 15% of the global downstream bandwidth. This value even goes up in the United States as it accounts for 19.1% of the downstream bandwidth.

Netflix - 15% of total download stream

In the evening, during peak hours, Netflix usage could rise as high as 40%. The study says Netflix could have taken up to 3 times its current volume without its superior stream compression technology.

Netflix - US Total Download Steam

8). Netflix takes a 26.6% share of global video streaming traffic

This gives Netflix the largest share of the global video streaming traffic. In comparison, YouTube has 21.3% of the traffic, Amazon Prime Video has 5.7%, Facebook Video has 3.4% while Hulu has 0.4%.

Netflix - Global Video Streaming

9). Netflix expanded to Canada in 2010

After 13 years of operation in the United States and about 14 million subscribers, Netflix took its first step into the international market by offering its streaming service in Canada in 2010.

Netflix Canada

10). Netflix service is now available in 190 countries

At the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2016, Netflix announced its service would be available in 130 more countries to make it available in 190 countries in 20 years. This allowed many countries already aware of Netflix to take an opportunity of the service.

Netflix - Available in over 190 countries

11). Netflix is set to have 700 Originals for movies and TV shows in 2018

If you think you’ve watched enough Original movies and TV shows on Netflix, brace up because you’re about to be blown away. Netflix currently has over 65 original shows but the company has plans to up it to 700 Original TV shows and 80 Original movies in 2018.

Netflix - Movies and Tv Shows List

The company has spent almost $8 billion on original shows. That’s bigger than what it spends on other content. With an additional 700 original shows, you have to watch 2 movies daily to completely exhaust the list per year.

Netflix User Statistics

12). Netflix has 130 million members worldwide

As Netflix gained popularity throughout the world, its members also increased. As of second quarter of 2018, Netflix has over 130 million members. Of these members, over 124 million are paid members.

13). Netflix has about 57 million members in the United States

As of June 2018, there are 57.38 million Netflix members in the United States. Of these, 55.96 million are paid members.

This is where the company has its headquarters and it’s no surprise that it has its largest user base here.

14). 77% of VoD users subscribe to Netflix in 2018

According to Statista, this percentage of video on demand users are on Netflix. Of the 18 to 29-year-old group, 74% of VoD users are on Netflix. 78% of 30 to 49 year-olds and 74% of 50 to 64 year-olds use Netflix.

Netflix - User Statistics

15). Netflix users spend 1 billion hours watching movies weekly

That is the number of hours Netflix users now spend on the platform watching movies every week. [source]

Netflix - Hours Spending

This is one sign of Netflix replacing many traditional TV stations as Netflix has now introduced many TV series and original movies into its programs. Even Netflix users can watch comedy on the platform now.

16). An average Netflix subscriber watches 60 movies annually

An average Netflix subscriber watched 60 movies on the platform in 2017. This amounts to an average of 5 movies every month.

Netflix - Subscribers Annual Usage

17). The most affordable country to subscribe to Netflix is Turkey.

There are several parameters to it, but Netflix costs different amount depending on the country or city. In Turkey, for example, the basic subscription is $3.27 per month, while the same plan costs $11 per month in Norway.

Is this ideal? Is Netflix trying to get more users to sign up considering the usage is at 11%? Or perhaps, we should move to the cities to enjoy it.

Netflix - Top video platform usage

18). 54% of adults in the US have access to Netflix

According to a study by Leichtman Research Group (LRG) in 2017, 54% of TV households now have access to Netflix. This is even more impressive when it’s considered that this is higher than 53% of adults who have access to digital video recorders (DVRs).

Netflix - US usage statistics

This is a change in trend towards the service offered by Netflix. To understand how rapid this trend is moving, only 26% of US adults had access to Netflix just 7 years ago in 2011.

This is no big surprise as Netflix eliminates the need of an extra hardware and installation before use.

Netflix vs DVR

19). 23% of all US adults stream Netflix daily

Netflix - US Adult Stream Daily Statistics

The same LRG study found that almost one in 4 US adults stream Netflix daily. Wow! To put a number of people behind that statistic, that’s about 58 million of over 250 million US adults population watching Netflix daily.

20). 81% of Netflix subscribers use the service on a TV set

This is one evidence of the internet TV company taking more share of the traditional TV stations’ viewership as many are now watching Netflix during the time that’s usually allocated to a traditional TV. And they remain subscribed to this service for months.

Netflix - Average length of time subscribed

21). 58% of users subscribe to the Netflix service for its originals

In a 2016 study by Cowen and Company, 58% of Netflix users said they subscribe to the service because of its original programs. These are programs that users can’t find anywhere else.

In addition to that, 51% subscribe to the service because of no ad interruptions while watching the programs. People are already exposed to too many ads and many people enjoy an opportunity to watch just their TV programs in peace.

Netflix - Users Reason in subscribing

22). 40% of 18-34-year-old watch Netflix on TV most often

When asked in a Cowen & Co study, about 2 in 5 adults between the ages of 18 and 34 say they watch Netflix most often on their TV. This is far higher than 17% who watch YouTube most often, 12.6% who watch basic cable, and 7.6% who watch Hulu.

Among adults of all ages, Netflix still leads with 27% compared to basic cable at 20%, broadcast at 18% and YouTube at 11%.

Netflix - Most often users

23). 70% of US adults binge-watch 5 episodes in a sitting on Netflix

A study by Deloitte found this with 35% of millennials doing it on a weekly basis. Even though the study is related to online TV shows from many companies rather than Netflix alone, Netflix is a major player and is responsible for a large share of binge-watching.

In fact, 38% of people within the ages of 19-25 are addicted to streaming video content, according to MediaWeek.

Netflix - Routine part of life in US

This habit is encouraged by services like Netflix as they release a whole season of a TV series once rather than traditional TV shows that release an episode every week. In fact, Netflix’s VP of product innovation, Todd Yellin admits this in a video.

“There is a tiny minority of people who will binge through the whole thing in the exact amount of time, from the second we launch it at midnight California time,” he said. “13 hours later, or exactly how many hours are in the show, they’ll finish.”

Netflix Financial Statistics

24). Netflix is the 10th largest internet company in terms of revenue

With a revenue of over $11 billion in Q4 2017, Netflix is the 10th largest internet company based on revenue. In the second quarter of 2018, the company had a total revenue of $3.9 billion.

Netflix - Finacial Statistics

25). Netflix spent $6 billion on original content in 2017

That’s the amount Netflix spent on content to produce 1,000 hours of original movies for its subscribers. The internet TV service is spending on original TV shows to attract more subscribers to its service. $6 billion was Netflix’s estimated annual budget, exceeding Amazon’s $4.5 billion budget.

Netflix - Annual Spending

When you consider that Netflix spent 3 times the $2 billion that HBO spent during the same period of time, it’s an aggressive strategy by Netflix.

26).  Netflix paid Chris Rock $40 million to produce two comedy specials

There’s no arguing the fact that stand-up comedy shows are popular. I love comedy and would pay for it. Netflix isn’t naive either, that’s why they can spend $40 million on an individual actor — Chris Rock. Giggles:)

Netflix - Chris Rock

Regardless of the competitors like Hulu and other video streaming networks, Netflix isn’t relenting on working with the best personalities and teams. It can only get better.

27). Netflix is on track to spend $13 billion in 2018 for original TV content

This is the amount Netflix is expected to spend in 2018 for its original TV content. For this amount, the company is expected to release 82 feature films. It’s also expected to produce or procure 700 new or exclusively licensed television shows.

Truly, the billion-dollar content race is on. The big players aren’t giving up. Take a look at the budget in 2017. But that’s not all, a whopping $13 billion investment will push Netflix to the top of this chart in 2018.

Regardless of the competitors like Hulu and other video streaming networks, Netflix isn’t relenting on working with the best personalities and teams. It can only get better. 27). Netflix is on track to spend $13 billion in 2018 for original TV content This is the amount Netflix is expected to spend in 2018 for its original TV content. For this amount, the company is expected to release 82 feature films. It's also expected to produce or procure 700 new or exclusively licensed television shows. Truly, the billion-dollar content race is on. The big players aren’t giving up. Take a look at the budget in 2017. But that’s not all, a whopping $13 billion investment will push Netflix to the top of this chart in 2018.

This includes 100 scripted dramas and comedies, documentaries and children’s shows, stand-up comedy specials and reality and talk shows.

To put these numbers in perspective, Warner Brothers, the Hollywood studio with the largest number of feature films this year, is only producing 23 films. And Disney is only producing 10.

Netflix - Island in the stream

28). Netflix spent over $526 million on marketing in the second-quarter of 2018

Despite Netflix being one of the most popular companies in the world, it spends a lot of money on marketing. With over $526 million spent in the second quarter of 2018, and a $2 billion budget on campaigns.

That’s more than the revenues of some big companies. Customer acquisition is a serious issue, hence, Netflix isn’t leaving any stone unturned.

Netflix - International Customers

This shows the importance of marketing. No matter how big a company is, marketing is an activity that must always be invested in throughout the lifetime of a company.

With marketing, a company gains more brand awareness, more customers, and more profits.

29). Netflix has accumulated $21.9 billion in debt

As at the end of September 2017, Netflix had accumulated a debt of up to $21.9 billion. Most of the funds went into the company’s shows as they aimed to gain more subscribers and a bigger share of the TV viewership.

This shows that Netflix, as a large and well-run company, is not perfect. The company aims to pay off its debts in years to come as it gains more users and increase revenues.

In fact, the company seems to be sinking deeper into debt to fuel subscriber growth.

Netflix - Membership growth

Netflix Fun Facts

  • Netflix is enjoyed in nearly 50 countries.
  • Latin America is Netflix’s largest market with growth potentials.
  • Netflix amounts to almost one-third of traffic in the U.S. during primetime.
  • Netflix has its own awards — the Flixies.
  • Users can delete their browsing history on Netflix. Find option under your account.
  • The CEO Marc Rudolph first named Netflix Kibble.com, after his dog.
  • Did you know that the original idea for Netflix was born when the current CEO, Reed Hastings, was billed $40 for a VHS tape of Apollo 13 which he got 6 weeks earlier?
  • Netflix is the largest contributor of internet traffic. [soundvine]
  • A new hire on Netflix starts out at $18 an hour.
  • Rectangular envelopes are a norm at Netflix. It saves cost!
  • Netflix was almost purchased by Blockbuster in 2000 for $50 million.
  • Subscribing to Netflix can help you trick your kids into bed.
  • The most watched show on the U.S. version of Netflix is The Breaking Dad.
  • “Movies that are English but still requires subtitles” is Netflix’s special category.
  • A Netflix inspector sorts an average of 5,200 DVDs per day, that’s about 650 DVDs every hour.
  • Netflix premium members watched at least one movie per day in 2017
  • Globally, Netflix’s members broke a re-watch record by streaming Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl 365 times in 2017.

Final thoughts

Is Netflix taking over traditional TV industry? 5 years ago, that would have been a far-reaching question. Today, it’s a valid question.

Will users continue to get an affordable price for the service? As the company moves to increase its number of shows and revenues, the subscription fee may not stay at $9.99 for too long.

What of competitors? Netflix has a big competitor in Amazon. Over the years, the rivalry could get interesting. As a consumer, you should look out for what internet TV will offer in a few years to come.