It's hard to imagine life without Netflix, but there's a lot you probably don't know about the popular streaming service.
Read on to learn 19 facts about Netflix, from what it was originally called to how you can search for niche categories.
Netflix co-founder Marc Randolph told Fortune that the streaming service was originally called Kibble. Although the name was simply a placeholder, it referred to the idea that a product isn't a success unless "the dogs eat the dog food," as he phrased it.
In July, word got out (via the Italian blog Tutto Android) that Netflix would start offering members a new tier of service. The so-called Ultra plan would allow users to stream Ultra HD video and audio on up to four devices at once.
Currently, those with a Netflix subscription can choose one of three options that determine how many device screens they can watch simultaneously.
The Ultra tier is still in development, as Netflix spokesperson Smita Saran explained in an email to consumer electronics site CNET.
"We continuously test new things at Netflix and these tests typically vary in length of time," Saran wrote. "In this case, we are testing slightly different price points and features to better understand how consumers value Netflix."
You may have thought that "House of Cards" was the first original content that Netflix produced. But the service's first "original series" was actually a 2010 project called "Example Show."
The 11-minute test video (which you can watch here) is pretty goofy. "Actor," the episode's star, performs feats such as moon-walking while holding a laptop and reciting a monologue from Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar."
If that doesn't sound wild enough, the video is inexplicably subtitled with the line "There's no crying in baseball," which was borrowed from the film "A League of Their Own."
In 2000, Netflix's co-founder, Reed Hastings, asked former Blockbuster CEO John Antioco if he would buy the company for $50 million. Antioco turned down the offer because the mail-based DVD rental business seemed too niche.
Bandwidth management company Sandvine reported that, as of 2018, Netflix accounted for 15% of global internet traffic. And if it didn't compress its videos, that percentage could have been three times as high.
In 2013, Netflix hosted an awards ceremony aptly titled "The Flixies." The fan-based awards allowed viewers to vote for their favourite entries in fun categories such as "Best Guilty Pleasure" and "Best Hangover Cure."
A 2014 glitch caused plot summaries from different movies to merge, and hilarity ensued. For instance, one description read: "In a backwater Iowa town, young Gilbert is torn between taking care of his troubled family and a girl who shows him new passion and bounty hunters."
There's even a Twitter account dedicated to the humorous summaries, @SummaryBug.
According to Entertainment Weekly, you can access this diagnostic screen by pressing Shift + Alt + Left Click on a PC or Shift + Option + Click on a Mac.
HuffPost suggests setting a four-digit pin to block content with more mature TV ratings, as well as specific programs that might be inappropriate.
You can also disable autoplay to discourage endless binge-watching.
In a recent study, the market research company eMarketer analysed Netflix's global penetration. Researchers found that the streaming service is the most popular in the US, tailed closely by Norway and Canada.
Of that subscription base, more than 58 million users live in the US.
In 2016, Netflix analysed how long it took the average user to select a show or movie. According to the study, which was published in the journal ACM Transactions on Management Information Systems, most people browsed for just 60 to 90 seconds before giving up. During that window, users typically looked at 10 to 20 titles.
Netflix published a list of the most binge-watched series of 2017. The list was divided into categories such as "The Shows We Devoured" (content that people watched two hours at a time) and "The Shows We Savored" (shows people watched for fewer than two hours a day).
The mockumentary "American Vandal" topped the "Devoured" section, while royal drama "The Crown" earned first place in the "Savored" contingent.
If you want to get paid to watch TV, your dream job awaits at Netflix. The company hires people to "tag," or categorise, shows and movies with relevant metadata about its content. Although taggers label more mundane information, like who directed the episode or film, they're also responsible for crafting niche descriptions.
"We work with a sprawling palette of tones and storylines to capture the spirit of our content, and when it comes to those sorts of tags, we can be more editorial," Sherrie Gulmahamad, a senior member of the tagging team, said in an interview with Fast Company.
Some of Netflix's 76,000-plus categories are more general, like "Epics." Others are highly specific. Whether you're looking for an "Inspiring Teen Movie" or a "Romantic Independent Drama," Netflix has a sub-genre to suit viewers' eclectic tastes.
That year, Robin Wright won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Television Series Drama for her performance as Claire Underwood on "House of Cards."
Netflix conducted a study, with the help of Grant McCracken, a cultural anthropologist, to see how it's audience felt about spoilers.
McCracken ultimately commented that spoilers are becoming less important because a good TV show will have you wanting to continue to watch, even if you know spoilers.
In 2017, Netflix launched HERMES, a tool that the company uses to vet would-be translators around the globe. According to a post on the Netflix Tech Blog, HERMES is the premiere online subtitling and translation test administered by a major content creator.
The five-part test comprises thousands of randomly generated multiple-choice questions that gauge an applicant's comprehension of English, as well as their ability to translate English idioms into their target language.
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