Netflix Inc.: Proving the Skeptics Wrong
Netflix, a subscription-based movie and television show rental service, offered content to subscribers either via DVDs delivered by mail, or through Internet-based streaming. After splitting the two services, the company lost subscribers, and its stock price plummeted. Most observers were skeptical that Netflix could maintain its profit margins, given the increased cost of acquiring streamable content. However, Netflix not only reduced its cost per user but also increased its subscriber growth both in the United States and internationally. Were these moves sufficient to deliver the growth needed to support its rising stock price? Netflix also faced increased streaming costs because it used disproportionately more bandwidth than other streaming companies. Would these costs mean that the Netflix business model was no longer viable? This is a follow-up case to "Netflix," which describes the company's innovative business model of delivering DVDs by mail, and "Netflix Inc.: The Second Act-Moving into Streaming," which describes the after-effects of the dual-subscription model. Sayan Chatterjee is affiliated with Case Western Reserve University.