Jamie Carr Columnist

The world has changed a little since 1998. Back then, Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph spotted the potential to set up a company that would rent out the new-fangled DVD by post. The aim was to disrupt the old order, which involved going to your local video store, renting a VHS tape and then taking it back after watching it. It is remarkable that, just 20 years ago, this antediluvian process was the norm, supporting an enormous infrastructure of bricks-and-mortar stores and employees that have subsequently gone the way of the dodo. Now the happy consumer can remain recumbent in his or her recliner and, for a small monthly subscription, summon up a bewildering range of content with the remote control in one hand and a glass of something refreshing in the other. The effect, in terms of obesity and overarching idleness, remains to be assessed, but there’s no doubt Netflix is a cracking good product, as 125m global subscribers as of April will attest. The company’s share price has rockete...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, Morningstar financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.