Netflix Launched Its Website 24 Years Ago: A Timeline

Zinger Key Points
  • Reed Hastings and Marc Rudolph decided to mail themselves a DVD in 1997, and after the DVD arrived unscathed, the idea for Netflix was born.
  • In 2002, the company went public at $15 per share, offering 5.5 million in common stock.

This article was originally published on April 16, 2022

The streaming giant has come a long way since launching its first product.

Reed Hastings and Marc Rudolph decided to mail themselves a DVD in 1997, and after the DVD arrived unscathed, the idea for Netflix was born.

On April 14, 1998, Netflix Inc NFLX launched its website with 925 titles, of which some included “Enemy of the State,” “Out of Sight” and “Mighty Joe Young.” The company relied on a pay-per-rent model, where a customer would visit the website and choose a movie, which was then delivered by mail.

After making $1.34 million in its first year of operations, the team switched to a subscription model. Netflix grew over 270% in the following year, bringing in $5 million.

In 2000, Netflix offered themselves to competitor Blockbuster for $50 million in an acquisition deal that Blockbuster declined.

After two years of growth, in 2002 the company went public at $15 per share, offering 5.5 million in common stock.

Related Link: If You Invested $1,000 In Netflix Stock One Year Ago, Here's How Much You'd Have Now

In 2003, the company announced it surpassed one million subscribers and was issued a patent by U.S Patent & Trademark Office to cover its services.

In 2007, Netflix began moving away from its original business model with the launch of its streaming video service. Shortly after, the company started producing and directing its own series and movies, “House of Cards” being the first Netflix Original.

The company went international in 2010, offering streaming services to Canada. Latin America and the Caribbean were the following areas of growth.

The stock fell over 73% from July 2011 to November as 800,000 subscribers quit the platform. The company completed a 7-to-1 stock split in June 2015, and just weeks later, shares hit an all-time high amid reporting 574% growth over five years.

Netflix expanded to 130 new countries in 2016, taking its services worldwide. The company launched an offline playback feature in the same year, something frequently requested by subscribers.

In 2017, a report showed that 73% of all U.S households held a Netflix subscription, equal to the number of homes that had a cable subscription.

The company entered the gaming market in 2021 with the launch of Netflix Games, featuring five games available to Android users. In March 2022, the company acquired mobile game developer Boss Fight Entertainment.

Posted In: ICYMIMarc RudolphNetflixstreaming Reed HastingsEntertainmentGeneral

Ad Disclosure: The rate information is obtained by Bankrate from the listed institutions. Bankrate cannot guaranty the accuracy or availability of any rates shown above. Institutions may have different rates on their own websites than those posted on The listings that appear on this page are from companies from which this website receives compensation, which may impact how, where, and in what order products appear. This table does not include all companies or all available products.

All rates are subject to change without notice and may vary depending on location. These quotes are from banks, thrifts, and credit unions, some of whom have paid for a link to their own Web site where you can find additional information. Those with a paid link are our Advertisers. Those without a paid link are listings we obtain to improve the consumer shopping experience and are not Advertisers. To receive the rate from an Advertiser, please identify yourself as a Bankrate customer. Bank and thrift deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Credit union deposits are insured by the National Credit Union Administration.

Consumer Satisfaction: Bankrate attempts to verify the accuracy and availability of its Advertisers' terms through its quality assurance process and requires Advertisers to agree to our Terms and Conditions and to adhere to our Quality Control Program. If you believe that you have received an inaccurate quote or are otherwise not satisfied with the services provided to you by the institution you choose, please click here.

Rate collection and criteria: Click here for more information on rate collection and criteria.