The Epic Battle for America's Eyeballs

Book - 2012
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Penguin Putnam
The history of Netflix is a long struggle for greatness marked by multiple disasters, lucky breaks, personal betrayal, and broken hearts. It has more drama than most of the movies Netflix rents.
Netflix has come a long way since 1997, when two Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, Marc Ran­dolph and Reed Hastings, decided to start an online DVD store before most people owned a DVD player. They were surprised and elated when launch-day traffic in April 1998 crashed their server and resulted in 150 sales. Today, Netflix has more than 25 million subscribers and annual revenues above $3 billion. Yet long- term success—or even survival—is still far from guaranteed.
Journalist Gina Keating recounts the absorbing, fast-paced drama of the company’s turbulent rise to the top and its attempt to invent two new kinds of business. First it engaged in a grueling war against video-store behemoth Blockbuster, transforming movie rental forever. Then it jumped into an even bigger battle for online video streaming against Google, Hulu, Amazon, and the big cable companies. Netflix ushered in such innovations as DVD rental by mail, a patented online queue of upcom­ing rentals, and a recommendation algorithm called Cinematch that proved crucial in its struggle against bigger rivals.
Yet for all its success, Netflix is still a polariz­ing company. Hastings is often heralded as a visionary—he was named Business Person of the Year in 2010 byFortune—even as he has been called the nation’s worst CEO. Netflix also faces disgruntled customers after price increases and other stumbles that could tarnish the brand forever.
The quest to become the world’s portal for pre­mium video on demand will determine nothing less than the future of entertainment and the Internet. Drawing on extensive new interviews and her years covering Netflix as a financial and entertainment reporter, Keating makes this tale as absorbing as it is important.

Baker & Taylor
Traces Netflix's dramatic rise throughout a decade-long war against Blockbuster, analyzing the polarizing characters attributed to founders Marc Randolph and Reed Hastings while evaluating how the company has become increasingly subject to competition and marketing tactics by cable companies and telecoms. 15,000 first printing.

Book News
Keating, a journalist who has followed Netflix for many years, exposes the truth behind omissions in the official corporate history of Netflix, drawing on interviews with Netflix's less-known co-founder, Marc Randolph. In this narrative account with detailed character portrayals, she charts the company's history from its beginnings in 1997 as a tiny upstart battling the established movie rental industry, to the present, and explains various transitions where Netflix has succeeded in spite of the odds and grim predictions. Annotation ©2013 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

& Taylor

Traces Netflix's rise throughout a decade-long war against Blockbuster, analyzing the polarizing characters attributed to its founders while evaluating how the company has become subject to competition and marketing tactics by cable companies and telecoms.

Publisher: New York : Portfolio/Penguin, 2012
Description: xii, 286 p. ; 24 cm
ISBN: 9781591844785
Branch Call Number: 384.84 Kea


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The story of Netflix from its beginnings to the year 2012. Interesting sub-stories on Blockbuster and Redbox.


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