Netflix still several steps ahead in strategy for wooing subscribers

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Many thought the streaming service would come unstuck with its debt-fuelled growth, but the pandemic changed all that

Only Frank Underwood could amass as much power in such a short space of time. Nearly eight years after Netflix used House of Cards as the launch of its global empire, the streaming service announced last week that it now had more than 200 million subscribers. The pandemic has hastened the company’s transformation from a debt-laden digital upstart into an essential part of the TV landscape in homes across the world.

In 2013, when Netflix’s first original series made its debut, the company had 30 million (mostly US) subscribers. This was six years after it moved from being a DVD-by-post business to a streaming pioneer. Since then it has added 170 million subscribers in more than 190 countries and its pandemic-fuelled results last week sent Netflix’s market value to an all-time high of $259bn.

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