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When it comes to digital disruption, we often hear the old adage ‘innovate or die’ or you don’t want to end up like Blockbuster, do you?

Since the inception of Netflix in 1997, streaming has completely revolutionized the way we consume television, providing viewers with access to more content than ever before, how we want, and when we want. Over this time, we’ve seen new entrants come into the content streaming market from Amazon to Disney to Hulu providing us with nearly endless options for commercial-free viewing complete with algorithms recommending series for our viewing pleasure.

According to Forbes, in 2010, there were just over 200 programs on television, and only four percent of them aired on streaming networks like Netflix. As of 2022, a record 599 original scripted drama, comedy, and limited TV shows were aired in 2022, up seven percent from the previous year.

In celebration of Liberty Communication’s 25th anniversary, I am delighted to answer the question – What do I think is one of the most disruptive technologies we’ve experienced over the last 25 years? For me, Netflix comes to the very top of the list. Netflix changed the entertainment industry – causing a ripple effect across cable, movies, and television. It’s even forwarding globalization with its borderless approach to content. My kids also have no patience or appreciation for commercials.  

Yet as with any disruptor, new entrants are nipping at Netflix’s heels pushing the company to continue to evolve its approach (from cracking down on password sharing to raising subscription fees to ad-based fees) and figure out what’s next.

Netflix’s business model and growth journey provide lessons for organizations of any size seeking long-term success in the digital age. As marketers, there are also great themes we can take away to help clients achieve greater brand awareness and engagement, including:

  • A relentless focus on the consumer experience and the power of personalization 
  • Expand but do it wisely – and slowly
  • Take calculated risks and
  • Don’t ignore the data
Jessica Alpers

Jessica is a Senior Consultant at Liberty Communications

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