That the future of humanity is digital plays up at every major conference with loads of inventions bringing to reality more things that were earlier deemed impossible. First, we realized that we are humans, then civilization became more apparent. Thirdly, humans created commerce to broker the continued exchange of value. Now, we are becoming digital, and some have proposed that there will be more marriages between robots and humans. Technology has changed the way we communicate, trade, and transact, with repercussions extending far beyond our spheres.
If a business like Netflix, which is an online platform that enables users to watch TV shows and movies from the convenience of their homes has raised over $120billion to date to extend its subscription numbers based on its chosen model of reach while deepening its range of service offerings and how well it can serve customers, I wonder what amazing future lies ahead of us when everything social becomes fully integrated and personalized, and the digital media seamlessly twined.
The noteworthy saying that all things are created twice, first with-in and then with-out just as Stephen Covey explains there is first the mental conceptualization and visualization and a second physical, actual creation. This is visible in the level of teamwork that has birthed the several amazing organizations as we have today. This process of creation must continue to enable humans have the best of what they want everywhere and at any time they may so desire.
Although it commenced operation on 29 August 1997, in Scotts Valley, it serves as a subscription streaming service provider and production company. The foregoing helps it to offer a large plethora of film and television series libraries through distribution deals as well as its productions, known as Netflix Originals. In its earlier days, the company stock did its initial public offer (IPO) on 23 May 2002 at $15.00, was valued at $309.7million, and raised a total of $82.1million. Preceding this, it enjoyed a series C, D, and E fundraising on 1 February 1999 ($15.2million raised), 7 July 1999 ($30.3million raised), and 17 April 2000 ($50million raised). This helped it continue to build depth and grow its business stretch continuously to the point where it could offer a piece of the pie to interested investors across the world.
As of March 31, 2022, Netflix had over 221.6 million subscribers worldwide and can be accessed via the internet browser on computers, or through application software installed on smart TVs, set-top boxes connected to televisions, tablet computers, smartphones, digital media players, Blu-ray Disc players, video game consoles and virtual reality headsets on the list of Netflix-compatible devices. Netflix has to date raised a total of $121.9B in funding over 13 rounds with the largest chunk of this being debt financing because of the massive opportunities this space holds. Their latest funding was raised on May 5, 2018, from a Post-IPO Debt round.
Moreover, the web makes everything that leverages it to become ubiquitous as the desire for freedom and control over what we consume continues to gain preeminence. Netflix makes use of 80 technology products and services, which includes HTML5, Google Analytics, and jQuery among others. Compared with the traditional television channeling that has gone for good with that advent of YouTube and other video streaming platforms, it offers users a diverse amount of content generated from different continents across the globe.
The Netflix model of revenue generation remains the subscription-based model, which offers one additional team member multiscreen access with a bit on the top-up side. This should continue to gain acceptance as the social part of media fully blends into what it currently offers.
However, there are other players in the same space, one of such is iQIYI. Headquartered in Singapore, iQIYI International, which started operations on 27 March 2007, is an on-demand video streaming service offering beloved pan-Asian entertainment to international viewers. They offer both the free-viewing ad-supported and VIP subscription services to their growing audience. By the end of 2021, they had grown to over 100 million members subscriber base on an almost consistent daily average basis. iQIYI International delivers premium drama series, movies, variety shows, and anime; with local languages and subtitles; powered by cutting-edge technology.
Dubbed the “Netflix of China,” iQiyi is going public in the U.S. amid more pressure in the digital media sector and as Chinese consumers have a growing appetite for streaming their content. Beijing-based iQiyi is owned by Chinese tech giant Baidu Inc. iQiyi (www.iq.com) an ad-supported television and movie portal providing fully-licensed, high-definition media content. To this day, it has raised a total of $3.3billion in funding over 10 rounds. Their latest funding was raised on 4 March 2022 from a Post-IPO Equity round. It acquired Skymoons, which designs and develops online games for mobile devices, and has done 15 investments in companies like Nreal, which offers ready-to-wear mixed reality glasses, among others.
At this point in my research journey, I tried to find an African service provider in this category offering the mass unique African flavor of digital content to the world and was unable to find any standing at such a noticeable height. Hence, my encouragement to entrepreneurs to think and act on filling this area of need on a global scale. Amidst this, I recalled the iRocking App worked on by a close friend of mine some years back, which metamorphosed into the iRoko TV App in recent times. Such fine initiatives need our loyalty and consistent push if they must find their place in the space where others like Netflix and iQIYI operate.
Juxtaposed with how entertainment will be done in the future, where a smooth blend of Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, and Mixed Reality will combine with big data analytics to seamlessly merge the social media with the digital content distribution place of entertainment. The future and how people currently consume content will be closely connected, but the customization requirement of each individual and choice made possible through their unique demands and behavioral patterns will be finer. Contents generation will be personalized just as consumption will become individually tailored. The opportunities that platforms like Netflix and iQIYI hold are enormous as continued acceptance builds with entertainment available on social media platforms like Facebook and Youtube fusing into more structured films and channels like we see on Netflix and iQIYI platforms.
In conclusion, Google has it that there are 5 billion people on the internet today. The combined numbers of Netflix and iQIYI, which is only about some 400million people, fit into less than 10 percent of that global internet population. And there goes my question, what is the balance population currently consuming, how are they consuming and how can more find their way into the future of broadcasting? Who should be driving their current venture in this direction to serve the new entrants and what are blue ocean opportunities available that smart entrepreneurs can leverage for easy entry and substantial market capture? So much lies ahead of us than behind us, and the rave of new technologies has made more understanding available to almost every curious mind. I close with Assegid Habtewold, who asserts that the starting place for your greatness is desire. The desire to succeed, to serve others, to keep on going no matter what. Thank you for the sustained investment in time. Please follow me on Medium: https://medium.com/@roariyo and LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/olufemi-ariyo-923ba6130/ or simply email me: [email protected]