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How Does Netflix Make Money? Netflix Business Model

January 2, 2023 in Marketing

Netflix is one of the world’s most extensive OTT services, with millions and millions of shows and movies worldwide. But did you ever wonder how Netflix earns money? We’ll look at that below in this article.


How Netflix came into Business? 

Several business models and streaming partnerships are explored in the following article to understand how Netflix makes money. Before coming on to this, it is also important to note how it came into the Business in the first place. 

Approximately $1.9 million was used to register Netflix on August 29, 1997. Later, other investors contributed to this capital. Marc Randolph, 39, is the company’s CEO and Reed Hastings, who owns 70% of the shares, is the board’s chairman. As of 2007, Netflix is available in nearly all countries worldwide. Netflix is headquartered in Los Gatos, New York City, and Los Angeles.

Subscribers to Netflix can stream TV shows, movies, documentaries, and more on their favorite Internet-connected devices. Furthermore, it offers DVD rental plans for shows and movies. 


How Does Netflix Make Money?

It evolved from a few iterations to an attractive business model after its first few years: a subscription-based service free of late fees and unlimited access to content. Many clients worldwide have extended the company’s interaction over the years. Netflix has much to gain from streaming media, as it was one of the first companies to recognize its potential. The big question is, how does Netflix make money? 

As a subscription service, Netflix generates the majority of its revenue. In other words, Netflix makes money by charging subscribers to access content and receive DVDs.

The market capitalization of Netflix is $240 billion as of October 2020. This firm’s success is not determined by what it sells but rather by how it sells or advertises it. Despite this, the innovation of accessibility has helped improve the customer/user experience through the use of big giant’s powerful technology. It is estimated Netflix generates between $9.99 and $19.99 per month in revenue, based on its large subscription base.

Subscription-based Model:

Netflix makes money through its subscription schemes mostly. Thousands of movies and serials are available on Netflix, a subscription-based streaming service. You’ll discover how Netflix makes money by understanding these aspects. To cater to the different streaming needs of its users, the company offers three different types of plans. 

  • The Basic Plan

Streaming Netflix content on one screen at a time is unrestricted on any gadget that sustains Netflix’s Basic scheme for $8.99 per month. The standard definition will be provided in a stream, much like watching a live TV show.

  • Standard Plan

A standard Netflix subscription is available for $13.99, including high-definition streaming. Most users will find this tier very convenient, as they can avoid awkward moments while searching for new shows on Netflix. 

  • Premium Plan

A strong internet connection may be necessary for audiences to consider the $17.99 premium option. As well as 4K Ultra HD video, they would also have the option to stream on up to four devices simultaneously. To determine the level of service appropriate for each tier, Netflix offers a free month of service for each tier.   

netflix plans

Netflix’s Partnership

Moreover, Netflix works collaboratively to get and broadcast content from a wide range of movie producers, writers, filmmakers, and animators. As a result of its collaboration with internet service providers, it has also grown financially.

In today’s Netflix world, subscribers can select from millions of genres and enjoy watching for hours. 

  • There are many other gaming brands that Netflix has partnered with, such as Wii, X-Box, PlayStation, and many others. A partnership between Netflix and video game developers enabled the service provider to offer services to its “gamer clients.”
  • Netflix partnered with Nigerian filmmaker Mo Abudu, the owner of Ebony Life TV, to expand into West Africa more aggressively. With this partnership, Netflix can offer new content to consumers in West Africa.
  • Developed alliances with Smart TV companies like LG and Sony to expand into new markets.
  • Dish Network, Tivo, and other companies that offer TV programming are among its partners.
  • Several big data providers, including Amazon and Google, have joined the network. As part of the promotion, Amazon highlighted Netflix listings and subscription options.
  • When Netflix converted from a mail-in business model to a streaming business model, it formed partnerships with Apple, Android, and Microsoft.
  • With its agreement with six Japanese anime creators, Netflix has increased its focus on anime originals. These include CLAMP, The Kindaichi Case Files, Mobile Suit Gundam, Goth, Mardock Scramble, and Thermae Romae.
  • It was recently announced that Netflix would continue integrating its streaming service with Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones as part of a new partnership. Netflix will provide Samsung users with original shows and other bonuses in exchange.

netflix partnership

Cost of Running Netflix

Despite Netflix’s status as an OTT platform, the streaming service has overhead costs that extend beyond keeping its Internet interface up and running. For the company to acquire those profits, it has to incur many expenses. 

  • Cost of Production

Production costs for Netflix have been increasing for a few years now, and this increase can be attributed to Netflix’s growth from an online DVD service to a streaming company today. Netflix started investing heavily in exclusive content creation in 2013; it has become one of the largest media companies due to its efforts to evade licensing costs.

  • Cost of Licencing

For users’ favorite TV shows and movies to be legally streamed, Netflix has to pay a fee for licensing and acquiring content. Each content type has a different fee. It is common for Netflix to negotiate and renegotiate streaming rights agreements with various content providers to license movies and TV shows as part of the Netflix service. 

  • Cost of Marketing

Besides, there are several contents streaming websites on the Internet besides Netflix. As the world’s largest streaming company, Netflix competes with many established and new players like Amazon Prime, Hulu, Hotstar, etc., which requires extensive marketing expenditures. A marketing cost can include advertising fees, affiliate payments, device costs, and the first month’s fee for a new user.

  • Cost of Research and Development

Additionally, Netflix is a subscription-based company; it invests significant resources into developing its recommendation and referral algorithms. One of its major initiatives is to streamline its delivery process and automate a lot of the packaging and postage procedures as well. Investing in these areas ensures that customers are happy with the product. These costs come under the technology and development expenses.

  • Cost of Technology

Streaming content on Netflix is popular among millions of users. Open Connect Appliance embedded deployments enable Netflix to localize substantial traffic to provide their customers with a seamless and lag-proof experience. Similarly, they have partnered with hundreds of ISPs and will continue to do so in the future. There is a considerable cost with these partnerships. Technology and development costs include fees for delivering video content to new devices, creating a video streaming application, and other infrastructure charges.

movie making


Business models like Netflix’s have proven to be successful. The market capitalization of Netflix is $240 billion as of October 2020. A company’s marketing and sales tactics are more important than what it sells.

A vast portion of Netflix’s earnings is from its users, who continue to use the company’s services. In the same way, Netflix offers the most satisfactory selection of theatrical movies on online video platforms. With an emphasis on culture, lifestyle, and innovation, they have an enormous global impact. 

As part of its global strategy, Netflix implemented several initiatives. Netflix’s innovative accessibility features it has positively impacted the customer experience and user experience. 




What Is Netflix And How Does It Operate?

On various devices, Netflix is an OTT service that lets members watch whatever they like, such as TV shows, movies, documentaries, and other content. When we learn about how Netflix makes money, we know about this extraordinary video-on-demand service built on a subscription-based concept, where users gain access with a monthly fee.

How Much Money Does Netflix Make?

Symbolic estimates from 2019 to 2021 will let us know how they make money. In 2019, annual growth revenue was estimated at around $20.156B from 2018. Later in 2020, there seems to have been a slight increase, gaining $24.996B from 2019. After that, service providers witnessed a sharp revenue rise of $29.698B compared to the preceding year.

Is Netflix Profitable?

Netflix, without a doubt, has a high-cost structure. Predominantly, the firm had to invest heavily at the start to achieve the type of video collection it wanted to provide its clients. So Netflix hasn’t always been able to swing high with money-making ventures. However, it does now. Netflix has managed to upkeep its profit zone of over a billion dollars in 2018, a 116 % increase over the previous year’s earnings.

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Aloukik Rathore Aloukik Rathore is a Delhi-based entrepreneur, Blogger, digital marketer, and Co-founder of Cannibals Media, a modern-day digital marketing company. He started blogging at the tender age of 16 and has been in the digital marketing industry ever since. He specializes in content marketing strategies, link building, and off-page SEO. More posts by Aloukik Rathore