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Netflix, HBO and the Future of Television by Sarah Vogl

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Netflix used to be nothing but a red envelope in your mailbox containing a DVD, but now everyone has a Netflix account, and this month, they’ve even got a Golden Globe under their belts.

This past financial quarter, Netflix has taken in 2.3 million new subscribers and $50 million in profits. Additionally, their stock price has quadrupled over the past year. As actress Robin Wright accepted her Golden Globe earlier this month for her role in the Netflix show House of Cards, CEO Reed Hastings was probably bursting with pride. He has gone as far as making clever jabs at HBO CEO Richard Plepler. There is a quickly escalating rivalry between the companies as Netflix strives to level with HBO’s content quality and popularity among consumers.

While HBO still has a faithful subscriber base, it is no longer alone in premium content subscriptions. Now both Netflix and HBO are offering exclusive programs with faithful viewerships; all your friends are watching, and so are you.

Where Netflix excels is in availability and cost. Netflix is available on all your devices, and only cost 8 dollars a month. Even though it doesn’t have everything you could ever want to watch, it has proven worth it to about 26 million subscribers worldwide. Another area where it differs is in content presentation. It can make whatever shows it wants at any time of the year, and is willing to release an entire season all at once.

Traditional television has always depended on being able to tell people where and when to watch a program, but hugely successful online streaming services like Netflix have changed the way we consume content. With its place as the king of streaming today, the future of television is in Netflix’s hands.