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Netflix Turns 25, Acknowledges By-Mail DVD Rental Roots

Netflix is celebrating its 25th birthday with day-long tributes on social media as well as its “Tudum” fan page that includes info and tidbits on the subscription streaming VOD pioneer.

The streamer also (thankfully) gives credit to its packaged-media roots as the first by-mail DVD rental service offering movies delivered by the U.S. Postal Service ordered online.

While Netflix began in 1997, the company didn’t launch NetFlix.com until April 14, 1998. The first DVD rental shipped was Beetlejuice on March 10, 1998, starring Winona Ryder, future star of the streamer’s original series, “Stranger Things.”

Netflix launched its streaming platform in 2007, and in 2012 “Lilyhammer” became the first Netflix Original content.

More fun facts about Netflix:

The No. 1 most-used profile icon globally: Boss Baby, 11 million profiles. The first Netflix DVD envelope was white, not red. One Netflix fan created a dress out of 1,500 DVD envelopes. On Jan. 6, 2016, Netflix went live in 130 countries simultaneously. The show with the most MyList Adds is Money Heist. Subscriber No. 500,000 was invited to a company meeting and given a lifetime subscription. At one time, Netflix had over 70,000 “secret codes.” Today, Netflix has 30,000. (Shh, it’s not a secret.) The original name for Netflix was Kibble — yes, like the dog food.

Netflix invented the original streaming box but decided to spin it off into Roku. Following the launch of The Queen’s Gambit, there was a 125% increase in chess board sales. Netflix’s live experiences have played host to a whopping 42 marriage proposals around the world (and counting). The tally stands at 35 proposals from The Queen’s Ball: A Bridgerton Experience, 6 from La Casa de Papel: The Experience and 1 from Stranger Things: The Experience.

The first Netflix game downloaded was Stranger Things: 1984. Netflix is available in 37+ languages and 190 countries worldwide. Netflix has offices in 28 cities across the globe. In 2015, binge-watch was declared the word of the year and was added to Merriam-Webster in 2017. The first recorded use of the phrase “Netflix and chill” was in a tweet by “NoFaceNina” (La Shanda Rene Foster) on Jan. 21, 2009. The iconic Netflix sound was nearly a bleating goat before landing on tudum. There was a campaign for “Netflix socks,” which detected when you fell asleep and paused the show or movie you were watching.

Netflix had its own awards show called The Flixies. In 2021, Ben & Jerry’s created a Netflix & Chill’d ice cream flavor. “Squid Game” is Netflix’s most popular title ever. 

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