|Uber, Netflix and the Rise of On-Demand Applications
Disruption. That’s a catchword you’ve probably been hearing a lot of these last few days. But what are they disrupting? And why does it need to be disrupted? The first answer, is the market. The second answer, well, that’s more complicated. Allow me to explain anyway. Back in the pre-Netflix era, when ridiculously expensive cable companies ruled the day, we had a very specific method of consuming entertainment. We turned on the television, every day, at a specific time of day. We tuned in to a specific channel. We watched a specific program that was being broadcasted at that exact time on that exact channel. There was no way for us to stipulate when and how we were going to consume our entertainment, our schedules were a slave to the telecom industry. When DVRs hit the market, they changed things a little. TV networks still broadcasted popular television series at their own convenience, but at least you could hit the recorder on your favorite show and watch it later when you had the time. Still, things were far from convenient. What if you missed an episode of you regular show that aired six days ago? What if you forgot to tape it? Netflix changed all that.
When Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph invented Netflix in the August of 1997, they changed the way we consumed our entertainment. No longer were we enslaved by the restrictions forced upon us cable companies. No longer were we helpless before their unreasonably high price tags and lack of independence. We could watch whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted to. Want to binge watch an entire series that aired six years ago and never crossed your attention? Well, there you have it. Want a suitable replacement for high-priced cable companies? Here you go. Please understand that I am not running an advertisement campaign for Netflix here. The application comes with its own flaws, namely, lack of live TV and region-based barriers. But still, what the company did had the ability to disrupt the functioning of an entire market. Exorbitant cable companies with crappy service were no longer the monopoly. You had an alternative, something that catered to your demands and wishes.
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This article originally appeared on Forbes.com. You'll find a link to the original after the post.
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