July 15, 2017

What did people do before there was “Netflix and chill”?

With the influx of technology, movies and series have become more accessible thanks to on-demand video subscriptions. Of course, some of the more famous examples of this are Netflix and Hulu.

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“Netflix and chill” has become a thing all around the world–and has fortunately expanded even to the UAE. However, we look back and see that we have one thing to thank the video rental phenomenon for—the 80s.

Where did it all begin?

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The 1980s was the dawning of VHS and Beta tapes. These technological innovations allowed people to access movies much easily compared to going to theaters. Rental shops boomed while people could just sit back at home with their friends and family, and put on a tape.

A Growing Industry

From tapes, stores transitioned to CDs in the 90s to 2000s. Players became more compact, and it was easier to duplicate movie copies, so more people had the chance of building up their home collections. Rentals were still in demand, but more people had their very own CDs and players.

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DVDs were the next best thing, then Blu-ray followed. At this point, people were already starting to use the internet to download movies. They were also beginning to realize how much potential the internet held.

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Close to Gone

Soon, torrents replaced reservations and rental shops were less packed than they were before. This was a time when movie piracy was gaining more strength and becoming a norm. Why bother renting a disc when you could be watching on your phone, right?

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Adapting to Survive

Fortunately for Netflix, originally a DVD rental service, an opportunity was found instead of a barrier. By creating a video subscription system, they made life easier for their many subscribers. No more having to limit the number of movies you borrow—you get a whole library at your disposal.

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Many others followed, and soon, the video on demand service thrived once again. Though there are still some pirated content online, more viewers are starting to see the value of what they’re watching. Netflix also gives something people like to look forward to—their original shows.

Forward March!

At the rate we are going with technological advancements, a new video on-demand innovation would probably pop out soon—and we simply can’t wait to see what’s in store.