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Netflix is one of our favorite companies here at MakeUseOf. Almost every one of the staff is a subscriber. Even following the service as closely as we do, there is a lot we didn’t know about Netflix, so I set out to find 10 really interesting facts…

1. Netflix Has as Many Subscribers as…

Netflix is big, and we mean really big. The service has 81 million subscribers worldwide at the time of writin. That’s the same as the population of Germany.

Thankfully, it’s not just Germans who use Netflix. If it was, there probably wouldn’t be a comedy section.

2. Netflix Is a Big Deal In the U.S.

The country with the most Netflix subscribers is, unsurprisingly, the United States. 47 million people there have accounts. That’s about 15% of the total population.

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Even more impressively, that’s just the number of accounts. About two-thirds of Netflix users share their accounts with other people. While some of these are couples with joint accounts, a fair amount are serial sharers who give their login out to more than three other people.

3. Sharing Your Netflix Password May Be Illegal

Even though millions of people obviously do it, a recent ruling It's Illegal to Share Your Passwords, Beware of Pokemon GO Malware... [Tech News Digest] It's Illegal to Share Your Passwords, Beware of Pokemon GO Malware... [Tech News Digest] It's technically illegal to share your passwords, Pokemon GO catches malware, the state of PC sales, Warner Bros feel the wrath of the FTC, and how Google predicted Pokemon GO. Read More has potentially made it illegal to share your Netflix password.

David Nosal was convicted under the Computer Fraud and Abuse act for using his previous employer’s database to help his own competing business. He got access by borrowing a former co-worker’s login details. In his dissenting opinion, Judge Reinhardt argued that millions of people could end up being labeled criminals if this ruling is upheld.

4. Netflix Hogs the Internet

Kim Kardashian might have tried to break the internet with that racy photograph, but Netflix comes far closer to actually achieving this dubious honor. During its peak hours, Netflix accounts for more than a third of internet traffic. That’s a crazy number by anyone’s standards.

If a bug was to hit Netflix, causing all of its viewers to download content at their full bandwidth, the internet across North America would be in trouble.

5. Auto-Play Works

As soon as one episode finishes on Netflix, the next episode starts to play. No faffing about changing disks or selecting a new media file, it’s just there. It’s clearly having the intended effect: 70% of Netflix customers binge-watched shows, racking up an average of five episodes in each sitting.

There’s even a small number of super-dedicated watchers who view a show in one sitting from the second it’s available. They start watching at midnight California time, when Netflix launches its new content, and don’t stop watching until they finish a particular show. These people should not be approached in public under any circumstances.

Binge-watching isn’t particularly not be good or bad The Pros and Cons of Binge-Watching Television The Pros and Cons of Binge-Watching Television Binge-watching is a recent phenomenon that pretty much everybody has done thanks to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. But for all of its various pros, it does also have some cons. Read More for you, but staring at screens for too long can certainly have some interesting effects on your state of mind I Stared at Screens for 48 Hours and Here's What Happened... I Stared at Screens for 48 Hours and Here's What Happened... I recently agreed to do something very stupid: subject myself to as much screen time as possible over the span of 48 hours. How did this experiment affect me? Read on to find out... Read More .

6. Netflix Makes Its Own Most Popular Content

Netflix has gone all-in on developing its own content and it has paid off for the company, and then some. That’s because Netflix has produced its most-watched movies and TV shows.

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So what movie has Netflix subscribers watched more than any other, at least in a 30-day period? According to Cinema Blend it’s the Adam Sandler comedy, The Ridiculous Six. Thus proving that “most popular” doesn’t necessarily mean “good”.

Over on the TV side of things, one of those great Netflix Originals 13 New Netflix Originals You'll Be Watching in 2016 13 New Netflix Originals You'll Be Watching in 2016 Netflix has released a lot of original content -- including House of Cards, Orange Is the New Black, Narcos, and Master of None -- but 2016 is slated to be Netflix's most exciting year yet. Read More takes the crown. Which one in particular just depends on how you slice up the numbers. Daredevil takes it if you just take into account the most recent season with almost 11% of viewers watching at least one episode in the first 30 days. If you take into account all seasons, House of Cards, the company’s first foray into original programming, still holds the crown.

7. Five of the Best 50 Shows Are Made by Netflix

Netflix doesn’t just produce popular shows, it also produces really good ones. Five of IMDb’s 50 Top Rated TV Shows of All Time are made by Netflix.

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  • At 16, there’s Stranger Things.
  • At 32, there’s House of Cards.
  • At 33, there’s Arrested Development.
  • At 40, there’s Narcos.
  • At 45, there’s Making a Murderer.

It’s amazing that Netflix is able to hold its own against classics like Seinfeld and Only Fools and Horses, let alone beat them.

8. Netflix Runs on Amazon Web Services

While Amazon made a name for itself as an online bookshop, over the last decade it’s branched out a lot. From TV shows 10+ TV Shows That Make Amazon Prime Worth the Money 10+ TV Shows That Make Amazon Prime Worth the Money Netflix is undoubtedly the king of the movie and TV show streaming services. However, Amazon Prime has some fantastic television shows that make it worth the asking price. Read More to cloud services These 9 Cloud Computing Skills Could Give You The Next Career Jump These 9 Cloud Computing Skills Could Give You The Next Career Jump Businesses are moving to the cloud. The huge skills gap could be your opportunity to fast track your career with the essential qualifications. Start with any of these in-demand critical skills. Read More , the Amazon of 2016 is a far cry from the Amazon of 1996.

Although Netflix started out running its own server infrastructure, the company recently finished migrating to Amazon Web Services. Now, Amazon and Netflix’ competing original shows are hosted side-by-side on the same servers.

9. Netflix Customers Don’t Like Change

Netflix has been around since the 1990s, but it’s only been the international streaming media powerhouse we know and love since 2007. Even in this short while, Netflix customers have gotten very used to the way things are.

In 2011, Netflix announced it was going to spin its DVD-by-mail service off into a separate service called Qwikster. The only thing that was due to change was that people would have to visit a different website.

This is something you’d think would slip by mostly unremarked; people who went to the Netflix homepage instead of Qwikster would click the link that would obviously be placed prominently in the banner and go about their business as usual. But, no, Netflix customers were outraged. And it ended up costing the company 800,000 subscribers.

10. Blockbuster Could Have Owned Netflix

In what will go down as one of the biggest missed business opportunities of the last decade, Blockbuster turned down an opportunity to buy the then-fledgling Netflix for a cool $50 million. Reed Hastings, the Netflix CEO, proposed that they would handle Blockbusters’ online business while Blockbuster took Netflix offline.

It wasn’t to be, however. When Netflix approached Blockbuster the company still wasn’t turning a profit. According to Variety, then Blockbuster CEO, John Antioco, “lacked the vision to see where the homevideo industry was going and the changing shifts in the business under his feet”.

Today, Netflix is worth more than $30 billion, and Blockbuster is, well, no more. That’s got to hurt.

Netflix is a fascinating company with a really interesting history. Do you know any cool facts that we have missed off of this list? If so, please let us know in the comments below.

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