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Customer service key to Netflix success, says co-founder

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

Netflix logo and remote control
Getty Images

Marc Randolph, founder of Netflix, also told the Today programme that customer service is the key to the success of the business.

Mr Randolph launched the company as a DVD delivery service with Reed Hastings in 1997 and told the Today programme: "Netflix was never about shipping DVDs and never really about streaming movies.

"What it is about is helping customers find great entertainment.

"Any company that puts its customers first, that’s the sort of company that is going to thrive. What gets you into trouble is putting your shareholders first."

The pink envelope that launched Netflix

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

Olivia Colman playing the Queen in the third series of Netflix's The Crown
Netflix
Netflix produced The Crown, the third series of which stars Oscar winner Olivia Colman

Netflix co-founder Marc Randolph has told the Today programme how a little pink envelope was pivotal in the launch of his company in 1997.

The firm started out as a DVD delivery service and he recalled: "One of the ideas we got very excited about was actually video rental by mail.

"So rather than rushing home and writing a business plan or going to the office and doing a Powerpoint presentation, co-founder Reed Hastings and I went to a used music store and bought a used music CD, and then went a few doors down and bought a little pink gift envelope.

"We put the CD in the envelope and mailed it to Reed’s house in Santa Cruz and if there ever really was an 'aha moment' in the Netflix story it probably was the next morning, when Reed held up an unbroken CD that had got to his house in less than a day for the price of a postage stamp."