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When Netflix (NFLX) – Get Free Report began its move from mailing DVDs to offering streaming video, it had something no competitor offered. You could watch an array of movies and television shows on demand. That was something that previously was only possible if you bought a film or television series on DVD (or VHS).

The service at the time was revolutionary. Previously, television shows aired in reruns, but on a limited schedule. If you wanted to watch “Friends” or “Cheers,” you were at the mercy of whatever channel had syndication rights to that show and, for the biggest hits, you might also get another set of planned showings on a cable channel like TBS.