The Rise of Netflix Streaming: Why Students prefer it, what they're watching and what's new

Lauren Trimm and Tara Baucom

Editor and Online Editor

We live in a fast-paced society where convenience and efficiency are extremely important, especially when it comes to our media choices. Over the years, cable television has started to become optional for many people-especially college students-as many are choosing other streaming options. These options include Hulu, Amazon Prime and HBO among others. However the most popular appears to be Netflix. 

Why is Netflix so Popular?

Believe it or not, Netflix was actually created in 1997 by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolh. What started out as an online DVD subscription service turned into a streaming service with 94 million users as of April 2017.

Netflix is so convenient because it allows users to stream both new and old movies and television shows as well as Netflix originals. Another advantage is that unlike cable, the shows are available to watch at your convenience no matter what time of day it is. It is because of Netflix that phrases such as "binge-watching" and "Netflix and Chill" have been created.

In 2007, Netflix developed the ability to stream content at decent speeds, which made streaming even more efficient because users were able to watch movies and shows in excellent quality. As if that wasn't enough to compete with its rivals, Netflix creators also established a policy that allows users to give it a try free for one month.

This streaming service is especially popular with college students. It provides students with leisure time activities and an escape from reality when school becomes stressful. Students often find themselves fans of certain shows and these shows create interesting topics of discussion for them.

What W Students have to Say:

Several students at the W said that Netflix is their favorite streaming option, and they prefer watching it instead of cable television.

"I prefer Netflix because I like having movies on demand," said Alexa Hunt. "A few of my favorite shows are 'Stranger Things', 'iZombie' and 'The Seven Deadly Sins.'" Hunt loves to watch "Friends" and "That '70s Show" on Netflix. 

Taylor Braddock also chooses Netflix over cable and has a favorite show that she watches. 

"I love watching Netflix," said Braddock. "I have officially watched 'The Office' about four times now, so it would have to be my favorite show."

Netflix is also popular with international students at the W, particularly, Raksha Pokhrel. 

"I watch TV series all the time on Netflix." said Pokhrel. "I think I would prefer Netflix instead of television because the shows are organized well under specific genres. We can watch our favorite shows anytime we like."

Newest Shows on Netflix:

With the holiday season coming up, people are preparing to bundle up and binge watch the latest shows and movies Netflix has been putting out. Of course, the classic things to binge watch would be holiday movies or older Netflix originals you have missed out on, but you might not have heard of some of the newest additions to this popular streaming option.

Nov. 3:

“Alias Grace” is a murder mystery based on the award winning novel by Margaret Atwood. The show follows Alias Grace Marks (Sarah Gadon) through the mystery of the murder of her employer, Thomas Kinnear (Paul Gross).

Nov. 11:

“Tales by Light” is a documentary about some of Australia’s best photographic storytellers and gives viewers a glimpse into what it takes to get the stunning shots they achieve.

“True Memoirs of an International Assassin” is an action-comedy movie starring Kevin James as Sam Larson, an author whose fictional novel somehow winds up published as a non-fiction book.

Nov. 17:

“Mudbound” is a movie set in Mississippi that tells the story of two men (Garrett Hedlund and Jason Mitchell) who return from World War II and find themselves struggling to adjust with life after the war.

“The Punisher” brings to life the Marvel comic about Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal), a Marine veteran gone vigilante after the murder of his family. This is a series that fits in with all the other Marvel series that have become Netflix originals in the past.


Nov. 22:

“Godless” is Netflix’s new western about La Belle, the town full of women, and how it was forced to defend itself when caught in the crossfire of Frank Griffin (Jeff Daniels) and Roy Goode (Jack O’Connell).

Nov. 23:

“She’s Gotta Have It” is a spin-off of the 1986 Spike Lee original of the same title. It stars Nola Darling (DeWanda Wise) and follows the story of Darling and her three lovers.


“Wormwood” is a six-part mystery series that tells stories and secrets of the CIA and how one man still fights to uncover the truth about his father’s mysterious death.

Dec. 22:

“Bright” is a Netflix original movie that features Will Smith and is set in a world where mythical creatures live on our planet alongside us. Daryl Ward (Smith) is partnered with an Orc by the name of Nick Jakoby (Joel Edgerton), and together they fight crime against both humans and creatures.