“Technology in the modern age has a direct relation to the phenomenon of innovation and novelty, and therefore to what makes the modern age modern” (Gunning, 39). For those of you who didn’t know, Netflix started as DVD-by-mail service. The founder and CEO today of Netflix, Reed Hastings, tells about how the idea of DVD-by-mail service genesis evolved in a CNN Money article by Alyssa Abkowitz. In the article Hastings explained that the genesis started way back in 1997 when he got a $40 late fee for the movie Apollo 13. He realized how big the movie market was and got him thinking about how vast the DVD-by-mail service would be (Abkowitz). The DVD and movie industry, as you can see, has evolved over time. From Blockbuster, where you had to drive to rent a movie and drive back to return it a few days later, hoping you would return it on time so you wouldn’t get a nasty late fee, to Netflix, the DVD-by-mail service, which quickly evolved to watching movies with a push of a button on a computer. Russian formalist Victor Shklovsky, mentioned in Tom Gunning’s essay, Re-Newing Old Technologies, discovered the function of this rhetoric of newness when he set out to write a history about the electrification of Moscow. Shklovsky concluded from the discovery that “the new arrives unnoticed” (Gunning, 43, 44). This stood out to me when I read Gunning’s essay. The new does arrive unnoticed, instead, if enough people are astonishment by the item, or technology, it therefore just becomes a part of life, which in this case, Netflix did. Netflix didn’t become as big when it first started, it became appealing to many people, when you were finally able to watch movies on the computer within seconds. Netflix is taking over the DVD industry and everybody and everything associated with DVDs has to accept it. The cultural response to Netflix was consumer amazement. It sparked any age group’s wants and needs for movie as fast as a push of a button. DVD rental places like Blockbuster has been pushed out of the hierarchy and you can see that in the meme below that shows “what society think it does”. Netflix was promoted in various ways. Over the computer, over the TV, there is many ways each generation would receive the message about the introduction of Netflix. Many different groups of people became addicted to Netflix. I can’t blame them, with over twenty genres to pick from, there is bound to be a section that sparks any type of persons wants. This meme shows how every different type of generation and relationship among people would agree with the addictiveness that Netflix brings.
Gunning, Tom. (2003) “Re-Newing Old Technologies: Astonishment, SecondNature, and the Uncanny in Technology from the Previous Turn-of the Century”. In D. Thorburn and H. Jenkins (eds), Rethinking Media Change:The Aesthetics of Transition. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, pp 39-60
Abkowitz, A.. N.p.. Web. 1 Feb 2014. <http://money.cnn.com/2009/01/27/news/newsmakers/hastings_netflix.fortune/>.