Amazon almost bought Netflix in 1998- and it inspired Netflix to drop the only profitable part of its business model
- Netflix cofounder and original CEO Marc Randolph is the author of "That Will Never Work: The Birth of Netflix and the Amazing Life of an Idea."
- In it, he describes a little-known meeting between him, current Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Bezos was interested in Netflix, and Amazon even offered to buy Netflix for $15 million.
- Hastings thought that number was too low, and Netflix ultimately declined. But Randolph did seriously consider selling, especially because they weren't making money. Instead, him and Hastings decided to focus on the rentals side of their business, eventually leading to their subscription model.
- Briefly, Amazon and Netflix had a partnership where the sites linked to each other, but it was ultimately quietly ended.
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In 1998, two months after Netflix was launched, cofounders Marc Randolph and Reed Hastings were called to a meeting with Jeff Bezos.In Randolph's new book, "That Will Never Work: The Birth of Netflix and the Amazing Life of an Idea," he describes the meeting that could have altered the fate of both companies.Advertisement
Bezos was most excited to hear about Netflix's launch day
Amazon offered around $15 million for Netflix, which Hastings thought was too lowAdvertisement
Meeting with Amazon inspired Randolph to propose getting rid of DVD sales altogether, which was the only profitable part of Netflix
Amazon and Netflix actually had a short-lived partnershipAdvertisement
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