Amazon almost bought Netflix in 1998- and it inspired Netflix to drop the only profitable part of its business model
Juliana KaplanSep 20, 2019, 23:09 IST
Marc Randolph.Courtesy of Marc Randolph
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.