Who is Marc Randolph?

Mark Randolph is an author, mentor, investor, and serial tech entrepreneur who is best known for founding Netflix with Reed Hastings in 1997. While Randolph has a net worth of around $500 million, he lives a relatively modest life and believes the money associated with start-up and entrepreneur culture is over-glorified.

Cherry Lane Music

Randolph’s first real job was at the Cherry Lane Music company in New York in 1981. There, he was tasked with finding different ways to sell sheet music to customers, and in the process, learned various direct mail and marketing strategies.

In particular, Randolph was fascinated with consumer purchase behavior and how it could be tracked with computer software to increase retention. The technology was still in its infancy, but it would later influence his decision to create a user interface that also served as a market research platform at Netflix.

Borland International and others

Randolph then found himself at software giant Borland International in 1988. He spent the next seven years building direct-to-consumer marketing operations before a series of short stints at Silicon Valley companies such as Visioneer, Integrity QA, and Pure Software.

At Pure Software, Randolph met founder Reed Hastings and the two discussed the idea for Netflix as they carpooled to work. When Pure Software was acquired by Rational Software in 1997, Hastings obtained the necessary capital to make the idea a reality.


Randolph put his industry experience to use at Netflix with its mail-order system enabling consumers to rent movies from the comfort of their homes. 

The pair identified that while Blockbuster was dominant, the industry was ripe for disruption with mail-order DVDs since the company still required customers to visit its stores. “You want a big enough category that, if you’re successful, you have enough room to run. You want a disruptable environment”, Randolph once explained. 

Randolph left Netflix in 2002 once the company had a scalable, repeatable business model because he believed his skills were better suited to the process of discovery. 

Looker Data Sciences

Randolph joined Looker Data Sciences in 2013 as a board member and currently serves as its director. The company, which sells a business intelligence and data exploration platform, was acquired by Google in 2019 and was incorporated into the Google Cloud Platform. 

Entrepreneur mentorship and other pursuits

In more recent years, Randolph has become a passionate mentor of entrepreneurs. In October 2017, he joined High Point University as Entrepreneur in Residence and worked with students in the areas of entrepreneurship, business, and communication.

He is also a keynote speaker on similar topics around the world and, in 2019, wrote a book titled That Will Never Work: The Birth of Netflix and the Amazing Life of an Idea about his adventures with Hastings. 

Randolph’s life philosophy is based on his love of mountaineering – an activity he has enjoyed since the age of 14 and one which keeps him sane in business. Such is his passion for the outdoors that he serves as chairman of the board of trustees for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) in Lander, Wyoming. 

Key takeaways

  • Mark Randolph is an author, mentor, investor, and serial tech entrepreneur who is best known for founding Netflix with Reed Hastings in 1997.
  • Randolph’s first real job was at the Cherry Lane Music company in New York in 1981. There, he found different ways to sell sheet music to customers and learned various direct mail and marketing strategies.
  • Randolph met Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings at Pure Software where the pair discussed the idea for the company whilst carpooling to work. Randolph left Netflix in 2002 once the company had matured. Today, he mentors entrepreneurs and serves on the board of trustees for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS).

Read Next: Netflix Business Model

More on Netflix Business Model

Netflix Business Model

Netflix is a subscription-based business model making money with three simple plans: basic, standard, and premium, giving access to stream series, movies, and shows. Leveraging on a streaming platform, Netflix generated over $29.6 billion in 2021, with an operating income of over $6 billion and a net income of over $5 billion. Starting in 2013, Netflix started to develop its own content under the Netflix Originals brand, which today represents the most important strategic asset for the company that, in 2022, counted almost 223 million paying members worldwide.


Binge-watching is the practice of watching TV series all at once. In a speech at the Edinburgh Television Festival in 2013, Kevin Spacey said: “If they want to binge then we should let them binge.” This new content format would be popularized by Netflix, launching its TV series all at once.


Coopetition describes a recently modern phenomenon where organizations both compete and cooperate, which is also known as cooperative competition. A recent example is how the Netflix streaming platform has been among the major customers of Amazon AWS cloud infrastructure, while Amazon Prime has been among the competitors of the Netflix Prime content platform.

Platform Expansion Theory


Netflix SWOT Analysis

Netflix is among the most popular streaming platforms, with a subscription-based business model. The brand, platform, and content are strengths. The volatility of content licensing and production are weaknesses. The streaming market is a potential blue ocean. The inability to attract and retain premium members and its fixed long-term costs threaten its business model.

Is Netflix Profitable

Netflix is a profitable company, which almost $4.5 billion in net profits in 2022, slowing down compared to over $5 billion in earnings for 2021.

Who Owns Netflix?

Netflix’s largest individual shareholder is Reed Hastings, co-founder, and CEO of the company, with a 1.7% stake, valued at over $1.8 billion in 2022. Netflix runs a subscription-based business model that generated $29.6 billion in revenues, and it had over 221 million global members in 2021. Netflix’s business model runs only premium content on its platform, driven by its Netflix Originals shows. Netflix is also building an ad-supported version.

Netflix Employees

By 2022, Netflix had 12,800 employees across the world, compared to 11,300 employees in 2021.

Netflix Subscribers

In 2022, Netflix had 230 million paid subscribers, a growth compared to the almost 222 million paid subscribers in 2021.

Netflix Revenue

Netflix generated over $31.6 billion in revenue in 2022, compared to $29.7 billion in 2021. Netflix was profitable in 2022, as it generated almost $4.5 billion in profits.

Netflix Revenue Per Subscriber

In 2022, Netflix generated over $141 per subscriber yearly, on average, compared to $140 in 2021.

Netflix Revenue Per Employee

In 2022, Netflix generated over $2.4 million in revenue per employee, compared to $2.6 million in 2021.

Netflix Subscribers Per Country

Netflix had over 74 million paying members in US & Canada, over 76 million in the EMEA region, almost 42 million in the LATAM region, and 38 million in the APAC region.

Netflix Revenue Per Subscriber In Each Geography

Netflix Average Monthly Revenue Per Subscriber
The most significant geography in terms of average monthly revenue per subscriber in 2022 was US & Canada, with $15.8, compared to $10.99 in the EMEA region and $8.50 in APAC and LATAM.

Disney vs. Netflix

In 2022, The Walt Disney Company’s total paid subscriber base was larger than Netlfix, with over 235 million paid members, compared with Netflix’s over 230 million members. However, Disney’s offering is fragmented among Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu, compared with Netflix, which has a single offering.

Read Also: Netflix Business Model, Netflix Content Strategy, Netflix SWOT Analysis, Coopetition, Is Netflix Profitable.

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