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Netflix's first CEO Marc Randolph says ‘amazing’ success came as a surprise

Angelica Stabile

In the age of competitive streaming, Netflix still reigns to be a top contender.

Netflix co-founder and first CEO Marc Randolph told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney on Tuesday that “internet television” today is truly the future.

But regardless of the success seen in streaming today, Randolph admitted that he never saw it coming for Netflix.

“I never in a million years envisioned… that Netflix would even be considered a Hollywood studio, nonetheless, that it would win more Oscar nominations than anybody else,” he said. “I’m as surprised as anybody at what amazing progress Netflix has had.”

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As its first CEO, Randolph said he realized his company might actually be a success when Netflix was featured as a clue in a New York Times crossword puzzle.

Netflix was founded in 1997 as an online movie rental platform and debuted its subscription service in 1999. The company's IPO launched in 2002 but it wasn't until 2007 when the instant television and movie streaming we know and love was introduced to personal computers in the U.S.

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Netflix is the world's leading streaming service with about 158 million paid memberships in more than 190 countries, according to the company website. The service is expected to spend $17.3 billion in content this year, according to an analysis by BMO Capital Markets.

Overall, Netflix received 24 Oscar nominations this year for original films including "Marriage Story" and Martin Scorsese's "The Irishman," which received 10 nominations alone.

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FOX Business’ Audrey Conklin contributed to this story.

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