You'd be forgiven for not knowing the history of Netflix. Whilst the streaming service seems to have crept up on most people within the past few years, the company was actually founded in California all the way back in 1997 by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph. Now, in 2017 and with Hastings as Chairman and CEO along with Ted Sarandos as CCO, the platform has become one of the biggest entertainment hubs the world has ever seen.

Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright as Frank and Claire Underwood in Netflix's 'House of Cards'Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright as Frank and Claire Underwood in Netflix's 'House of Cards'

As of July of this year, Netflix reported having 103.95 million subscribers across the globe, with 51.92 million of those residing in the United States. To put that in perspective, that means that just under one in every seven people who live in the States have an active Netflix subscription; simply incredible when you then factor in youngsters and the like.

With a library of original content, Netflix has become the go-to platform for some of the most addictive television shows and compelling movies of the modern day. But what is it that's led to such massive success?

Writing for Variety about her love for the streamer, 'House of Cards' actress Robin Wright explained: "When we launched 'House of Cards', it was a hypothetical. Is this going to work? Do people want to have that kind of freedom? Be careful what you ask for. I think it was a no-brainer and also a crapshoot. The box sets of “The Sopranos” were a success, and people bought those box sets. That in itself was giving the consumer freedom to watch however much they wanted at one time. In essence, it was like you purchase a book — you put it down after a chapter, or maybe you read half of it in a night. Give the people what they want so they can design their desires instead of the network designing when you watch it. I think that kind of liberty opened up a whole new paradigm for this medium."

It's true that in the modern day, people are enjoying television like never before. No more do we have to wait a whole seven days for a new episode of a series if it's one that's exclusive to Netflix; instead we can watch as much or as little as we like, when we like, avoiding online spoilers while doing so. It's an incredible technique to lure people in and ensure they stick with the service.

There's no signs of Netflix slowing down, but they are becoming increasingly tougher on TV shows that don't become an immediate hit. Naomi Watts-led series 'Gypsy' was the latest casualty of Netflix's axe, with the show being cancelled after just a single season. Whatever that means for the company's future remains to be seen, but for now, this streamer is an incredible monster in the entertainment biz.

More: Kevin Spacey Says 'House Of Cards' "Doesn't Go Far Enough" In Portraying Real Life Politics

'House of Cards' seasons 1-5 are available now amongst a slew of other original content exclusive to Netflix.