Many in Pakistan are rejoicing that Netflix has finally reached the country, which means bidding farewell to the hassle of finding reliable (yet illegal) ways to stream TV shows. Netflix, an on-demand media streaming website that allows subscribers to watch as many television shows or movies as peoples hearts’ desire for a small monthly fee. More than that it is a global phenomenon that has completely redefined the way people around the world see movies and watch television.

The company was established in 1997 and started its subscription-based service in 1999. By September 2014, Netflix had subscribers in over 40 countries, with intentions of expanding their services in unreached countries. As of October 2015, Netflix reported 69.17 million subscribers worldwide, including more than 43 million in the U.S. Although Pakistanis still require a PayPal account to access Netflix or even Amazon for that matter, hopefully the set up will be expedited so the local media industry benefits from the service as well.

Streamed, on-demand movies and shows were always the future of at-home media, but no one predicted how quickly Netflix would branch out from its brilliantly intuitive viewer preferences algorithm into the dominion of becoming a full-fledged producer of its own original material. Netflix is already a major player in “TV shows,” having toppled the traditional model of waiting for a new episode every week, but if it can change the way film is distributed making it particularly rewarding for new upcoming production houses who stand to make profit without having to concur huge costs of running movies in cinemas.

The bold new era of content distribution and technological efficiency of streaming services have broken down traditional barriers, democratized the best content and empowered the consumer. This has great implications in the booming Pakistani media industry where new talent is looking for outlets to get their product across without having to splash millions of rupees. The only negative consequence might be for the movie theater owners and distributors who could suffer due to the provision of high quality content in the consumers home making movie-going irrelevant altogether. Either way we must keep up with the changing trends in the media industry to evolve accordingly.