Next time you lose a weekend to binge-watching, blame Reed Hastings, the Netflix CEO who's transitioned the streaming service from a mail-order DVD rental outfit (remember those days) into an entertainment behemoth—a business model since copied by Hulu and Amazon.

Netflix's success is no mystery, though: It woos its 48.6 million subscribers—more than all the largest U.S. cable TV providers combined—with brilliant original productions that have earned 91 Emmy nominations (only HBO has more), with 19 alone this year for the hit Stranger Things.

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