9. Netflix

For continuing to redefine their category

A perennial favourite on the brands to watch list, Netflix earn their place this year by continuing to push the boundaries of how and what we watch. 

This year sees Netflix step up their challenge to conventional broadcasters with a huge investment in programming - the company is planning 320 hours of original programming in 2015, almost tripling that of the previous year - and their first foray into mainstream film production, the sequel to Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, is due for simultaneous IMAX theater and online release in August.

Their data on viewing figures for their large and diverse catalogue gives them the ability to create shows that 'give the people what they want' and capitalize on slow-burn successes without having to reach the dizzy heights of a critically acclaimed House of Cards with every commission - I imagine the 4 movie deal with Adam Sandler's Happy Madison productions probably doesn't seem like such an odd bet if you're privy to the the viewing figures his back catalogue gets in Latin America.  

And It is this ambitious global reach that might give Netflix an edge over its more US focussed competitors. Recent years have seen huge growth overseas with the intention to expand from 50 to 200 countries by the end of 2016, and last week's confirmation that the brand is exploring options in China saw the share price jump over the $600 line for the first time.

While HBO are officially throwing their hat into the streaming ring with HBO Now, the new service that gives subscribers access to HBO’s huge back catalogue without a cable subscription, this doesn't seem to be unsettling Netflix.  After all, are consumers going to make an either/or choice between the brands or will the category grow to accommodate the different providers with viewers simply bolting on subscriptions from Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime, Hulu et al the way they used to pick cable bundles?  Either way its a win for viewers as the channels try and beat each other in a 'quality programming' arms-race to the top.