An HBO standup special used to be the pinnacle of a standup comedian's career. "Now a Netflix special is a rung on a rising comedian's ladder, with major ramifications for ticket sales," reports Rebecca Keegan. Perhaps the biggest beneficiary of a Netflix special is Ali Wong, who became a headliner thanks to 2016's Baby Cobra. Netflix claims 75 million subscribers watched a comedy special last year. Other comedians who've had career-changing levels of visibility thanks to a Netflix special include Hannah Gadsby and Hasan Minhaj. "There are now 200 comedians who can sell out a show at the Wilbur Theatre because of the Netflix specials they've done," says manager Barry Katz, who has produced 40 standup specials. "Only a select handful of comics are getting that huge money from Netflix. For most comedians, the special is a commercial for their business."