Posts Tagged ‘Netflix’

Netflix and the rise of binge TV watching

May 21st, 2013

Netflix has been giving viewers the opportunity to watch entire new seasons of TV shows in one sitting and — for better or for worse — many have been doing just that.

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Netflix streams 4 billion hours in last quarter

April 12th, 2013
That's the word from company CEO Reed Hastings, who touted his company's success on his Facebook page. [Read more]

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‘Arrested Development’ to debut on Netflix on May 26

April 4th, 2013
All 15 new episodes will be available for streaming on Netflix toward the end of next month. [Read more]

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Netflix Gets Social with Facebook, Raises Privacy Concerns

March 15th, 2013
A long-awaited coming attraction has finally arrived for Netflix's U.S. subscribers. They will now be able to automatically see what their Facebook friends have been watching on the Internet video service, as long as they are willing to open a peephole into their viewing habits, too.

The sharing tool announced Wednesday is rolling out 18 months after Netflix Inc. introduced the feature to its international subscribers.

The expansion exposes the feature to a much wider audience because Netflix has 27 million Internet video subscribers in the U.S. versus 6 million customers in more than 50 other countries and territories. Netflix isn't creating an outlet for the 8.2 million subscribers to its steadily shrinking DVD-by-mail rental service to share what they're checking out on discs.

Netflix withheld the sharing tool in the avoid breaking a 1988 law that banned the disclosure of video rental records without a customer's written consent. After several years of lobbying, the Lost Gatos, Calif., company persuaded Congress to revise the law so that subscribers could choose to activate a video-sharing feature.

President Obama signed the amended law in January, clearing the way for Netflix to offer U.S. subscribers another way to find movies and TV shows that may appeal to their tastes. In the process, Netflix hopes to deepen subscriber loyalty and generate positive buzz about the $8-per-month service as the company strives to reach its goal of reaching 90 million customers.

"This has been a missing link for us," said Tom Willerer, Netflix's vice president of product innovation. "Being able to see more recommendations from your friends can be a very powerful thing."

Investors apparently believe the new feature will increase Netflix's popularity and, by extension, its profits. Netflix shares stock surged by $10.25, or 5.6 percent, to close at $192.36.

The sharing tool could backfire if it raises privacy concerns...

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Man’s Netflix tattoo scores free year’s service

March 11th, 2013

A man who permanently inked his body with the Netflix brandname has received a year-long free subscription to the online streaming service.

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Samsung TV Discovery service launches this quarter

February 21st, 2013
The tool, which will appear on new Samsung smart TVs in Q1 and next quarter on mobile devices, allows users to find and play content from various providers like Netflix and Blockbuster. [Read more]

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Netflix Plays Its ‘Cards’ in a New Game Strategy

February 13th, 2013
The business debate about Netflix's remake of the British political thriller House of Cards has focused on binge watching. Was Netflix savvy to have released all 13 episodes of its first original production at once, or would a more traditional roll-out have better helped to build an audience?

I did the binge watch this week. Even though I liked the British version of political deceit and mayhem much more and thought that the Netflix real-life view of politics and journalism was as phony as most other versions on television, I kept watching.

But binge vs. trickle-out is not the obvious debate or headline. What ought to be the gobsmacker is that Netflix has now accomplished that grail of American media life: It's become a television network. Or, shall we say, a home entertainment network. Or, a provider of video content that re-creates the passive-audience behavior most commonly associated with television -- and done this over the Web.

It has formally broken channel power.

Until now, narrative entertainment has been the sole province of network and cable.

The Web, with as much presence and household penetration as television, has somehow not been able to get the audience relationship or the desktop ergonomics or the dramatic structure right to provide plot and characters. The Web is bites, bits, components, functions and non-linear experience. But not a story -- beginning, middle and end.

As media, the Web has fallen vastly short of almost all expectations.

If you can't tell a story, the 19-year commercial Web experience has shown, you can't hold attention for very long, can't offer a point of view, can't control the experience, and, in a sense, never own your audience -- at best, it's a fleeting utility-like relationship.

Neither advertisers nor audiences will pay very much for it.

When the free Web began, its goal was to become nothing...

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Is the U.S. Postal Service Helping Netflix?

February 11th, 2013
Netflix won't miss Saturday mail delivery, even though the weekend service helped keep its DVD-by-mail subscribers happy. The U.S. Postal Service's planned shift to five days of home delivery a week instead of six may even make Netflix Inc. slightly more profitable by lowering the costs for sending out its familiar red envelopes with DVDs. That's because subscribers may be able to watch fewer DVDs for the same monthly price.

For Netflix customers, DVDs that used to arrive on Saturday would come on Monday instead, delaying when they could watch a movie and send it back for the next one. Those who want to make sure they have a DVD to watch on the weekend might have to mail the discs back to Netflix a day earlier to ensure that they receive it on Friday.

However, analysts believe few customers are likely to mind. Most Netflix subscribers no longer get DVDs anyway, and those who do often let their discs sit on shelves for days or weeks, so the extra waiting time won't hurt that much. Complaints are more likely to come from subscribers who try to watch as many DVDS as possible each month -- an unprofitable audience for Netflix anyway.

Investors reacted positively to Wednesday's announcement that the U.S. Postal Service intends to stop Saturday home delivery beginning Aug. 10. Netflix's stock gained $10.02, or nearly 6 percent, to close Wednesday at $184.41. Earlier in the session, the stock hit a new 16-month high of $185.14.

Under the plan, mail would be delivered to homes and businesses only from Monday through Friday, but it would still be delivered to post office boxes on Saturdays. The plan, designed to save about $2 billion a year, could face a challenge from Congress.

Investors' reaction might have been different if Saturday mail service had been eliminated...

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Netflix support coming to ARM-based Chromebooks

February 5th, 2013
One corner of the computing world can't use the streaming-video service: the $249 Samsung Chromebook. Netflix and Google are working to change that, though. [Read more]

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Netflix Rolls Out the Red Carpet for ‘House of Cards’

February 2nd, 2013
Netflix on Friday made the premiere episode of House of Cards, its in-house political drama, available free for one month to the public with no membership requirement. It is also offering subscribers the entire 13 episodes of the first season at one time instead of parceling out each episode weekly. "Netflix could be trying to create some buzz and make their content more accessible," Greg Ireland, a research manager at IDC, told TechNewsWorld. "Opening up access is a good, sound strategy to get exposure."

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