Image-heavy redesign adds more detail to show recommendations
Netflix has updated a number of its apps for smart TVs and set-top boxes, bringing them all under the same new uniform interface. The new UI heading to the Roku, Smart TV apps, Blu-Ray players, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 aims to provide more detail about potential shows, using large images and more personalized recommendations.
Provides free six-month subscription to higher-tier cable customers
British cable operator Virgin Media has completed its trial of offering Netflix on 40,000 of its set-top boxes, opening it up to all customers. Subscribers with a TiVo box, in over 1.8 million UK homes, will not only gain access to the streaming video service on the device, but will also gain six months of Netflix service for free to Premiere or VIP Collection customers.
Video streaming sites huge, more than half of peak traffic
Video streaming services Netflix and YouTube together account for half of the downstream traffic on the Internet in North America during peak hours. A new study pointed out by Cnet. New numbers from the twice-yearly Global Internet Phenomena Report found that Netflix and YouTube took up 50.31 percent of downstream Internet traffic during peak usage hours. Of that, Netflix is by far the larger contributor, accounting for nearly a third of all peak North American traffic on its own.
Video rental service to breathe its last by January
Dish Network, parent company of Blockbuster, announced on Wednesday that the video rental service would be ending both its retail and mail DVD distribution operations by early-January 2014. Blockbuster will close its roughly 300 remaining U.S.-based retail locations and distribution centers in early January. The Blockbuster By Mail DVD distribution service, set to expire in mid-December, will continue to serve existing customers until that time.
Ultra HD content appears on Netflix
Netflix recently expanded its content offerings to include Ultra HD video, GigaOm reported Friday. The new offerings are solely content that Netflix uses for internal testing, but their emergence online confirms that the company is looking to add 4K content to its offerings. The popular video streaming service reportedly hopes to roll out Ultra HD video streaming for customers with compatible devices some time in the next year.
Company revises upwards latest financial projections for Q4 slightly
Netflix announced its most recent set of quarterly financial reports today. The company posted its highest earnings in a year, with $1.106 billion earned. Net income rose slightly from last quarter to $32 million, with $0.52 earnings per share. The company's cash hoard is down from $13 million a quarter ago to $7 million.
Netflix passes HBO in subscribers
Movie and television streaming service Netflix has reportedly surpassed Time Warner-owned HBO in terms of overall subscriber base. This according to a new report from Bloomberg, which said that Netflix now has roughly 30 million paying US subscribers as of Sept. 30, while HBO has roughly 28.7 million. HBO is seen as the most successful premium channel on traditional television, as well as a natural rival for Netflix given the overlap in their services.
Negotiations could lead to Netflix video on cable boxes in future
Cable providers in the United States could be adding Netflix to its set-top boxes in the future, according to a new report. The streaming video service is said to be in early-stage negotiations with cable services to introduce the app to customers, which would in theory allow subscribers to directly use Netflix without switching to another living room device, such as a game console.
iOS Netflix now streams in HD
Netflix has launched an update for its iOS app, introducing support for HD playback and AirPlay streaming. With AirPlay streaming users can play content on an Apple TV while running the app in the background, which differs from the previous AirPlay mirroring option. Other changes in v5.0 include playback optimizations and stability improvements. The update is live in the App Store and requires iOS 7 for both HD streaming and AirPlay mirroring.
Hulu adds Cast button to mobile apps to support Chromecast streaming
The Google Chromecast media-streaming dongle is now able to support video from Hulu. An update to the Hulu Plus mobile app for the iPad and Android will add a Cast button to the menu, which then starts playing the selected TV show through the Chromecast device, with the app acting as the remote control. Support for the iPhone is "coming very soon," according to the Google blog.
Super HD previously limited to subscribers on certain ISPs
Netflix has opened up its "Super HD" video streams to all subscribers, regardless of provider. The loosening of restrictions comes after a period of monitoring by the media streamer, with the company saying that "based on the performance data we’ve seen, and in response to member requests, we are now expanding availability to give all our members the ability to enjoy Netflix in the best possible quality."
Sprint shipping Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Gear on October 4th
Sprint has joined AT&T and T-Mobile in offering the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and the Galaxy Gear smartwatch to its customers. Both will be available from the carrier starting from October 4th, with the Galaxy Note 3 priced at $350 with a two-year contract, as well as under Sprint's new One Up early-upgrade program. The Galaxy Gear, available separately, will cost $300.
Hundreds of ideas under consideration
Microsoft is reportedly preparing a wide range of original television programming for its Xbox streaming video service. In an interview with Reuters, Microsoft Studios VP Phil Spencer said the company is "very close" to announcing details of the new projects, which will include content that is not directly related to games.
Piracy figures triggered Prison Break purchase for Netflix in the Netherlands
Netflix monitors piracy sites for shows being downloaded, in order to decide what to acquire for its users. The video streaming service uses statistics relating to video piracy as a social barometer, along with other metrics, in working out what shows and films it doesn't currently offer that it needs to secure for members to view.
Disney promoting The Little Mermaid in cinemas with iPad games
Disney is encouraging families to take an iPad along with them to the cinema, in an attempt to promote a re-release of one of its classic movies. The Little Mermaid Second Screen Live, appearing in select cinemas, will let viewers download an app that triggers games and various other interactive elements at specific stages of the film, according to an advertisement spotted by Slashfilm.
First time Netflix added to Pay-TV platform in United Kingdom
British cable operator Virgin Media is trialling Netflix on its set-top boxes. The pilot scheme will see the Netflix app being made available to use on 40,000 TiVo boxes across the United Kingdom, with customers able to use both the Netflix streaming service alongside Virgin Media's own on-demand movies and TV show offering.
Court refuses suit, citing sufficient Netflix investor notifications
US District Court Judge Samuel Conti in San Francisco has ruled in Netflix's favor in a class action suit, and denied an effort by shareholders to force the media streaming company to pay damages. The shareholders and the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System alleged that Netflix didn't provide accurate information about the company in a series of quarterly earnings statements, leading up to and through the company's 2011 reorganization.
Feature expected to go global during next two weeks
Starting today, Netflix is rolling out a new feature dubbed "My List," according to an official blog post. The feature -- due to deploy globally over the next two weeks -- is similar to the current Instant Queue for the US, but with the addition of automatic sorting, which bumps videos to the top based on predictions about what a user will want to watch. People can revert to manual sorting by going to a My List Management menu under My Account.
Ranking proves again that value of experience can trump content
A study done by customer experience research firm ForeSee has surveyed customers of mobile media and entertainment sites and found that generally, customers are more satisfied with such services than they were a year ago: the average score was 77 out of 100, compared to 67 a year ago. In the streaming TV and movies category, Apple's iTunes squeaked out a surprise win over competitors such as Netflix and HBO Go, Amazon Instant Video, Crackle and Hulu Plus. The study also found that customers were much more satisfied with home Internet service than cellular data.
PS3, Xbox 360 following in near future
Netflix has begun wider deployment of the multi-user profiles that started hitting the Apple TV earlier this week. On top of the Apple TV, the feature is now rolling out to iPhone, iPod, and iPad users "over the next few days," according to Netflix. In the near future, the company is also planning to bring profiles to the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and newer-model connected TVs and Blu-ray players. Android and Wii users are only expected to get the option "soon."
Basic Netflix multi-user support begins rolling out on Apple TV
MacRumors has reported that the Netflix personalized profile feature has started rolling out to some Apple TV users in a limited capacity. Planned for a full release in August, Netflix user profiles let subscribers create personal viewing accounts complete with customizable avatars and individualized viewing histories. The rollout is currently limited to customers who set up a profile when using the DVD service, but at this time does not include support for altering profiles or adding new users.
Three-month free membership to streamer available for only 28 hours
Citing "overwhelming demand" for the newly-introduced Chromecast network video receiver, the search engine has ceased the promotion offering a three-month free Netflix subscription to buyers of the new device. The device's first allocations at Amazon.com and BestBuy.com's online store are completely sold out, with a current pre-order wait time of three to four weeks.
USB-powered media player remotely controlled by mobile devices, computers
After revealing the latest version of the Nexus 7 tablet, Google today introduced an HDMI dongle that will stream videos and show other content from smartphones, tablets, or computers to a HDTV or other large displays. Hinted at by an FCC filing in May, the Chromecast plugs straight into a TV, and can be controlled remotely via mobile devices or the Chrome browser over a local Wi-Fi connection.
Low subscriber uptick causes after-hours stock fall
Netflix reported quarterly earnings earlier today, claiming revenue of $1.07 billion, with the addition of 630,000 new streaming subscribers, in a quarter where it was expected to do very well by Wall Street. Net income was $29 million, with $0.51 per share earned. This quarter's earnings eclipsed the year-ago quarter in every respect.
Netflix opening in the Netherlands later this year
Netflix will be rolling out its streaming service to the Netherlands later this year. The new market, the first for the streaming service this year in Europe, joins already-operating versions in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Finland, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, though it has yet to reveal an exact launch date, potential pricing, nor the contents of its launch catalog.
New shows based on DreamWorks Animation catalog to air on Netflix first
Netflix is continuing its drive for exclusive content by signing a deal with DreamWorks Animation. The multi-year agreement has the streaming video service securing the first-run rights for TV shows based on past, current, and future DreamWorks properties, and will add over 300 hours of programming to the Netflix show catalog.
Customized recommendations to apply to users, rather than entire account
Netflix will be adding separate user profiles to its accounts sometime this summer. The additional profiles will allow the streaming video service to keep a track record of what shows and films are viewed by individuals, rather than on the per-account basis it currently uses, in an effort to improve recommendations provided to its users.
Netflix updates API to remove expiry dates for movies, shows
Netflix has removed the expiry dates for films and TV shows from its public API, following recent reports that the streaming service would drop around 1,800 items of content in May alone. According to a company blog post, the change is being made due to the inaccuracy of the expiry date due to the "frequent, often last minute, changes in content flow," though the field will still appear with a default date in the API, in order to avoid errors in third-party apps.
Netflix updates PlayStation 3 Player app with revised design
Netflix has updated its streaming app for the PlayStation 3. The new Netflix Player has a revised design that brings it in line with the web and mobile device versions, according to a company blog post, as well as options to change the audio and subtitles for a show or film. The design of "trickplay" mode has also been adjusted, allowing for faster-loading preview images to load when seeking for a specific scene in a movie.
iPad Netflix now cues TV episodes automatically
Yesterday Netflix rolled out the next major release of its iOS app, introducing a new auto-play feature for TV shows. While currently restricted to the iPad users, the new feature brings the software in line with the functionality of the current web and TV app. At the end of a TV episode Netflix will minimize the credits and cue the next episode in the season. If users do nothing, then the episode will will automatically begin playing within 10 seconds. In addition, post play also works for movies by providing users with three recommendations of other movies they may enjoy.
Dropped content from unrenewed distribution deals
Netflix is dropping almost 1,800 items of content in May, due to a number of content deals expiring. Titles such as James Bond films Dr. No and Goldfinger will no longer be available to stream, though customers will still be able to look forward to new titles being added to the service, including an entire season of a new show.
Slight increase in Netflix profits next quarter, continued shift away from DVD
Netflix has announced its quarterly earnings report for the first part of 2013. The company reports having added over three million streaming members, bringing the company's total to more than 36 million worldwide. The company continues to see profits in the US offsetting losses elsewhere, with a $131 million profit in the US and a $77 million loss internationally. DVD rentals continue to earn well, with it bringing in $113 million profit for the company in the US. After all expenses, including payback of debt, the company earned five cents per share.
Yahoo! integrates Summly into iOS app
Yahoo! has launched an updated version of its iOS app featuring Summly integration, a new interface, and improved search options. Acquired by Yahoo! at the end of March for a supposed $30 million, Summly is a news aggregator that uses natural-language algorithms to create quick story summaries. These summaries are now provided to users in an endless news stream that has been designed specifically for the iPhone and iPod touch. Search is also said to be improved, both for video and images, giving users the option to narrow down searches to different categories and selecting only the topics that are of interest.
Asus GTX670 DirectCU Mini graphics card measures 6.7-inches long
Asus has revealed a shortened graphics card designed to work in small form factor PCs. The GeForce GTX670 DirectCU Mini measures 17 centimeters (6.7-inches) long, much shorter than the reference GTX 670 at 24.13cm (9.5-inches), yet is still clocked at 928MHz and houses 2GB of GDDR5 RAM despite its small size. It uses the Asus DirectCU cooling system with vapor chamber and cooling fan, and also uses Direct Power technology to bridge power delivery components and the GPU for a cleaner supply of power. Asus has yet to reveal a release date or price for the pint-sized graphics card.
More original content to hit streaming services
Netflix and Amazon are working on more exclusive programming for their respective streaming services, in order to increase their market share. Netflix will be producing a series by the creators of The Matrix and Babylon 5, while Amazon will be adding a single episode of the Zombieland series to the roster for its Amazon Instant Video pilot scheme.
Sharing of viewed, rated shows shown to friends in app, Facebook updates
Netflix has announced it is adding Facebook integration to its streaming service in the US. The feature, having spent a considerable amount time in development, will allow users to share films and TV shows they have watched with Facebook friends on both the social network and within Netflix itself, but only if they choose to share their activity too.
Streaming video company likely to not see any benefit from port
Sources familiar with the matter are reporting that not only in Netflix not developing a native BlackBerry 10 app for video streaming, but it also has no plans for an Android-based port. When questioned by AllThingsD, Netflix confirmed the reports, saying "we have no current plans for a BlackBerry app."
Missing apps timetable for arrival not known, may be distant
Despite a strong launch with 70,000 applications available, there are some notable holdouts on the new BlackBerry World store. A BlackBerry spokesperson told AllThingsD that it is "in talks" with both Instagram and Netflix for future inclusion in the ecosystem. Also missing are Spotify, Pandora, Hulu, and a dedicated YouTube application. No timeline for addition was provided, and the spokesperson said that they "could not confirm when those apps will make their way into the store."
Increase in international customers brings added expense
Just before Apple's blockbuster results, media streaming company Netflix announced a modest profit for the fourth quarter of 2012. The company reported $945 million in revenue, which generated $8 million in profit. Additionally, 27 million streaming subscribers were added in the US, more than two million than the previous quarter.
Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, TNT programming hit Netflix
Netflix today announced a new agreement between it and content provider Time Warner that will see programming from Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, and TNT appearing on the streaming service. The deal represents the third agreement between the popular video streaming service and Time Warner, bringing even more Time Warner content to Netflix's service even as Time Warner retains sole control over valuable properties such as HBO's programming. Observers value the deal in the hundreds of millions of dollars, depending on the duration of Netflix's streaming rights.
Netflix encouraging subscribers to petition ISPs to use Open Connect
At the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show, Netflix announced its Netflix Open Connect initiative is now delivering the majority of Netflix international traffic, and has accepted its first two US ISPs for the service. Additionally, Netflix Super HD and 3D TV shows and movies are available on the service for the first time.
Agreement blocks Netflix from Universal content
HBO has signed a deal with Universal Studios that extends its exclusive rights to Universal Pictures' and Focus Features' films for another ten years. The extension prevents competing video-on-demand services such as Netflix from gaining access to content, keeping it on HBO's TV, mobile, and online services until the year 2022.
Developer accidentally deleted data, causing outage
The Amazon Web Services outage that led to Netflix's downtime on Christmas Eve was caused by an accidental data deletion. This according to a summary posted Amazon on the AWS page. The summary states that one of a very small number of developers with access to AWS' Elastic Load Balancing Service deleted a portion of the ELB state data, causing the ELB control plane to experience high latency and error rates for API calls to manage ELB load balancers.
Hastings to earn $4 million next year at Netflix
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings will see a bigger paycheck from the video streaming service next year, with the streaming service revealing a $4 million compensation package in documents filed today with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Hastings will receive $2 million in salary and $2 million in compensation through stock options, with the latter growing or shrinking in value depending on Netflix's performance. The 2013 pay package represents a significant jump for Hastings, who earned $500,000 in salary and $1.5 million in stock options in 2012.
Social features made possible with bill passage
Next year will see popular movie streaming service Netflix bringing greater integration with services such as Facebook and Twitter, according to company representatives. The streaming service will roll out these features after a recently passed bill -- which removes barriers keeping Netflix from integrating its service with social networks -- is expected to receive a signature from President Barack Obama. Netflix customers in Canada and Latin America have been able to link the service to their Facebook accounts since 2011, but next year will mark the first time US customers are able to do so.
Amazon Web Services blamed by Netflix engineer
As of Christmas Eve, some US customers are having issues with Netflix streaming, due to an issue with Amazon Web Services -- specifically the data center in northern Virginia that was also responsible for taking down a number of popular sites last summer. The problems began being reported after 4PM EST, and at this hour Amazon is still reporting some issues with CloudSearch and Elastic Load Balancing issues at the center that may continue to affect customers.
Existing eyeIO user Netflix likely to offer 4K media in future
Video processing company eyeIO has unveilled its second generation of video encoding technology. The new version includes a new option called StudioRes, which is capable of encoding 10-bit 4:2:2 H.264 video at a 4K resolution, as well as claims that it will encode video 45-percent faster than its previous incarnation.
Swiss company licensing efforts with Netflix fail
Patent holder OpenTV has launched a lawsuit against Netflix on Wednesday, claiming the company is misusing its patents on viewer recommendations, digital rights management and video playback. The owners of OpenTV, Kudelski SA, have been attempting to negotiate licenses for the patents in question for a year, but Netflix has signed no agreement with the Swiss company.
Google Fiber tops Verizon FiOS, Comcast
For the first time, Netflix has published data on ISP streaming performance, showing that Google Fiber significantly outperforms its other nationally-active competitors. Netflix's figures give the average speed at which customers of different ISPs can download movies, and it notes whether ISPs have moved up or down in the rankings in the last month. Google Fiber leads the pack with 2.55MBps, with Verizon's FiOS and Comcast significantly behind.
July Facebook post could net Netflix a civil claim
Netflix and its CEO Reed Hastings have been informed by the Securities and Exchange Commission that they could face a civil claim over a post a statement Hastings posted to Facebook over the summer. This past July, Hastings' Facebook page announced Netflix had surpassed a billion hours of user streaming for the month of June, the first time the service has done so in its history. That post, though, may have violated regulations regarding fair disclosure, the SEC has reportedly told Netflix.