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.
Move doubles Netflix stock gains for the year
Netflix has emerged victorious from its negotiations to carry Disney animated and live-action films. The agreement starts in 2016, following the completion of the Liberty Media Corp-owned Starz Entertainment deal. Netflix subscribers will gain exclusive access to movies from Pixar, Marvel, and Disney, with the fate of the upcoming Star Wars movies yet to be determined.
Netflix competitor streamable to iOS, Android, Xbox 360
More details of Redbox Instant by Verizon's streaming service have surfaced, including the all-important subscription rates. The initial selection of devices the Netflix competitor will be available on has also leaked, as well as the existence of a combined streaming and DVD service that still uses the Redbox kiosks.
Netflix Canada to get exclusive licensing for some Warner content
Netflix and Warner Bros. announced today an exclusive licensing agreement that will bring some Warner Bros. serialized dramas and feature films o Netflix customers in Canada. The deal will bring content such as The Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars, and more to Canadian streaming customers. More titles, such as The Dark Knight Rises and The Hangover Part II will be exclusively available online on Netflix Canada for a limited period following their pay television window.
Hastings says content acquisitions cost Amazon greatly
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings says that Amazon is spending big in order to catch up to Netflix in terms of video streaming content. In a recent interview, Hastings pegged Amazon's outlay on streaming video content at between $500 million and $1 billion per year. Hastings based his numbers on the value of the content deals Amazon has won when the two companies have gone head to head for exclusives.
Wii U won't get TVii-enabling patch until sometime in December
When the Nintendo Wii U arrives in North American stores on November 18, it won't have access to its promised and expected video streaming services, including Nintendo's own TVii interface that will lead to third-party services such as Amazon Instant Video, Netflix, and Hulu Plus. According to Nintendo, the TVii feature will arrive over a software update sometime in December. An arrival date for the other service is less defined, with Nintendo saying only that they will arrive in the coming weeks.
Plan would flood the market with shares, raising takeover costs
On Monday, the Netflix board of directors instituted an anti-takeover plan designed to prevent investor and corporate raider Carl Icahn from growing his 10 percent stake in the company. Under the plan, Netflix stock owners will be allowed to acquire more stock if any investor acquires more than 10 percent of the company. The plan is designed to flood the market with shares and reduce the value of the stock making it too expensive for any individual investor to acquire enough stock to take control of the company.
Amazon up five points, iTunes up one
Amazon's Instant Video streaming service posted a sizable jump in usage since February, though Netflix remains the market leader by far. This according to a new survey from 451 Research's ChangeWave service, which looked at use among the paid alternative TV providers. The survey found that use of Amazon's service had ticked up five percentage points since February, while use of Netflix had dropped slightly.
Holiday promotion of Boxee TV promises 3-month cloud DVR trial
As expected, the Boxee TV is now available for purchase at Walmart. The big box store chain is the only retail location to purchase the device, with online purchasing at Boxee's site the other option. The $98 piece of hardware includes a digital antenna, and word is buyers will get a three-month trial period to the No Limits DVR service.
Report fuels Netflix takeover speculation by Microsoft, others
Financier and corporate raider Carl Icahn has reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that he owns approximately 10 percent of Netflix stock. The filing declares that Icahn Capital LP and associates purchased 5.54 million shares of stock in the company for $168.9 million dollars. In remarks associated with the announcement, the investment group believes that Netflix is undervalued.
Boxee TV due in 3,000 Walmart stores tomorrow for $98
Walmart will begin stocking the Boxee TV at 3,000 of its locations across the US starting on November 1, the two revealed. The device will sell for $98 and Walmart will set up displays just for the device along with dedicated marketing materials. Other than streaming Netflix and YouTube content, the device can also pick up free over the air content in HD.
1.85 million new streaming subscriptions, DVDs down 630K
Netflix announced its earnings for the third quarter of 2012 today, revealing that the streaming company has posted a slim but growing profit for the second quarter in a row. Netflix saw $8 million in profit for the third quarter, on $905 million in total revenue. The movie streaming and rental service also saw stronger growth in both domestic and international streaming subscriptions than it did for the previous quarter.
Boxee TV gets subscription-based No Limits DVR capability, $100 price tag
Boxee, which traditionally made products that focused on streaming multimedia content from local storage and the web, has now introduced the aptly named Boxee TV. It will let users watch live TV content from ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, and other channels in high definition. It also doubles as a DVR and bring Internet Apps to a connected HDTV.
Suit filed in 2010 claimed that Netflix violated the ADA
To settle a lawsuit filed in 2010 by the National Association for the Deaf (NAD), Netflix has agreed to caption all of its videos by 2014. According to the court filing from yesterday, Netflix already captions 82 percent of its videos, and is obligated to hit 90 percent by the end of 2013, with full captioning on everything by the close of 2014. Netflix promises to make "good faith, diligent efforts" to make the over 1,000 devices that its service is provided on compatible with captioning, but has no obligation to make 100 percent of them compliant with the new effort.
Verizon to hold majority stake, service in testing
Verizon and Redbox appear to be nearing the release of their long-rumored streaming video collaboration, with the service said to be set to debut by the end of this year. Bloomberg reports that a Verizon executive revealed that the service is currently in testing and will focus solely on newer movies. The service will take subscription streaming like that seen with Netflix and combine that with movie sales, movie rentals, and DVDs from local Redbox kiosks.
MacGameStore launches desktop app
Netflix has released an updated version of its iOS app that adds support for iOS 6 and the iPhone 5's larger screen. Videos now take full advantage of the 4-inch screen and are displayed in their native aspect ratio. The update is also said to improve the browsing, searching, and watching experiences. The Netflix app is offered for free in the App Store but requires a Netflix account.
Low bandwidth caps, high excess charges hurting users
Broadband caps in Canada are too low and too costly, according to a Netflix executive. Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos called out the Canadian Internet service providers at the Merrill Lynch Media, Communications and Entertainment conference earlier this week, echoing other bandwidth-related comments against the country's ISPs earlier this year.
Reaches million milestone after seven months
Movie streaming service Netflix has reached one million subscribers in the UK and Ireland. The landmark figure took just over seven months to reach, with customers being charged £6 ($10) per month for the streaming-only service, despite competition from the already-established postal and streaming-based rental service LoveFilm.
NPD report see kiosks issue almost half of disc rentals
People still rent more movies on DVD and Blu-ray than streaming and video-on-demand services combined, according to an NPD Group report. In the first half of the year, 62 percent of all movie rentals in the US stemmed from discs supplied by brick-and-mortar shops, kiosks and mail-order services. Kiosk use has increased by five percent, now taking up 45 percent of the physical-media rental market.
Roku promises to ship Streaming Stick in the coming weeks, names Roku Ready partners
Roku's Streaming Stick is nearing its on-sale date, as its maker has revealed the list of established hardware makers whose products will support the little dongle. Introduced at CES, the small dongle plugs into an HDTV or Blu-ray player's MHL-compliant HDMI port and brings with it web access. It then allows users to access Roku's Internet channels at up to 1080p resolution, along with Amazon Instant Video, and Netflix, all through their standard remote control.
Up to $2.5 million in attorneys' fees, $30,000 for named plaintiffs
The details of Netflix's $9 million lawsuit settlement have been revealed as letters to potentially affected customers have started going out. The settlement will see the streaming service making a series of donations to non-profit organizations, paying attorney fees, and paying out an incentive award to the Named Plaintiffs in the lawsuit. Attorney's fees could amount to up to a quarter of the total settlement, as well as additional costs for expenses.
Half a million new domestic streaming subscribers
Netflix announced financial results for its second quarter today, revealing that the video streaming company has returned to profitability as it seeks to undo the damage done to its reputation from last year's brief attempt at spinning off its DVD rental service. The Netflix posted a $6 million profit on $889 million in revenues for the quarter, and the company added a million new customers to its streaming service over the last six months. The DVD delivery that once formed the basis of the company continues to lose subscribers, but it is still turning a profit.
Analyst says Netflix bigger than any cable network
Netflix monthly viewing crossed the billion hour mark for the first time ever last month. A public posting on Netflix CEO Reed Hasting's Facebook page announced the landmark. The achievement is a testament to the growing popularity of video streaming as opposed to traditional television watching, and one analyst says Netflix's viewership numbers make it bigger than any traditional cable network.
Storms in North Virginia takes out Amazon data center
Netflix, Instagram, and other web services were hit by an Amazon Web Services outage. Historic thunderstorms in Northern Virginia caused power outages for Amazon data center in the region, forcing services depending on EC2 from it to be severely affected, with Netflix in particular suffering considerable amounts of downtime.
Netflix argued online-only presence gave it an exemption
On Tuesday, US District Court Judge Michael Posnor decreed that Netflix and other public online services are subject to provisions of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). This decision could require Internet-streamed media to include accommodations for the deaf or blind, such as captions or descriptive text. The judge wasn't hearing the case proper, but was ruling on a motion to dismiss by Netflix, who argued that it wasn't accountable to ADA guidance due to the streaming service's online-only presence.
Developers still able to sell apps using Netflix data
Netflix has issued a statement clarifying some controversy over changes to the video service's API and terms of service, according to The Next Web. The changes, announced last week, initially appeared to severely restrict the ability of developers to make money on apps using the API, furthermore removing access to data such as rental histories. Some worried that it could effectively put a halt to apps used to make recommendations or add titles to a person's Instant Queue.
iTunes, Hulu, Netflix traffic allegedly discriminated against
The Justice Department is allegedly in the midst of a large-scale antitrust investigation focusing on potentially anticompetitive practices by cable companies that compete with online video purveyors such as Apple's iTunes store, Hulu, or Netflix. Regulators are said to be attempting to determine if Comcast violated a net-neutrality agreement to not discriminate against competitors that send data through its Internet service to reach customers, though the broad probe is claimed to involve other cable companies.
Netgear NeoTV Pro gets Intel WiDi support, Netgear adds four new channels
Netgear has now followed up its NeoTV 200 media hub with a new NeoTV Pro version that most significantly adds support for Intel's WiDi tech. This lets compatible Intel desktops and notebooks wirelessly stream what's on their displays through the media hub to an HDTV. The box otherwise retains the same Netflix, Hulu Plus, Vudu, YouTube, and Pandora streaming of the original.