Posts Tagged ‘netflix’

The Convergence Tipping Point

October 14, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Image copyright Dusit The media and technology world has reached a tipping point, one captured in some prosaic but infinitely powerful numbers. In the U.S., on a normal weeknight, video streaming on Netflix accounts for almost a third of all Internet traffic entering North American homes . The average U.S. household now has 5.7 Internet-connected devices , and according to ratings agency Nielsen, 41 million Americans watch video on a mobile phone for an average of five hours and 23 minutes per month . New market entrants, from Netflix to Apple, distribute both original and third-party content to a global audience on virtually any connected device via the Internet, and are rewriting the rules of global television distribution and consumption. As a symbol of the speed and scale of over-the-top distribution, Netflix itself just won its first Emmy — the first ever Emmy for Internet-distributed content — for best director of its ground–breaking drama “House of Cards.” To put this in context, HBO began creating original content in the early 1990s and only won its first Emmy in 2001

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Is Netflix Looking for Cable Distribution Deals?

October 14, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

According to the Wall Street Journal , Netflix is on a hunt for cable distribution deals in the U.S. to mirror the similar offerings the over-the-top service has in Europe. As set-top boxes grow more sophisticated, cable operators now have the option of adding apps like the Netflix program to viewers' on-demand choices. The addition of Netflix to cable packages would allow the cable companies to offer the same breadth of library content on demand that Netflix offers, and it would create a second revenue stream for Netflix. In terms of the benefit to cable operators, it's not clear that old epsidoes of Deep Space Nine are what's causing the cable subscriber universe to shrink, though it certainly couldn't hurt those companies to come up with a value proposition commensurate to the dramatic rise in prices over the last few years. Netflix is said to be seeking distribution among regional cable operators first, though it's reportedly had discussions with Time Warner and Comcast as well. For Netflix, though, the benefits are obvious and potentially immense: the company missed on its Q2 subscriber count and its multibillion-dollar future content fees put it deep in the red. Cable networks are big on advertising, of course, but the last few years have seen subscriber fees grow ever larger—even on second- and third-tier networks—buoyed by bundling deals that allow content publishers to push unpopular channels as prerequisites for buying popular ones. A rising tide lifts all ships, and even independent cable networks have eked out a modest existence during this boom time; it would make sense for Netflix to want that kind of distribution and the steadiness of the revenue stream that cable subs provide. "Content deals are lumpy, and it’s hard to predict that and also plan to that gradual expansion," admitted Netflix CFO David Wells, during the company's Q2 earnings call.

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Comcast to Offer Netflix on Set-Tops? Three Reasons It Makes Sense

October 14, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Netflix has been a quasi-competitor to Comcast, whose cable bundle looks pretty steep compared with Netflix’s low $7.99 monthly price for a wealth of on-demand entertainment options. Now Netflix is in early-stage talks with Comcast and other cable operators including Suddenlink Communications to offer the Internet streaming service on their set-tops, according to a Wall Street... Read more

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Netflix Pursues Cable TV Deals

October 14, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Netflix Inc. is in talks with several U.S. pay-television providers including Comcast Corp. and Suddenlink Communications to make its online video service available as an app on their set-top boxes, people familiar with the matter say. A deal would mark the online video service’s first such tie-up with a U.S. cable provider and would come after a similar agreement it recently announced with U.K. cable operator Virgin Media Inc. The talks are in early stages and no deal is imminent, the people cautioned. Read the rest of this post on the original site »

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Hulu Gets Its Second New Boss of the Year

October 11, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Hulu is under new management, for the second time this year. Andy Forssell, who has been running the video site since last spring as an interim CEO, is out. 21st Century Fox executive Mike Hopkins is headed in. The fact that Forssell is leaving isn’t surprising. After Hulu sales boss JP Colaco left last month , Forssell was the sole high-profile executive left at the site with ties to original CEO Jason Kilar. And if Hulu’s owners — Fox, Disney and Comcast — had wanted him to run the business on a permanent basis, they could have said so anytime in the last six months. Instead, Fox and Disney executives — a deal with federal regulators means that Comcast doesn’t have a say in the site’s management — have been conducting a search for a new site head. Hopkins has run distribution for Fox, so his appointment has some logic to it, if you think of Hulu as a digital hub for its owners’ content. But Disney and Fox could have gone in different directions, by picking an executive with an ad sales background, or one with strong product skills. Both Bloomberg and Reuters reported Hopkins’s appointment late Thursday night. As always with Hulu, the real issue for the video site isn’t its management, but what its owners want to do with it. Fox and Disney executives have gone back and forth over the site’s future for years. In July, when they announced that they wouldn’t sell Hulu, but would instead invest $750 million to help the site compete with Netflix and Amazon , it seemed that they were aligned. But people familiar with both companies say they are at loggerheads again. In a memo announcing his departure, distributed to Hulu employees Thursday, Forssell said Hulu was on track to generate close to $1 billion in revenue this year. In 2012, the company reported $700 million in revenue .

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Kindle Fire HDX: A More Helpful Tablet

October 9, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

[ See post to watch video ] What if you could summon a tech-support person to pop up in seconds in a live video on your digital device? And what if that person could draw on the screen or even take over the device to solve a problem? Well, starting Oct. 18, you can do just that with the latest in Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet line, the Kindle Fire HDX. This help system, called the Mayday button, is the most unusual feature of what is otherwise a mainly evolutionary new model of the company’s color tablets. A better help system isn’t exactly the prime reason to buy a new tablet. After all, tablets are supposed to be simple and easy to figure out. But Mayday is consistent with Amazon’s long, well-earned reputation for customer support. X-Ray for Music shows lyrics synchronized to the song playing on the Kindle Fire HDX. I’ve been testing the Fire HDX, and it’s a good, basic color tablet. This latest model, which starts at $229 for the 7-inch-screen version I used, is a definite improvement on last year’s Fire HD, which started at $199 for the 7-inch version. (There’s also a costlier, larger HDX version, with an 8.9-inch screen.) Like earlier Fire models, it’s best thought of as a hardware gateway to buying digital content from Amazon. The base model blasts ads at you from the home screen, but you can buy one without ads for $15 more.

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Netflix Adds HD Support to Apple iOS Apps

October 3, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Netflix has updated its apps for Apple’s iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices to support HD video — and now lets users stream video directly to Apple TV set-tops. The updated iOS app, published Thursday, supports Apple’s iOS 7 operating system, which includes AirPlay streaming directly to an Apple TV from the cloud. Previously, AirPlay required... Read more

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Ad Agencies Flock to MIPCOM In Search of Branded Content

September 30, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Jeffrey Schlesinger, president of Warner Bros. Worldwide Television, first noticed the changing vibe at MIPCOM a few years back. The global programming bazaar held every fall in Cannes, France, had for decades attracted many of the same distributors and content producers—an ocean away from the business-as-usual domestic TV business. But the same tectonic changes in technology and media that disrupted domestic TV have since spilled onto the beaches of the French Riviera, opening all sorts of global business opportunities for the old guard.

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RioMarket Sets Panel Slate

September 27, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

RIO DE JANEIRO – Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos, “Grey’s Anatomy” screenwriter William Harper and Kris Thykier, producer of Stephen Daldry’s “Trash,” will speak at the Rio Festival’s RioMarket, the biggest conference strand at any Latin American Festival. Running from Sept. 27, though kicking fully in next week, RioMarket features RioSeminars and workshops, keynotes... Read more

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Amazon Tries Breaking from the Streaming Video Pack, with Offline Viewing for New Kindles

September 25, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Amazon has been spending a lot of time and money trying to catch up to Netflix in the subscription video race. So far, not much luck: Many more people seem to be watching video via Reed Hastings’ service . But now Jeff Bezos has something new: Offline viewing. Amazon’s new line of Kindle Fire tablets will let Prime Instant Video users* download some movies and tv shows to their devices, for free, for up to 30 days, so they can watch without an Internet connection. Once they start watching a particular title, they’ll have 48 hours to finish. That’s a feature no other U.S. subscription streaming service currently offers. And it might prove very handy for travelers or anyone else who wants to watch something on a laptop or tablet, but doesn’t have access to good broadband. Amazon says it would like to make the feature available for all of its Prime Instant shows and movies. But for now it’s only going to be available on a subset of its titles, because the company has to haggle with rights owners to get the extra feature. Amazon won’t spell out how many of its titles will be available for download, but says the feature will apply to “tens of thousands” of movies and shows. In June, the company said Prime Instant had more than 41,000 titles , which suggests it may be available on at least half of Amazon’s catalog. Amazon says participating studios include Comcast’s NBC, Viacom, Sony, CBS and Time Warner’s Warner Bros.; titles include “Under The Dome”, “Downton Abbey”, “Justified”, “Dora the Explorer”, “Sponge Bob” and “Goodfellas”. The move is interesting because it shows Amazon’s desire to differentiate itself from competitors like Netflix and Hulu. Up until now, the only way for the services to really stand out from each other is via exclusive content deals — Amazon, for instance, has been the only place you could stream CBS’ “Under the Dome” this summer. It also demonstrates that Hollywood and the TV networks’ thinking is evolving when it comes to “windowing” their products via different delivery methods. In the past, video owners have tried to keep download rights separate from subscription streaming rights, reserving the former for sales and rentals. Video industry executives say they expect download rights to eventually show up at Amazon’s competitors; Google’s YouTube has already announced plans for offline viewing for its free videos. It’s also possible that downloads really won’t be significant for lots of people, who don’t have trouble finding a good broadband connection in the place they want to watch Dora.

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