Posts Tagged ‘Netflix’
Following last year’s first expansion into Europe, Netflix is stepping into another nearby market: The Netherlands. Later this year, the low-altitude nation will be getting access to Hollywood fare, local and global TV and films, and Netflix’s own original series like House of Cards and Arrested Development, but so far the company hasn’t announced any pricing information. Branching out into new markets has been a key goal for CEO Reed Hastings, who has overseen an expansion into over 40 countries over the past two years, including much of Latin America, the Nordic countries, the UK and Ireland. Last month, reports in the Belgian press indicated that Netflix was planning to move into not only The Netherlands, but also France and…
Netflix is to expand its offering of original children’s programming after it signed an exclusive deal with DreamWorks Animation. As part of the agreement, Netflix will own the first-run rights to over 300 hours of original DreamWorks programming, an expansion beyond the deal that will see Netflix launch a TV adaption of the upcoming movie Turbo in December.
Ask Netflix Vice President of Product Innovation Todd Yellin what makes the streaming giant special, and he’ll start telling you about algorithms, test groups and suggestion engines. “It’s the revolution of TV,” he explained to us at E3. “They used to send out a TV show and then they’d have no freaking idea who was watching it, how much they were watching … it was just Nielsen diaries.” A woefully inaccurate way to track content consumption, Yellin suggested. Netflix, on the other hand, can tell what folks are watching, when they are watching it, for how long and even on what device. Netflix uses all this information to offer users extremely specific suggestions and categories based on their recent use. The problem is, many families share a single account, and all their different tastes mix into a nonsensical mess. “You and your wife might have very different tastes,” Yellin explained. “Why can’t you have a profile, and she has a profile?” Separating the users on the family account would allow each user to get tailored suggestions based on their personal viewing experience. “We’re finally launching it this summer.”
Yellin pulled out an iPad, and showed the user-based sorting in action. It’s pretty simple: loading up the app offers the user a one touch choice between profiles, which then drops into that person’s tailored Netflix experience. Profiles can be aged locked, ensuring that profiles for children will only load up Netflix’s kid hub — fitting, since jumping between profiles is very similar to the firm’s existing parental control solution. All in all, it seemed to be a very lightweight and pain free experience. The feature might not be useful for every Netflix user, but it sounds like a boon for families with wildly different tastes in content.
Arrested Development is finally back. After Fox cancelled the show in 2006 its popularity has unexpectedly grown, and now a new season commissioned by Netflix for its streaming service is ready for viewing. As is its custom, the service is making all of the episodes available for viewing at once, so fans (in all areas where Netflix is available) can start the Bluth Party binge immediately just by clicking the link below.
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The end of April suddenly became very stressful for Netflix subscribers, as it was widely reported that nearly 1,800 titles would be disappearing from its Watch Instantly service in the US. Unfortunately, it likely caused a lot of tension in Los Gatos as well and tonight the company revealed it’s changing its policies. Quickly dubbed “Streampocalypse,” some blamed it on competition like Warner Archive Instant, despite many of the listed titles actually being related to Netflix’s agreement with Epix. As we now know, on May 1st the sun rose once again and there are still some movies and TV shows to watch on Netflix streaming, but for just a few hours you might have thought that would not be the case.
The list came from the third-party site InstantWatcher, which we’ve long recommended to help users sort selections in ways not supported by the official page and apps including by year, Rotten Tomatoes rating or New York Times Critics’ Picks. Starting today however, that will not include the ability to list “expiring soon” titles. As Daniel Jacobson posted to Netflix’s API developer blog, it will stop including expiration dates in the public API. While we’re sad to see the amount of data available to the public reduced and are still peeved over the public API being shelved entirely, after last week’s incident we can certainly understand why. Netflix did not directly reference the incident in its statement (available after the break), but one can certainly connect the dots — read on for more information.
Tonight NBC revealed it is bringing back comedy Community for a fifth season. While NBC has been criticized for shifting the premiere date for this last season and dumping showrunner Dan Harmon, Variety suggests its renewal may be related to something apart from the show. The Sony Pictures-produced show could have followed the path of Cougar Town to cable but there’s also new competition for content from sources like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu. All are willing to pay for quality original content and would love to snatch up the audience that’s already watching on NBC.
One needs only look at Arrested Development or the Kickstarter for Veronica Mars to see how much hype “saving” a show brings in the digital realm. Another boost for the show is likely to come from reruns on Comedy Central, all of which adds up to a renewal order which at one time seemed unlikely to happen. Finally, NBC has other elements that are certainly in play, like stabilizing a Thursday night lineup with familiar shows as it prepares for the Winter Olympics early next year. When the show comes back it will unfortunately be without Chevy Chase’s Pierce Hawthorne character, so a Journey to the Center of Hawkthorne 2 is probably not on the table. If you’re not familiar with the show’s pursuit of “six seasons and a movie” and wonder what all the hype is about, check after the break for one man’s theory of Community as a “postmodern masterpiece.”
Netflix hasn’t been coy about its ambitions with original programming this year: from House of Cards to Arrested Development, the company wants to become the next HBO. Those plans will keep moving forward on July 11th when Netflix will release its latest original program, Orange is the New Black. Based on a memoir by Piper Kerman, the show is created by Jenji Kohan — the woman behind Showtime’s Weeds. It’s described as a comedic drama that follows a woman (Taylor Schilling) who’s ripped from her New York lifestyle after being sentenced to a year in a federal penitentiary due to her involvement in a drug-running operation. Like House of Cards before it, Orange‘s first season will consist of thirteen episodes, with Kohan writing the…
Netflix has reported its financial results for the first quarter of 2013, and it’s added over three million customers worldwide. Another major note is that as it expands its suite of original content, it’s shifting focus away form some of its existing licensing deals and will let a major one from Viacom expire in May. Check out the full letter for more stats and details, we’ll give it a read through and see what other numbers jump out in a moment.
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