In what was largely overshadowed by the intense backlash over Netflix's ill-fated decision to spin off its DVD-by-mail rental business into Qwikster is that you'd be able to rent videogames in addition to DVDs and Blu-ray movies. It was to be an upgrade option similar to the one for Blu-ray, except you'd be able to rent Wii, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 games. Did Netflix nix those plans when it axed Qwikster?
Reed Hastings isn't infallible, we know this by now. As CEO of Netflix, he's been brilliant in growing his company into a premier streaming service, and spectacularly flawed in underestimating the fallout from customers over hefty price increases and major business model changes. But on that latter part, Mr. Hastings is anything but oblivious, at least after the fact, and has repeatedly owned up to the bad vibes directed at Netflix.
As we mentioned in our Netflix vs. Amazon Prime head to head a week or so back, Netflix supports virtually every device you can buy on the market these days. Part of the reason for that “virtually?” Honeycomb tablets. Sure, you could make some minor tweaks to get it up and running on your Android 3.x tablet, but officially, Netflix supported Android 2.2 and 2.3 only. Up until today, that is; an upgrade to the Android app has officially de-shunned Honeycomb users, Canadians and viewers from Latin American countries.
Video may have killed the radio star, but Vdio, the online video equivalent of Rdio, will do battle with Netflix for streaming supremacy. Up until yesterday, Vdio was a secret project headed by Skype creators Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, along with a modest team of heavy hitting players who aren't accustomed to failure, people with experience from Skype, Napster, Microsoft, TV Guide, and Apache. Does Netflix have anything to worry about?
Remember when “Netflix” and “Streaming video” were virtually synonyms? Yeah, those were the days. Then, in the course of three disastrous months, Netflix jacked prices by 60 percent, announced it was splitting off the DVD business, and then announced that, no, actually, it was going to keep DVDs in house after all. The wacky moves sent investors fleeing like rats and confused customers looking for alternatives – alternatives like Amazon Prime Instant Video. The service offers unlimited streaming and Amazon has signed several new content deals since Prime Instant Video’s launch in March. But is it a Netflix killer? Let’s find out.
All the angry Netflix protestors can put down the pitchforks and relax, DVD rentals aren't going anywhere. Following an intense consumer backlash opposed to the idea of spinning off its DVD-by-mail business into a separate entity, Netflix this morning said it no longer plans to do that and has scrapped Qwikster before it ever got off the ground.
The consumer outrage over Netflix's recent price hike and even more recent announcement to spin off its DVD-by-mail service into a completely separate business has been well documented here and elsewhere on the Web. Now that the dust has had some time to settle, are subscribers ready to forgive and forget, or at the very least move on? Researchers at Piper Jaffray seem to think so.
It’s no secret that Microsoft has intentions to make the Xbox 360 a more robust home entertainment device, and the rumors have been that they intend to do that by getting more video content. According to Bloomberg, Redmond is in talks with Comcast and Verizon to get pay TV content on the console. New streaming offerings could be announced as early as next week.
Marc Randolph is one the visionaries behind Netflix, the company he co-founded along with Reed Hastings back in 1997. Randolph spent some time as Netflix's CEO, as an executive producer of the company's website, and served as a member on its board of directors up until 2004. Now he's on the outside looking in, just like the rest of us, but his perception is different than most everyone else sitting on the sidelines.
Netflix is in desperate need of positive PR, and that's exactly what the streaming service is getting after signing a multi-year deal with DreamWorks to receive exclusive access to first-run films and select TV shows. And according to a report in The New York Times, Netflix even edged out HBO to secure the deal, which ranks as the first time a major Hollywood studio shunned pay television in favor of Internet streaming. Ready for the wet blanket?