Netflix's decision to spin off its DVD rental business into a separate entity known as Qwikster and add videogames to the mix means gamers now have another option to get their pixelated fixes. It also means big competition for GameFly, which doesn't appear to be threatened by the move, or is at least playing it tough in the public eye.
The brand recognition Netflix is going for with its Qwikster spin-off probably isn't one of a pot-smoking Elmo, yet up until this morning, that's the image people would have seen if they tried to follow Qwikster on Twitter. That's the sort of thing you risk by not doing your due diligence, and in this case, Netflix failed to check the social networking scene before settling on the name Qwikster, which is the Twitter handle of someone who likes to blaze, play soccer, and rage about his ex-girlfriend.
It's doubtful Reed Hastings is a football fan. Instead of kicking back on the couch yesterday and watching any number of NFL stories play out, the CEO of Netflix spent Sunday penning an apology letter to subscribers for his poor communication regarding the recent price hikes, and explaining this thing called Qwikster, which is what Netflix is calling its suddenly severed DVD-by-mail business.
Netflix today told shareholders that it's slashing its domestic subscriber guidance by 1 million customers as the company's restructured subscription plans and new pricing go into effect. Projections for the third quarter now sit at 24 million, representing a 4 percent slide and enough to spook investors into selling off shares.
It doesn't matter which Android smartphone you're rocking in your pocket, so long as it's a modern build of Google's open source OS. If it is, you can stream Netflix on it. The latest version of Netflix for Android adds support for all Android 2.2 (Froyo) and 2.3 (Gingerbread) devices rather than limiting support to select handsets.
The Internet community is once again pissed off at Netflix (what else is new, right?), this time over reports that the DVD-by-mail and streaming movie service is actively enforcing a policy that limits the number of simultaneous streams per account, which in some cases is as low as one. That means you have to kick the kids off of SpongeBob if you want to catch a Starz flick while Netflix is still allowed to stream them.
Netflix is seemingly weakened in the market right now. The unpopular price hikes have just gone into effect, and now the Starz deal has collapsed. According to Bloomberg, Dish is taking the opportunity to ramp up plans for its own Netflix competitor using assets acquired from Blockbuster. Does it have a chance?
Even with all that money rolling in from the just-activated price hike, Netflix can’t afford to renew a deal with Starz that brings first-run Disney and Sony movies to the streaming network service. Actually, strike that: they probably can afford it, but Starz just doesn’t want Netflix’s money. Starz just announced it was walking away from the negotiation table despite the $300 million cash pile that Netflix reportedly threw down.
That rumbling you hear off in the distance is not thunder. Rather, it's the sound of millions of Netflix users quietly cursing as the new higher rates kick in. It was mid-July when the disc and streaming supplier announced the updated plans, and this is the day it all goes down. Will there be fallout?
The red envelope of Netflix continues its global expansion with official word that the service will be coming to Spain in January 2012. The move was confirmed by Pedro Perez of FAPAE, the Spanish Spanish producers association. Netflix has caught fire in many territories throughout North and Central America, but faces an uphill battle in Spain, a country famous for high levels of piracy.