All Articles Tagged "netflix"
Perhaps it’s hard for some to believe, but there are five million homes in the US that have no TVs in them. According to USA Today, this is a relatively small number, but it’s one that’s growing, so the industry is paying attention. In 2007, only two million homes were TV-less.
While some of us couldn’t dream of such a thing, there are a number of reasons why more people are finding traditional TV/cable alternatives. Part of it is the monthly cost of the cable hook up. Most of those without a TV are young, single, and without children. When they move out on their own, they just never get around to setting up the line. Some people just want to watch less TV.
But another big reason are the alternatives. You don’t actually need to have a TV to watch TV anymore. And even if you have one, you don’t necessarily need cable now that there’s greater access to streaming video and programming on DVD.
“In 2012, 106 million Americans watched TV online. By 2017, that number will 145 million, an annualized growth rate of nearly 7% year-on-year. The industry likes to refer to it as ‘cutting the cord.’ It is an apt metaphor,” reports Quartz. That site recently reported on an eMarketer analysis that found a third of Internet users (80 percent of us fall in this category) would consider getting rid of their television all together. Now more people are streaming movies, their favorite shows, and other programming. So as long as you don’t mind watching sometime after the original broadcast, you don’t really have to miss anything on broadcast TV, even if you only have a computer or tablet.
To further support the transition away from traditional television, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said on that company’s Facebook page yesterday to say that people watched four billion hours of video via Netflix in the first quarter of this year.
African Americans watch more television than other demographics, so it will be interesting to see if this trend catches on in black households. Would you do away with your television?
Queen Latifah once again proves she is an astute businesswoman. According to the Associated Press (via Black America Web), the Queen’s production company, Flavor Unit Entertainment, just sealed a multiyear deal with Netflix.
Starting this spring, the deal gives the streaming service a first look at titles from Latifah’s production company. Among Flavor Unit’s past productions are the films Bringing Down the House and Just Wright, both of which starred Latifah. Flavor Unit also produced the HBO film Life Support. The film was loosely based on the real life story of Ana Wallace, an HIV-positive woman, and garnered a Golden Globe Award for Latifah.
Latifah said in a statement that Netflix is a “strong brand and the perfect place to showcase our projects.”
Upcoming projects for Flavor Unit include producing the soon-to-be-released Terrence Howard thriller House of Bodies and Percentage, starring Ving Rhames and Macy Gray.
Latifah launched Flavor Unit in New Jersey with Shakim Compere. The company has since relocated to Miami. Flavor Unit initially started out as a crew of local New York and New Jersey DJs and emcees, including Shakim, Latifah, DJ Red Alert, and DJ Chuck Chillout. Eventually, Latifah took control of the name and used it for all of her business ventures, including the production company and management firm, whose clients at one time included Monica, Naughty By Nature and Zhane, among others.
When Your Prince Turns Into A Punk: Could You Continue To Date A Man If He’s Proven Himself To Be A Coward?
Could you continue to date a man once he has been discovered to be a coward?
I ask this question after a lazy, uninspired New Years Day in which I spent the day underneath a heavy blanket, watching a film – or three – via Netflix. One of the movies I took in was this complete yawn about a young white engaged couple and their guide traveling across the Caucasus Mountains in central Europe. I’m not going to tell you the name of the movie, because I’m about to give a major spoiler about the film, which basically centered around watching white people hike and talk about boring things for 90-minutes. Seriously, I would only recommend watching this one only if you have trouble sleeping. Anyway, midway through their trek, the couple was approached by three men with a gun. As their guide and the gunmen exchange words in their native tongue, the boyfriend/fiancé, for whatever reason, decides to interject himself in their conversation and ends up with a face full of gun. Being the fast-action hero, the fiancé instinctively hides behind his lady. But then quickly recoups his balls and moves in front of her.
Needless to say, the boyfriend’s instinctive act of self-preservation, albeit only a few seconds, created some awkwardness between the two, with the girlfriend giving her fiancé a well-earned wall of silence. I imagine that if she could, she would have cursed him out and stomped away. But she was in the mountains, literally in the middle of nowhere, so she had to see this trip out with him. I won’t ruin the rest of the film for you, but let’s just say it involves more walking and boring talking. While the film itself left lots more to be desired, I will say that I’ve been thinking about that particular scene since viewing it. I don’t know if presented with the same situation of being shoved in front of a gun by my boyfriend, if I would have had a reaction much different than the female character. How could you not feel betrayed?
A couple of years ago, I was hanging out, having drinks with a male friend of mine at one of the local bars/lounges. We were talking and sort of flirting (not too much though because he had a girlfriend at the time), when I must have said something he took as being offensive (whereas I’m just speaking my true mind). He smirked, shook his head and confessed, “You are real controversial, you know that? See, that’s why I couldn’t date you because I can see me having to get into lots of fights. And I’m a bit of a coward…”
First off, how this conversation deviated into him playing out a hypothetical relationship between him and I is beyond me. I mean, I thought about it once too, and like him, I have tons of reasons why I rejected the idea in my mind as well. I didn’t feel the need to tell him that. But more to the point, there is nothing attractive about a man admitting to being a coward. And now I have another reason why I couldn’t date my male friend.
I make no apologies for placing high value on my partner’s ability to make me feel safe and protected. He doesn’t have to be Michael Jai White; shirtless, greased-up and karate kicking dudes up and down the block. I mean, that might be nice, but a sista isn’t going to hold you to that. I just need to know you will have my back. Like an ex-boyfriend of mine, who appeared really close to getting his butt kicked after trying to defend my honor from some disrespectful and foul-mouthed brute. His confidence was shook and in the car ride home he asked me, point blank, if I thought he was a punk. I told him no, but I will admit that inside, I felt a little differently about him. Different as in, if I’m ever in trouble, I should call 911 instead of him. But I got over it quickly and actually appreciated him more for at least attempting to put a disrespectful someone in their place. To me, that’s a sign of a true gentleman.
I get it; fight or flight is a well-documented part of human life. And that means that everybody has punked out at something during some point in their lives. But you can’t be dropping babies and hopping over balconies, leaving your family behind during movie theater shootings, a la this father of the year in 2012, or in the case of this film, having your natural instinct mean pushing me in front of the barrel a gun. I think a guy who even subconsciously puts you in the line of danger deserves to be banned from seeing your ladybits for the rest of his life.
A Senate update to the Video Privacy Protection Act will allow Netflix to add social functions to its site, letting customers share notice about the movies they’ve watched on Facebook and Twitter. Once President Obama signs the law, it will go in effect next year.
The previous law required a police warrant or approval before sharing video rental history. With the new sharing capability, people will automatically share the movies they’ve watched on social networks.
“Social video sharing under the new bill will come with two stipulations: Netflix and similar companies will be required to give users a ‘clear and conspicuous’ option to stop automatically sharing their views, and customers must be asked once every two years if they would like to continue sharing their views,” says Mashable.
Word-of-mouth sharing is an important factor for the success of a film when it’s released in the theaters. Whether it’s controversy — as in the cases of Zero Dark Thirty and Django Unchained, as discussed here on The Atlantic Wire — or buzz surrounding a smaller film that otherwise doesn’t have the budget to compete with something as massive as, say, The Hobbit, the act of sharing praise or interest person-to-person makes money.
In this case, Netflix would benefit more than any one film. But the question is whether people will be rushing to add this notice to their social media updates. Movie buffs might be eager to talk about what they’re watching, but do you want to add one more thing to the long list of updates that you’re posting to your social media feeds?
As 2012 comes to a close, various analysts and research companies are coming out with reports on digital and Internet trends, getting people excited for the future of technology. Mary Meeker, a well-regarded Internet analyst and partner at KPCB, spoke in San Francisco last week and gave a mid-year update to her annual 2012 Internet Trends report that was published in May.
According to TechCrunch, the biggest news from Meeker had to do with the smartphone market, which she forecasts will reach one billion smartphone users by the end of the year. Additionally, with five billion consumers owning feature phones (non-smartphones) at the end of 2012, there is room for this area to grow—and she sees that growth coming for Android phones, not the iPhone.
TechCrunch writes, “By the end of 2013, Meeker expects there to be 160 million Android devices, 100 million Windows devices, and 80 million iOS devices shipped per quarter.”
Additionally, broadband network company Sandvine released its annual Internet traffic trends report, which included findings about where consumers are spending their time watching online streaming video. In this currently competitive market, companies including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, HBO Go, and more are vying for viewers’ attention. But Netflix tops the charts when it comes to traffic on computers and other fixed devices, rather than mobile.
When it comes to residential traffic during peak periods, Netflix had a 33 percent share during the second half of 2012, compared to YouTube with 14.8 percent and much farther down the list, Amazon, with 1.75 percent. Other competitors were not even in the top ten, with Hulu at 1.38 percent and HBO Go coming in with 0.52 percent.
“Audio and video streaming account for 65% of all downstream traffic from 9pm-12am and half of that is Netflix traffic [on North America fixed networks],” said Sandvine CEO Dave Caputo, in a statement about the report.
Which tech trends are you keeping an eye on?
You know how Netflix has the “10 ten suggestion for you,” option, which is suppose to find films and television shows that cater to your specific taste but never seems to actually get it right? Well one of those “suggestions for you” just so happened to be Masterpiece Theatre: Downton Abbey.
The first time I heard of “Downton Abbey” was earlier this year when Gawker ran an article called Why Everyone in the Universe Should Watch Downton Abbey. I read it, and despite its somewhat reasonable arguments, I brushed it off. It’s not because it was British, because I love British television shows. In fact, I grew up on a healthy dose of British tomfoolery such as Are You Being Served?, Keeping Up Appearances, Blackadder, Fawlty Towers and a ton of other shows. Nor was it because it was one of those old period pieces, I rather enjoys those too. It’s simply because I don’t have a television in my house, so I don’t always get to see the stuff that folks are watching. Plus, I have become so disillusioned by Netflix and its suggestions that another faulty selection just might have pushed me over the edge. Sob. It’s like it doesn’t even know me.
But I decided to give the algorithmic system another chance. So I crashed on my couch, under the fan and got my old lady on with some Masterpiece Theatre. Three episodes later, I was sipping on green tea, eating some toast (the closest thing to tea and crumpets I had) and was fully engrossed in the first season of Downton Abbey. And if that wasn’t enough, at work the next day, all I could think about was how I couldn’t wait to go home and watch the remainder of the first season. It truly is just that good. And suddenly my faith in Netflix’s top suggestions has been redeemed. Let the church say Amen.
The show, which is about an aristocratic British family at the turn of the century, has everything you want in a 1-hour drama: romance, sex, war, sibling rivalry, comedy and a whole bunch of social commentary. One of the major reasons why I like the show is because it does such a good job of exploring the issues of class and wealth, through not only the Lords and the Ladies of the estate, but also the various staff and servants who keep the estate in order. Downton Abbey is not only beautifully cast but also well written, and should probably be on everyone’s top ten list of shows to watch – if it isn’t already.
After I finished the first season, I called one of the girlfriends, who is always game to talk smack about a show’s plot points, and told her about my new prime time fix. I said to her, “Girl, you know what you should be watching? Downton Abbey.” Her response? “Nuh-uh. I’m not watching that. That show is for white people.”
Scooby Doo “Rhuh?”
This is not the first time I heard such a proclamation come out of her mouth. Last year, after I discovered the joys of Don Draper and the rest of the gang on Mad Men, I pleaded with her then to begin watching the show with me so that we could gossip. I got back virtually the same answer. “I’m not watching any show with no Black people on it,” she said.
Well that’s just silly. Besides, there are a number of shows with not a single black face on them that became must-see television in many black households. That list includes shows like Wonder Years, Married with Children, Full House, Friends, Three’s Company, Frasier, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Cheers and of course, the ever popular Seinfeld. I mean, those shows might have had guest starred a black person in an episode or two but for the most part they failed to consistently weave in any real diversity and mostly remained pretty homogenous. Yet we, particularly my girlfriend, still counts many of these black-less shows in our top ten. So what’s the fuss now?
“Well that was different. Times have changed,” she said.
Laziness, ignorance or force of habit: the three main reasons we spend money on things we don’t have to. Stop throwing money away this year. Here’s how:
(CNN) — Netflix shares plunged 35% in premarket trading Tuesday after the video rental company said it lost 800,000 subscribers in the third quarter.
Netflix (NFLX) earned $62 million, or $1.16 a share, on a record $822 million in revenue in the quarter that just ended, beating analysts’ estimates. But shareholders ignored that fact and focused on the sharp decline in its subscriptions. Shares were trading at $76.66, down $42.18, after touch the $300 mark earlier this year.
When Stuart Wilber discovered many large corporations often give a portion of the earnings bought through Internet marketers to conservative Christian organizations, he didn’t see it as a charitable act. He saw large companies funding hate groups. According to the New York Times, Wilber, a gay man from Seattle, believed these large corporations shouldn’t fund Christian groups that proclaimed anti-gay messages. In July he not only started a petition, he also started a heated, online retail battle.
The Charity Giveback Group (CGBG) was the Christian-oriented Internet marketing group that Wilber stumbled upon a few months ago. Through CGBG, he learned that many large retailers, including Microsoft, Apple and Netflix, sell their products and donate a portion of the profits to conservative evangelical groups such as Family Research Council and Focus on the Family, which are known for their strong anti-gay stance.
Outraged, Wilber created a petition on Change.org which gained 520 supporters on its first night alone. In response, Microsoft quickly and quietly stopped its donations. Soon other petitions began to circulate causing Apple, Macy’s and almost 100 other businesses to also stop their donations through CGBG.
A counter-campaign was also started by the conservative Christian groups with the title, “Please Don’t Discriminate Against My Faith.”
“People have been misled. The retailers are not donating to anyone; they are simply paying a commission to get traffic,” John Higgins, the president of CGBG, told the NY Times.
The situation has sparked outrage on all sides. Wilber and other gay-rights activists are shocked to learn that large retailers are contributing to anti-gay messages while often touting diversity platforms. Conservative groups feel attacked for their stance on sex and marriage and companies feel caught in the middle as they attempt to please both sides.
While none of the companies have responded to media over the controversy, Microsoft and Apple have quickly decided to remain away from the CGBGnetwork.
Other companies, such as Delta and Wal-mart, have reconsidered and joined again with CGBG. Representatives from Wal-Mart and its sister company Sam’s Club said that they changed their minds as the company serves over 43,000 organization with a wide range of interests with diverse viewpoints.”
Delta divulged that they realized how important it was to their faith-based clients. A representative told the NY Times that while they support these clients, they do not want to be involved in any political debates, only in flying planes.
(LA Times) – Netflix Inc., America’s largest video subscription service, is hiking prices as much as 60% in a move that has sparked outrage among its customers but brought smiles to Hollywood studio executives. The service will no longer offer a $9.99 plan that lets users watch an unlimited number of movies online and rent one DVD at a time. Instead, subscribers who want that combination will have to pay a total of $15.98 a month — $7.99 for Netflix Instant streaming and $7.99 to receive discs in the mail. The changes take effect immediately for new customers and in September for existing ones. Tony Wible, an analyst with Janney Capital Markets, estimated that 80% of Netflix’s 22.8 million U.S. subscribers currently use a DVD/streaming combination plan and will be affected by the price hike. The company launched a $7.99 streaming-only plan late last year. Reactions to Netflix’s biggest-ever price increase were swift and overwhelmingly negative. More than 10,000 people had responded to the news on Netflix’s Facebook page by late Tuesday, nearly all of them critical.