Quickly filling up Netflix's rearview mirror is a sight that no tech company wants to see: Apple.
Apple announced on Tuesday that the company has cut licensing deals with every top film studio--deals that will enable iTunes to offer first-run movies a month after they are released on DVD.
This means that Apple has won a major advantage in the Web movie-rental business. One of the biggest complaints customers have with online movie services is that none offer first-run features. The same is true with some of the video-on-demand services operated by the cable companies.
UPDATE: Netflix made its official announcement on Monday morning.
In an attempt to counteract whatever announcements Apple will make at Macworld this week, Netflix has decided to let subscribers stream unlimited movies and TV shows, with almost every basic plan, the Associated Press is reporting.
Currently, subscribers can watch anywhere from 5 to 48 hours a month, depending on their plan, although I don't see how anyone could be on the "eight-at-a-time" plan. (My two-at-a time plan came with 14 hours.)
The new, unlimited plan will be available to all subscribers, except for those on the two-rentals-per-month … Read more
The long-anticipated set-top box from Netflix is headed toward your living room this summer, according to several major news providers including the Associated Press, The New York Times, and Reuters. The good news is that unlike the optical supremacy battle going on between HD-DVD and Blu-Ray, the capability to tap into Netflix's movies-on-demand service could become a standard option on many upcoming consumer-level DVD players and set-top boxes as an added feature--not the sole purpose. Boxes equipped with the Netflix service (including the purported next revision of LG's flagship BH series of dual HD-DVD and Blu-Ray players) will … Read more
Correction: The authors of the Netflix de-anonymization study contacted me to point out that they originally published a draft of their results a mere two weeks after Netflix released its dataset. Netflix has known about their study for over a year.
Over the past year, there have been a number of high-profile incidents in which sensitive user data was accidentally revealed to the Internet at large. As a result, I believe that high-tech companies will never again share anonymized data on their users with academic researchers, at least not without requiring contracts and nondisclosure agreements. For the users and privacy … Read more
As we have seen, Netflix and NBC have a very solid working relationship, offering exclusive web content for the site in the past. Today, Netflix announced that it will offer episodes of hit NBC shows, such as Heroes, The Office, 30 Rock, and Friday Night Lights to its subscribers for instant viewing online.
Just to clarify, Netflix has offered instant viewing of various DVDs, including Heroes Season 1, prior to today, but now it will be making episodes that are currently unavailable on DVD available for viewing. This also marks the fourth way that you can see NBC shows online. … Read more
It looks like the bottom has finally fallen out of Blockbuster. After numerous failed attempts at attracting new customers, the company is finally spiraling out of control.
Sad as it is, the end is near for Blockbuster, and all that pressure it has been placing on Netflix will be lifted.
And in the end, Netflix will be left standing to fight another day.… Read more
Video stores appear to be heading the way of the car hop and drive-in theaters.
Movie Gallery, which operates under the names Movie Gallery, Hollywood Video, and Game Crazy, filed for bankruptcy on Tuesday, according to a story by Bloomberg. The collapse of the country's second-largest video-rental chain is staggering when one considers that only two years ago, Movie Gallery's stock was trading at $33.
On Tuesday, the stock closed trading at 22 cents, less than the cost of a movie rental.
Netflix and video-on-demand services being offered by cable companies have cut deeply into the traditional video-rental … Read more