Netflix DVDs at death's door?Hawaii might monitor all Web browsing, a Spotify app takes aim at Pandora, and Netflix's CEO expects DVD subscriber numbers to dwindle every quarter.
It's Thursday, January 26th, 2012. I'm Bridget Carey on CNET.com and it's time to get loaded. If you enjoy renting DVDs in the mail through Netflix, the CEO thinks you're a dying breed. In an earnings call, Netflix's CEO Reed Hastings said boldly that Netflix doesn't see a future in DVD rentals, and that it expects DVD subscribers to decline steadily every quarter forever. This of course is coming from a CEO who not long ago was gonna cast off DVD rentals in a separate company called Quickster, but streaming on Netflix doesn't have nearly as many titles as does the DVD library choices. Hastings also said Netflix is no longer planning a video game rental service to go along with its DVD subscription service. That's something that company said it was going to offer with Quicksters back in September. A new bill submitted to Hawaii's legislature will surely shake up privacy advocates. The house bill aims to require internet providers to keep track of every website a resident visits. The measure says internet destination history information and subscriber info like names and addresses must be saved for 2 years. The wording is broad and does not specify consumer protection such as if an internet provider can sell this information, or even if a court order is required before obtaining the information. You may come across WebOS again in the fall. Hewlett-Packard started the ball rolling on making the WebOS mobile operating system which it acquired from Palm to be free and open for any programmer to use. A developer tool was released to make WebOS work across multiple mobile devices and the fully open WebOS will be available in September. AT&T ended the year with a 6.7 billion dollar loss. Mostly due to the breakup fee, it was required to pay after giving up on plans to buy T-Mobile. The loss was also impart due to cost associated with employee pension benefits but AT&T did see a revenue increase of 3.6% to 32 billion. Earlier this week Verizon reported a 2 billion dollar loss due to a change in its pension accounting but also was hurt by higher iPhone costs. A new application that uses Spotify's API is mimicking Pandora's streaming radio service. Spotify launched an API for mobile developers to create apps that integrates Spotify's music service, and one such new app is called Spot On Radio and available as a free app for iOS devices. It taps into the 15 million tracks on Spotify's library and lets users stream personal radio stations, like and dislike songs and share music with friends. If you want to sync stations across devices, you'll need a Spotify account for $10 a month. Spot On is not affiliated with Spotify, but it is the first Spotify app that goes beyond the desktop experience. Those are your headlines for today. I'm Bridget Carey for CNET.com and you just been loaded.