It’s not shocking that Netflix and YouTube generate a lot of web traffic but it is somewhat surprising to learn just how much bandwidth they consume. AllThingsD points us to a new study from broadband service company Sandvine that estimates YouTube and Netflix combine to account for just over half of all peak-hour download traffic in the United States and around 45% of all total traffic including uploads. What makes this particularly interesting is how much more traffic Netflix generates compared with rival video streaming services such as Amazon and Hulu, which at peak hours combine to account for less than 3% of all U.S. traffic. Sandvine’s chart showing how much of all U.S. traffic major websites account for follows below. More →
The Digital Entertainment Group noted recently that even though American household spending on home entertainment was flat year-over-year in the third quarter, there were dramatic shifts between different categories. BGR sister site Deadline reports that sales of discs, digital movies and television programs declined by more than 7%, while rentals were up by more than 16%. Americans are rapidly turning from owners of content into renters of content. This is not necessarily great news for Hollywood, since selling a $40 disc is far more profitable in the short term than renting a movie on demand for $1.99. Yet in the long term, rental income could turn into a torrent if it keeps growing rapidly enough. More →
Netflix is continuing to exhibit unprecedented growth as its lineup of original programming expands. Having already raked in more subscribers than HBO in the U.S., Netflix is looking to outpace movie channels and on-demand services even further by bringing movies to the living room the same day they hit theaters. Speaking at the 2013 Film Independent Forum, Netflix CCO Ted Sarandos said that the model the company currently uses for TV shows “should extend pretty nicely to movies.” More →
It’s hard to beat expectations after your share price has soared from $60 to $330 in a year. Incredibly hard. Yet that is what Netflix just accomplished on Monday evening — and the company’s share price shot up another 10% during after-hours trading. The company’s Christmas-quarter guidance was spectacular. Wall Street expected earnings of 45 cents for the December quarter and Netflix just guided between $0.47 and $0.73. And according to Variety, Netflix also plans to double its spending on original programming in 2014 from its already sumptuous 2013 levels. This could leave Hulu reeling. More →
It’s safe to say that Netflix is doing pretty well for itself. The popular online content provider posted a very strong third-quarter earnings report on Monday, with earnings per share of $0.52 on revenue of $1.1 billion. The most important number, though, was the 1.3 million net added subscribers in the United States that put the company over the 30 million subscriber mark for the first time. This means that Netflix now has more subscribers in the U.S. than HBO, which has an estimated 28.7 million U.S. subscribers according to research firm SNL Kagan. Analysts had expected Netflix to add between 700,000 and 1.5 million subscribers on the quarter so Netflix’s 1.3 net additions certainly came in at the high end of the spectrum.
Netflix has produced a family of original shows that have had varying degrees of success, from the critical panning of Hemlock Grove to the Emmy win of House of Cards, but once you’re done binge-watching a series on Netflix, there’s nothing else to see. DVD box sets contain hours of bloopers, interviews, and behind-the-scenes footage, but Netflix has yet to offer any additional content on its site. Speaking with CNET, Netflix VP of product innovation Todd Yellin says that might change soon. Yellin stressed that the shows will always be the focus for Netflix, “[b]ut supplemental content, whether that’s extra features or so forth, we’re going to test that around our own originals.” If users respond positively to extra features, Netflix will also consider licensing additional content from other partners. Yellin did not provide a timetable for when the extra features might begin rolling out.
According to a recent report, Netflix is negotiating with several American cable companies in an effort to become a feature in regular set-top boxes. Comcast is one of the companies considering adding Netflix streaming to its boxes, The Wall Street Journal claims. Netflix has already struck such deals in Sweden and the United Kingdom. Why would Comcast be interested in boosting Netflix? One possible explanation is Breaking Bad. The cult show debuted to tepid ratings — the fourth season finale grabbed only 1.9 million viewers. But after Netflix added the show to its roster and offered it robust support, the show’s audience soared during its last two seasons. For its final episode, Breaking Bad was watched by a stunning 10.3 million viewers. More →
With around 800,000 federal employees on furlough due to the government shutdown, they’ll have a lot more time to catch up on missed episodes of Mad Men and Breaking Bad. The Washington Post’s Wonkblog notes that Netflix’s stock price saw a big jump right after the government shutdown started on Tuesday morning, although it cautions that this could be due to a variety of factors such as the company’s recent distribution deal with a Swedish cable company. At the very least, though, it’s a striking coincidence and it will be interesting to see whether Netflix’s overall traffic numbers have similarly surged since the start of the shutdown.
Just days after expanding its roster of British shows dramatically, BGR sister site Variety reports that Hulu is considering an ad-free service that could be a bit more expensive than Hulu Plus. At the moment, Hulu offers a free service with three ads every 30 minutes and the $8 Hulu Plus service runs two ads every 30 minutes. Hulu seems to be in a hurry to revamp its service after Netflix has dominated U.S. media coverage of streaming services all year long. The problem here is that Hulu’s new moves seem reactive. An ad-free service would be nice — but Netflix already offers it. Getting a wide selection of BBC shows like “Doctor Who,” “Top Gear,” and others also sounds like a great idea — but Netflix has long had a supremely broad selection of British shows spanning several decades and genres like crime, drama, comedy, period pieces and documentaries. More →
Netflix has been the movie and TV streaming service to beat for years, but the company continues to explore potential avenues for expansion. Bloomberg reports that Netflix has been offering to partner with cable companies for two years, but has yet to make much headway. Two European cable companies, Virgin Media in the U.K. and Com Hem AB in Sweden, have both decided to include Netflix as an app on TiVo set-top boxes, but U.S. companies have yet to accept the partnership. More →
Netflix’s share price ticked up 2% on Thursday as ratings for one of the most important days of the new television season came out. Wednesday is the second-most lucrative day for the television ad market after Thursday — and this week, most of the key Wednesday shows had their season debuts. The results were mostly dismal. More →
As 4K TVs slowly make their way into the living room, streaming services like Netflix are gearing up to provide higher resolution streams to match the new format. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings spoke about the possibilities and the challenges of providing Ultra HD streams at the Copenhagen Future of TV Conference. The highest quality video format Netflix currently offers is Super HD, which requires a connection between 6-12 Mbps that is only available through select ISPs in the United States. According to DSLReports, Ultra HD will consume even more bandwidth. More →
The new video report from Ooyala gives us a glimpse of how rapidly the American consumer’s habits are changing. As broadcast television continues its slow disintegration, consumers are increasing their video consumption on smartphones and tablets with ferocious speed. Time spent on watching videos on tablets increased by a massive 59% during the first half of 2013. Interestingly, the peak period for staring at iPads is now Friday night. Broadcast behemoths like ABC, NBC and CBS abandoned Fridays years ago, opting to dump dying shows into Friday night time slots and focus their efforts on the first four days of the week. This has evidently started backfiring as consumers are turning Fridays into tablet video nights. This will no doubt erode Friday audiences of major channels even further, accelerating the downward spiral of big broadcasters. More →