One of the biggest stories of 2014 so far has been the death of net neutrality. After the FCC voted last week to move forward with Tom Wheeler’s net neutrality plan, several tech companies released statements in which they reaffirmed their long-held positions opposing the proposed changes. Netflix especially has stood out as a figurehead for the net neutrality movement in recent weeks and on Tuesday, BTIG Research reported that Netflix CFO David Wells was asked about “the FCC’s view that peering and interconnection are not the same issue as net neutrality and are more like cousins or siblings.” More →
Netflix on Wednesday confirmed it will expand into more international markets this year, revealing plans to launch its video streaming service in various European markets. The company did not reveal and precise release dates or subscription details for its major European launch, saying that its service will be available to more customers in the region in “late 2014,” for “a low monthly price.” More →
Right now when you log into Netflix, you’re presented with a sea of titles that can be overwhelming if you don’t know what you’re looking for. However, in the future Netflix plans to pare back on the number of titles you’ll see on your post-login screen to just three or four personal recommendations that it thinks will be surefire hits based on things you’ve watched in the past. More →
We know that Netflix is raising subscription prices for new subscribers, but the company said this year that current subscribers will be able to keep their current lower prices for an undefined amount of time. Now thanks to CNBC, we know just how much more time longtime Netflix subscribers have to enjoy their lower subscription fees: Two more years. Netflix said this week that it will increase monthly subscription fees for new customers by $1 per month in the United States, which means that anyone who now signs up for the service will be paying $8.99 per month. However, those of us who have been enjoying Netflix’s streaming services for a while now will be able to keep paying just $7.99 per month for the next couple of years before we get boosted up to the higher rates.
Although Netflix has yet to launch a formal campaign against the Federal Communications Commission’s controversial net neutrality proposals, the company apparently has given the FCC an earful in a private meeting. Unnamed sources tell Reuters that “Netflix brought its concerns about Internet neutrality directly to U.S. regulators this week in meetings” with FCC staff members. Reuters‘ sources don’t give any details about what Netflix’s specific objections were but we do know that Netflix CEO Reed Hastings posted a message on his Facebook account recently that slammed “tolls coming for the web thanks to [the] FCC,” so it’s very likely that Netflix representatives talked a lot about the dangers of creating a two-tiered Internet.
More bad news for the Federal Communications Commission: It looks like the coalition that came together to kill the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) might be getting back together to rally against its proposed new net neutrality rules. The Wall Street Journal reports that while big tech firms such as Google, Netflix and Yahoo have kept their powder dry so far when it comes to the FCC’s new rules, “officials inside the companies who follow government policy say they are considering mobilizing a grass-roots campaign to rally public opinion around the idea that the Internet’s pipes should be equally open for all.” More →
Netflix hasn’t killed off the traditional pay TV businesses just yet but it’s become very confident that it soon will. Quartz has done a nice job of noting all the changes that Netflix has made to its “Long Term View” manifesto about the future of television and it looks as though Netflix has stopped hedging a lot of the bets that it made more tentatively a year ago. More →
Netflix is clearly not happy with the current arrangement that it has with Comcast, which is why it’s considering taking matters into its own hands. Ars Technica’s Jon Brodkin has spotted a Netflix job listing for a senior software engineer who specializes in peer-to-peer networks. Furthermore, the job listing says that it wants this engineer to engage in “research and architecture of large-scale peer-to-peer network technology as applicable to Netflix streaming.” More →
Gee, do you think that Netflix publicly coming out against the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger has struck a nerve with Comcast? Within hours of Netflix declaring its opposition to the proposed $45 billion merger, Comcast came out with a statement that accused Netflix of relying on “inaccurate claims and arguments” to make its case. More →
In addition to news on possible price increases, Netflix on Monday also officially took a stance against the proposed $45 billion merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable. In its letter to shareholders released Monday, Netflix said that a combined Comcast and TWC would “possess even more anticompetitive leverage to charge arbitrary interconnection tolls for access to their customers.” To back up its reasoning, Netflix said that the decline of DSL has made cable Internet the default broadband technology for most Americans and claimed that if the merger were approved then many American households would have “Comcast as the only option for truly high-speed broadband” that offers service of 10Mbps or higher. More →
If getting unlimited streaming for $7.99 per month sounds like a deal that’s too good to be true, that’s probably because it is. The Wall Street Journal reports that Netlfix plans to raise its prices by between $1 to $2 a month for new subscribers, which would represent an increase of as much as 25% from current prices. The Journal says that current subscribers will keep their rates “for a generous time period,” but they too might have to pay higher prices in the future as well. News of future price increases came as part of Netflix’s Q1 2014 earnings report, where the company said it added 4 million new streaming subscribers and posted earnings of $0.86 per share on revenues of $1.27 billion.
One of the biggest surprises of 2013 was Orange is the New Black, a Netflix original series that lacked the star power of House of Cards, but made up for it with incredible writing, performances and an ending that left viewers speechless. After an 11 month hiatus, the prison drama will return to Netflix on June 6th with 13 new episodes, and as usual, all the episodes will be released simultaneously. Netflix debuted the first trailer for season 2 on Thursday, welcoming back a vast majority of the cast from the first season, along with a few new faces. Watch the premiere trailer for the second season of Orange is the New Black below. More →
Senator Al Franken (D, Minn.) has been one of the most vocal critics of the proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable and now he’s trying to bring in the big guns to help him kill it once and for all. Franken on Wednesday sent a letter to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings asking him or his company to publicly weigh in on a merger that Franken says will hurt competition for online video services going forward. More →