Read a little. Learn a lot. • Tightly-written news, views and stuff • Follow us on TwitterBe a Facebook FanTumble us!

25 Jan 2012 21:32


Biz: Netflix recovers subscribers in fourth business quarter

  • 651,000 new Netflix subscribers in their fourth  quarter, a nice recovery since last year’s Qwikster/price hike exodus
  • 800,000 subscribers they lost over that series of flaps and foibles — still some fence-mending to be done source

23 Dec 2011 14:11


Biz: Reed Hastings punished financially for Netflix’s sucky year

  • $1.5 million chopped off his stock options in 2012 source
  • » Merry Christmas, screwup: The Netflix CEO, who oversaw a months-long decline in his company’s stock price in the wake of customer-angering moves, lost half of his stock options for next year — from $3 million to $1.5 million. The company will likely face its first net loss in more than a decade next year, due in part to lost subscribers.

12 Dec 2011 15:19


Biz: Rumors fly on possible Verizon/Netflix acquisition

  • If you can’t beat ’em, buy ’em: That would seem to be the principle behind an effort by Verizon to purchase the DVD-shipping and movie streaming giant, though it bears noting that this is reported as little more than rumor at present. It would, however, be fitting with Verizon’s general posture of late; they’ve been open about their desire to enter the streaming movie business, with their CEO last week admitting they’d looked into purchasing Hulu. This would be an advantageous time for somebody to acquire Netflix, as their stock has plummeted in recent months following announced price increases, and the utterly disastrous Qwikster plan; conversely, though, these rumors have sent their stock upwards by 6%. source

28 Oct 2011 12:57


Biz: Et tu, Redbox? Netflix isn’t alone in raising its rental prices

  • $1.20 to rent a Redbox DVD — a 20¢ increase source
  • » And its stock is struggling, too: Coinstar, the parent company of the suddenly-hot DVD-rental kiosk brand, is struggling to keep prices at a level to compensate for operating expenses. Not exactly a good time for Redbox to do this, though — because, you know, Netflix is feeling the heat. And while 20 cents doesn’t sound like much, if you rent DVDs on the regular from the kiosks, that adds up quickly. On the other hand, it probably looks worse than it actually is due to the timing. So let’s look at the silver lining: Blu-ray will stay roughly the same price — $1.50 to $2.00.

25 Oct 2011 10:58


Biz, Tech: Netflix’s stock, then and now: A steep, severe drop

  • $304.79 Netflix’s stock price on July 13, the day after they announced their unpopular price changes
  • $76 Netflix’s stock price as of this morning; it’s down more than 75 percent since July alone source
  • » How hard will moving forward be? During yesterday’s earning report, Netflix’s CEO, Reed Hastings explained off his company’s tough year like this: “We made a couple of big mistakes this year. It’s up to us to own up to those mistakes and to move forward.” But will owning up to those mistakes be enough to stop the bleeding amongst investors? A 75 percent drop in three months — when your stock is worth more than $300 — is just insane. It dropped 36 percent today alone. If you think Netflix is going to bounce back, though, now’s the time to buy their stock.

24 Oct 2011 19:48


Biz, Tech: Netflix’s downward slide continues: Investors hate them even more now

  • 800,000 fewer folks give Netflix money source
  • » Oh, and it gets worse: The once-high-flying company now has 99 problems, and a shrinking stock price is one — one that dipped 26 percent in after-hours trading today. The company — which recently raised the cost of its legacy DVD plan, tried to split off DVDs into a separate site and then backed off after everyone hated it — also informed investors today that it would have a couple of unprofitable quarters as it expanded into the UK and Ireland. “We expect the costs of our entry into the UK and Ireland will push us to be unprofitable on a global basis; that is, domestic profits will not be large enough to both cover international investments and pay for global G&A and technology and development,” the company said. CEO Reed Hastings blamed the drop in subscribers on the price increase.

24 Sep 2011 12:33


Tech: Dish Network’s Netflix killer has catch that limits its killing abilities

  • yeah … Dish Network’s new Netflix competitor — based around the recently-acquired Blockbuster brand — offers 100,000 DVDs by mail and 4,000 streaming films for $10 a month. Considering the current status of Netflix and Qwikster, the time is now.
  • … but You have to be a Dish Network subscriber to take advantage of this deal, which seems like a major mess-up on the part of Dish. (They are offering a deal to get it for free for a year, for new subscribers.) Timing is on your side, guys! Do something smart! source

19 Sep 2011 17:57


Biz: Netflix sees shares drop on heels of unpopular Qwikster gamble

  • I have a feeling the apologies are just beginning. They’re catching customers off-guard by making huge changes and not providing a lot of explanation for them. It’s been handled poorly.
  • Mike Gordon, chief executive of the corporate PR firm “Gordon Group” • Issuing his dire analysis of the Netflix/Qwikster fracas, which we spent a bit of time on last night. Basically, the big picture for Netflix of late has not been promising — their price-hikes announced during the summer sparked a non-negligible exodus from their service, with about 1 million of their 25 million U.S. customers said “no thanks.” When the company was then forced to revise their cancellation figures for the worse last week, their share prices tumbled by 25%. Then, already playing pretty fast and loose with the strength of their company, came last night’s unexpected announcement. The result? Another 4% drop in share prices. Whatever your feelings about Netflix’s corporate strategy in a vacuum, it’s clear that with real customers they’ve fouled this up to a striking extent. source

02 Sep 2011 19:51


Biz, Tech: Netflix’s crappy day: As its stock falls, a new competitor shows itself

12 Jul 2011 20:31


Tech: Too soon? Netflix prices DVDs out of the equation

  • Many Netflix users got a rude awakening today when they got an e-mail noting that prices were going way up on their combined DVD and streaming plans. It led to huge amounts of rage on the Interwebs after the report leaked. While we think this particular bout of rage is a little much, the real problem here is that Netflix has misjudged its customer base. The thing is, lots of customers would probably love to stream all their movies instead of waiting for DVDs in the mail, but the company’s seemingly jumping the gun. This is a change you make when your streaming service is at near-parity with your DVD service — which isn’t the case at all. The problem we see here is one of a thousand small cuts — changing the API so that third-party apps don’t work, redesigning the first-party apps to discourage DVD queues — that have created the overall effect that feels like a betrayal to many. For movie aficionados, the long-tail value is still there. But for more occasional movie fans who don’t veer too far off the beaten path of Hollywood fare, Redbox may have just gained a huge leg up. (photo by Flickr user Jamiesrabbits) source