While no business likes to lose 800,000 customers in the span of a few months, such a drop could pass for good news in the Netflix halls in these post price-hike days.
The likes of Netflix, Hulu and Amazon will reportedly face some new competition, when Dish Network finally justifies its purchase of Blockbuster by starting a video streaming service in October.
Netflix’s much-maligned price increase kicks in today, but not for all customers. The new pricing plan, which charges $7.99 a month to stream movies and another $7.99 to rent one DVD at a time, doesn’t go into effect until your September billing date. Depending on when your bill is due, you can squeeze a few extra days of the old rates out of your plan before either canceling or choosing either streaming or disc rentals to avoid the bill bump.
In what could be described as a streaming contest, Viacom and Cablevision have been legally sparring for weeks over how to divvy up the rights to control streaming video on iPad apps. Now the corporate giants have settled their differences out of court. In a joint statement, the companies announced that Cablevision will be allowed to stream Viacom channels, including MTV and Comedy Central, over iPads located inside cable-subscribing homes.
When Netflix announced it would split up its streaming and disc subscriptions, making customers choose streaming or one-disc-at-a-time plans at $7.99 a month each, it didn’t offer much of an explanation as to why the price hike was needed. A writer at The Motley Fool took CEO Reed Hastings to task and asked him to justify the increase, and was surprised to get a response.
Judging from the bulk of Microsoft’s major announcements at its E3 press conference Monday, the company doesn’t want Xbox 360 owners to turn off its machine when they want to watch TV rather than play games. A fall system update will deliver Bing-powered voice web search, a YouTube app and an unnamed TV-streaming service.
Legal video streaming has become so popular that it’s starting to make movie piracy obsolete. A study shows that Netflix streaming takes up more online traffic than any other service.
Nintendo’s 3DS handheld, which is due out March 27, will hook up with AT&T and Netflix in a super-hot threesome that will eventually let gamers stream movies while on the go.
Donning a pair of metaphorical mouse ears, Neflix cut a streaming video deal with Disney that advances the service’s quest to give viewers reasons to can satellite and cable TV.
One thing Droid doesn’t do is stream Netflix, making the platform the object of ridicule to cackling, finger-pointing iPhone owners. Sobbing Androidites who wonder why they can’t stream 30 Rock episodes like the cool kids can only shake their fists to the heavens and scream “Why?”
Picking the low-hanging fruit of the pro sports world, Sony has locked down a way to let owners watch NHL games on TV without having to find the Versus channel in the listings.
Adding a feature Apple junkies have been clamoring for, Netflix upgraded its App Store application to allow it to stream movies and TV shows for subscribers.
While Redbox might be doing bang-up business with their 24,000 DVD rental kiosks around the country, the company knows how quickly you can go from the front of the pack to the rear (just ask Blockbuster). So in an attempt to compete with online rental and streaming service Netflix, Redbox’s president says it’s hatching a plan to expand its market to online users.