New York (CNN Business)”Friends” will be there for you on Netflix through 2019, but the minor internet meltdown over a rumor that the show was leaving goes to the heart of the biggest question about Netflix’s short-term future: What happens if and when its competitors pull their most popular content from Netflix to make it exclusive to their own streaming services?
One show might not make a difference, but Disney and WarnerMedia, both of which are launching streaming services next year, hold the key to a huge trove of content that lives on Netflix. WarnerMedia’s “Gilmore Girls” and “The West Wing” and Disney’s “Grey’s Anatomy,” for instance, all had big fanbases when they lived on their respective networks and are now big draws for Netflix.
Orange Is the New Black’s sentence is up. Netflix announced this week that the show’s seventh season, hitting the streaming service next year, would be its last. After that, it’s dunzo. For many viewers, this is sad news—the inmates of Litchfield have been a part of the conversation for a long time now. But for everyone else, and for the future of TV broadly, it’s a move that’s long overdue
More than one-fifth of young adults who stream shows like Game of Thrones or Stranger Things borrow passwords from people who do not live with them, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll, a finding that suggests media companies are missing out on significant revenue as digital viewership explodes.
Twenty-one percent of streaming viewers ages 18 to 24 said they had accessed at least one digital video service such as Netflix, HBO Now or Hulu by using log-in credentials from someone outside their household at some time. Overall, 12% of adults said they did the same thing.
Even an inexperienced movie director would have said the symbolism was too heavy-handed. When the screening of a Netflix-backed movie started on Thursday night at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, the aspect ratio was wrong, so large parts of the film couldn’t be seen.
The problem was quickly corrected, and the Festival said it was just a simple projection error. But that small mistake took on much greater significance because it involved Netflix.
To fend off Netflix, Time Warner Inc. is taking a page from the streaming-video giant. And it’s turning to a 6-foot-8-inch former basketball player and war refugee to make it work.
Time Warner’s Turner division, home of CNN, TBS and TNT, is planning to tailor online delivery of its channels to individuals’ tastes, tracking preferences like Netflix does before suggesting what subscribers should watch. The company behind Time Warner’s effort is iStreamPlanet, in which it bought a majority stake two years ago for $148 million.
While Netflix remains the giant in the world of over-the-top (OTT) streaming, other services are staking their own claims to the landscape.
According to a new report by comScore, more than half of America’s wi-fi connected homes have at least one OTT streaming service (streaming services that don’t require an additional cable subscription). The dominant service, in a whopping 75 percent of those homes, is Netflix—presumably because no one wanted to miss out on Stranger Things.
We all remembered when MTV famously played the music video “Video Killed the Radio Star” over and over when the service first aired. On air radio remains a mainstay because it is one of the few information and entertainment services one can access and enjoy while working, driving or working. However, video streaming does have the potential to kill TV services for several reasons. This is why stations like HBO are changing and tech companies from YouTube to Amazon are altering how they do business.
Content You Can’t Find Anywhere Else
YouTube, Amazon and Netflix have free content available on demand while other movies and shows require you to pay per episode. They try to differentiate themselves by not offering the same catalog of movies and TV shows.
Partially in response to licensing rights that were a legal mess to get approved when Amazon and Netflix tried to license American TV shows abroad, they started curating their own content and creating their own shows. For example, you can only find the modern remake of “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Fuller House” on Netflix while “Transparent” is only on Amazon Prime.
Last week, Apple finally revealed its grand plan to conquer your TV: a new Apple TV app that brings all your shows and movies together in one place and serves you recommendations.
The idea makes sense. Apple thinks apps are the future of TV, and that eventually you will have separate subscriptions to Netflix, HBO, Showtime, Hulu, and so on — maybe you already do.
In that world, it will be annoying to have to navigate a bunch of different interfaces and menus. So Apple will do it for you with a new app called TV, which not only works on your Apple TV, but also on your iPhone or iPad.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings thinks the state of film is a “real tragedy” and that movie theaters are “strangling the movie business,” he said at The New Yorker’s Tech Fest on Friday.
Netflix has long faced off against the giants of the movie theater business, who have largely refused to show Netflix’s original films in theaters because of Netflix’s commitment to making them available to stream on the same day they appear on the big screen.
That could be changing — but only a little bit.
Watching Netflix using Comcast is about to get a little easier.
The longtime rivals recently confirmed that Comcast’s X1 interactive television box will offer Netflix, obviating the need for a smart TV or third-party device like a Roku or Chromecast. The two companies said little more than the combination arrives “later this year,” and it remains to be seen whether you’ll pay a separate fee to use Netflix. The answer almost certainly is yes. The bigger question is whether you’ll also need Comcast Internet service to watch Netflix over X1—and, if so, whether watching Netflix will eat into your Internet data plan.