Tag Archive for ‘Netflix’

Netflix No Longer Supports AirPlay ➝

From a Netflix spokesperson, as published by MacRumors:

We want to make sure our members have a great Netflix experience on any device they use. With AirPlay support rolling out to third-party devices, there isn’t a way for us to distinguish between devices (what is an Apple TV vs. what isn’t) or certify these experiences. Therefore, we have decided to discontinue Netflix AirPlay support to ensure our standard of quality for viewing is being met. Members can continue to access Netflix on the built-in app across Apple TV and other devices.

Translation: AirPlay coming to non-Apple devices makes it difficult for us to prevent piracy. At least that’s my interpretation.

But you can just add this to the list of reasons I’m happy that I canceled Netflix a couple years ago — alongside their decision to not be included in the TV app and their decision to remove in-app subscription purchases from their iOS and Apple TV apps.

Netflix No Longer Offering in-App Subscriptions on iOS Devices ➝

I know that Netflix is big enough to pull this off, but between this and not supporting Apple’s TV app, I just can’t see myself signing up for Netflix again.

T-Mobile Bundles Netflix With Family Plans ➝

Speaking of bundled services, on Wednesday, T-Mobile announced that their family plans will now include a free Netflix subscription. This seems like a great deal. But I’m starting to grow leery of cellular companies slowly rebuilding the old “triple-play” bundles that cable companies have offered for the past fifteen years. There’s more reason to be optimistic this time around, though. There’s only a handful of cellular networks available, but at least they aren’t protected monopolies with literally zero competitors like the cable companies are in most markets.

Disney to End Netflix Deal and Launch Its Own Streaming Services ➝

Todd Spangler, reporting for Variety:

Disney is ending its distribution agreement with Netflix for new movie releases, while it’s also buying majority ownership of BAMTech — the streaming-video company founded by Major League Baseball — in a $1.58 billion deal.

The moves set a clear course for the media giant to launch Netflix-style direct-to-consumer internet services from ESPN and Disney. Disney said will end its distribution agreement with Netflix for subscription streaming of new movie releases, beginning with the 2019 theatrical slate.

I’m certain Netflix customers aren’t happy about the service losing a major content provider, but I think this is the right move for Disney. They own the rights to a massive library filled with high quality video content — they’d be foolish for not building their own streaming service. It’s kind of amazing that they hadn’t built one already.

(Via Nick Heer.)

Netflix Is Testing a Button for Skipping the Opening Credits ➝

Casey Newton, writing for The Verge:

Netflix is testing a button that lets you skip the opening credits on some television shows, the company said. This week some Twitter users spotted a “skip intro” button that appears when you hover over the title sequence for shows including Netflix originals House of Cards and Iron Fist, and Mad Men and The Office (third-party shows). The button works both with shows that begin with the title sequence and those that include one after a cold open. […]

Skipping the opening credits is a long-standing request of many Netflix users, who are prone to binge-watching shows and would rather not watch the House of Cards smooth jazz time lapse eight times in a single day. And if episodes are auto-playing for you, in many cases the opening sequence will be skipped automatically.

This is an incredible feature that I expect to become table stakes amongst streaming video services. In the age of on-demand video playback, show intros are irrelevant past the first episode. But I’d like to see Netflix take this a step further by letting you skip the previews and recaps that were originally designed to bookend commercial breaks. They’re irritating and unnecessary.

Netflix Announces Offline Viewing ➝

Netflix:

Netflix members worldwide can now download in addition to stream great series and films at no extra cost.

While many members enjoy watching Netflix at home, we’ve often heard they also want to continue their Stranger Things binge while on airplanes and other places where Internet is expensive or limited. Just click the download button on the details page for a film or TV series and you can watch it later without an internet connection.

I wonder how long these videos are available once you go offline. Are they watchable indefinitely or does the app have to hit Netflix’s servers once a month? If not, could you take a bunch of videos offline, cancel your subscription, and continue to watch them as long as the app isn’t able to check with the server?

Canceling Netflix

I’ve been a cord cutter for my entire adult life. When I moved into an apartment of my own, at the age of 18, I signed up for cable internet from Time Warner. They tried to up-sell me into one of their bundled deals, but I didn’t want any part of it. I didn’t need anything more than internet access.

At the time — 2006 — I was using a cell phone on my mother’s plan and most of my media viewing was coming from alternative means. Whether it be the discs that Netflix sent me in the mail, video podcasts, TV and movies from the iTunes Store, or video files acquired from a certain pirate-themed website. I didn’t have any reason to pay for cable.

As time has passed, my interest in acquiring content nefariously has all but disappeared. There isn’t much of a point to it anymore. Most of the major content creators have their movies and TV shows available online in an easy to obtain and inexpensive form. It’s taken a long time to get here, but I think the film and TV industry are finally to a point where they can compete with piracy.

Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, and numerous offerings from just about every provider has made cord cutting an easy decision for a lot of families. It’s usually far less expensive than a cable package and can be consumed on any device you can think of — with a far better interface, to boot. And the best part is, each person can pick and choose which services are best for them.

What’s interesting about that last point is, just about every person I know has a Netflix account — or at the very least, access to one. As the first major player in the subscription streaming video market, Netflix is the default choice for most cord cutters and those even flirting with the idea. The service has mass appeal because of its savvy content dealings and name recognition. And in recent years, they’ve kept subscribers loyal by producing their own shows which are available exclusively on their service.

But I’m here to tell you that I’ve done the unthinkable. Last week, I canceled my Netflix subscription.

There wasn’t any one thing in particular that pushed me to make this decision. The biggest of the bunch, though, is that it had been several weeks since I even launched the app on my Apple TV. Netflix is a wonderful service with plenty of great content, but lately I’ve spent all of my time watching Hulu, YouTube, and my collection of archived DVDs in my Mac mini’s iTunes Library.

I don’t need Netflix anymore because there isn’t anything on the service that’s grabbing my attention the way that Regular Show and Top Chef are on Hulu; Giant Bomb and LinusTechTips are on YouTube; or Boy Meets World is in my iTunes Library. I’d rather watch those than anything Netflix has available.

It’s also worth noting that I was going to be charged for my next month of service — the day after I canceled, coincidentally — at the new $9.99 rate. I had been grandfathered into the old $7.99 rate, but September was the last month they would be honoring the lower price. I can’t say this had any bearing on my decision, though, because I had already decided to cancel when I found out about it.

Don’t get me wrong, this is unlikely to be the end of Netflix for me. Hulu and YouTube have been fantastic lately, but all streaming services grow stale eventually. Once I’ve exhausted the options available from my current services, I’ll probably come back to Netflix. When will that be? I don’t know. But in the mean time, I’ll be more than happy to have an extra $10 in my pocket at the end of each month.

On the Possibility of Apple Buying Netflix ➝

John Gruber:

I’m not saying it could never happen or would certainly be a bad idea, but Apple’s services are built to take advantage of its hardware. Netflix is the opposite — it’s a service designed to be available on any device with a screen. With iTunes, Apple already has a library of movies and TV shows. If Apple wants to produce original content, they could start their own production company for a tiny fraction of Netflix’s $42 billion market cap. A fraction.

I don’t think it would be a good idea for Apple to buy Netflix, and not just because of the bad cultural fit. Apple doesn’t typically acquire the biggest player in the market. They usually go after smaller companies with strong, lean teams and good technology. Companies that could benefit from the exposure of Apple’s marketing.

Netflix is already too large to acquire and retains the baggage of their legacy DVD-by-mail service. As Gruber points out, it would become a huge distraction for Apple — pulling executives attention away from existing product lines. But they’re one of the few options in the market — Hulu, YouTube, and Amazon Instant Video being the other three.

I think, if Apple was to buy their way into this business, they’d go after a smaller company that most of us haven’t even heard of. Some startup with great technology, but very few content deals. But if nothing like this exists, they’re far more likely to roll their own service than acquire a big name like Netflix.