Netflix shares jump as outfit adds 10 million subscribers in 2012
Streaming service might want to Friend you on Facebook... bitch
Netflix watched its stock blow up - spiking 35 per cent - on Wall Street on Wednesday after the company reported better-than-expected profit in the company's fourth quarter and a climb in global subscribers to 33 million.
The outfit's outspoken boss Reed Hastings also took the opportunity to have a dig at the competition in the domestic US market by saying that Netflix's top 100 TV shows and top 100 movies outshone those of its rivals and that there was better availability of content on the service.
Here in the UK, Netflix is still ramping up its content, after the video-streaming outfit opened for business in Blighty early last year.
Hastings, whose company is investing in original content production, said in a letter to shareholders:
Like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu are moving towards increasing exclusives and original series, and over time as a group we are likely to compete more like Showtime and HBO do today.
In the UK this is already the case: Sky NOW TV, LOVEFiLM, and Netflix have very limited overlapping content. The same holds true in the Nordics among the various services. In such a world, our originals will be a great asset.
Internationally, the firm said it added 6 million subscribers in the three months ended 31 December 2012.
Year-on-year, Netflix has seen its subscriber base rise by about 10 million users across the markets it operates in.
While the Los Gatos-based company is spending more and more on developing its online streaming service, its legacy DVD-by-post business - which it pioneered in the US and was later copied by now Amazon-owned LOVEFiLM in Britain - continued to surprise with customer inertia leading to the biz retaining healthy margins for Netflix.
Stateside DVD memberships declined less than anticipated during the quarter to 8.2 million, the company said. That fall (380,000 quit the service) has in fact slowed since Netflix introduced a DVD-only plan to its punters.
Netflix saw shares jump 35 per cent in after-hours trading to $139.80, after reporting global revenue of $945m for the quarter and net income of $8m.
Hastings also hinted in his missive to shareholders that he wanted to personalise Netflix even more for its users via a tie-in with Facebook - which the CEO has a stake in.
Earlier this year, the Video Privacy Protection Act, or VPPA, was modernised and now allows US members to share what they are watching on Netflix with their friends on an ongoing basis. Our members will now be able to choose to have 'friends rows' within the Netflix user interface for friends they have agreed to share viewing with.
Our default settings will not auto-post to Facebook timeline, but members will be able to post to Facebook specific titles they are passionate about. We are excited to roll these features out in the US in the next few months.
Such a feature could of course play very nice with Facebook's Graph Search, which is currently in beta but will inevitably be wrapped in ad goo down the line as that function is deployed to the network's 1-billion-strong userbase. ®
We are likely to compete more like Showtime and HBO do today.
Do they honestly think this will work?
A couple of years ago, I dumped the use of Torrent etc as I could get the content I wanted from 1 legitimate source at a very competitive subscription cost. If you honest believe I would also be willing to splash out on multiple subscriptions, you are fucker bonkers (He says as he dusts off the Torrent client!).
You can use unblock-us.com to get access to the US & Canadian stuff, which is a lot better. If my wife wasn't soap addicted, I've have gotten rid of Sky months ago.
I've cut the cord
In October last year I cancelled by VM TV contract but have kept the broadband and landline. As I was on an XL contract this has saved me a hefty chunk of cash each month. Yes, I miss the sport, my sons miss all the Discovery / Nat Geo channels and my daughter the music but you soon get used to Freeview and running Netflix through a PS3.
Admittedly, there is an awful lot of rubbish on there but there is more than enough quality to justify £6 a month for great quality streaming. However, I'd be happy to pay more for extra / more up to date content. I know its early days but the days of watching shows to a set schedule is coming to an end. Being able to legally stream what you want, when you want at a reasonable price is the future.