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Posts Tagged ‘Netflix’

THIS JUST IN: ‘Binge Viewing’ Is Now a Thing

THIS JUST IN 2Whelp, I told you it would be whenever we felt like it.

And this topic just belongs underneath that banner rippling in the wind. At first, the genius minds that brought us Netflix kicked Blockbuster smooth out of commission and the 21st century.

And now, they may have created a new disease-ish stigma called “Binge Viewing.”

Never heard of it? Apparently, this is going to be known as that weekend when you have nothing planned but watching your toenails grow, so you check out that TV series collecting dust in your shiny DVR.

You crack open the popcorn, get in your sweats and watch TV for 12 hours straight. Oh, it’s real…

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American Express and TripAdvisor Want to Keep Your User Reviews Honest

I'm dreaming of more money.

Oh yeah, she’s a member.

Online reviews are important. Online reviews are completely unreliable. Today is Wednesday.

Here’s one more undeniable fact: American Express has teamed up with TripAdvisor in a noble attempt to keep user reviews as honest as they can possibly be. The project might not be quite as revolutionary as it sounds, though.

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How Netflix Changed the World One User Experience at a Time

The public loves Netflix. We just do. But it wasn’t always that way.

Remember in 2011 when Netflix raised prices and then announced it had splintered its streaming video services and DVD mail service into a company called Quickster? Well, the public went crazy, and ran from the brand like the last humans in a zombie movie.

Netflix, however, listened and made swift and dramatic decisions to keep all of the services under the recognizable Netflix name. Then the company launched sincere and formidable efforts to regain customers that had fled and to entice new ones to join. It worked. Today, Netflix isn’t only enjoying continued success, but has become the Robin Hood of television viewers, allowing budget-minded consumers to thwart the rich, powerful and predatory monopolies such as Time Warner Cable that treated their customers like piñatas full of cash.

Netflix understands that the public no longer consumes television the way it did only years ago. Television providers and networks made fortunes by treating all of their customers as if they were the same, and gave them little option other than buying the same bundle of visual junk that contained channels no one with a brain would want to watch. But we did. We had to. Time Warner Cable took its customers for granted, and that is something the public doesn’t forget.

Then streaming came along, and Netflix right there with it, offering consumers the type of freedom Braveheart talked about. Instead of telling us to take a day off of work and wait for a representative to arrive between 12 and 5pm, Netflix wanted to know if we’d seen this quirky new indie film much like the last one we enjoyed. It was almost as if Netflix knew what we wanted and didn’t want, because it did. And that’s what Netflix learned from Quickster.

The world isn’t taken over en masse. It’s won one user experience at a time.

This Year’s Emmy Nominations Reflect The Incredible Changes Happening In Television

Any chance we have to ooh and ahh at our favorite celebs and over our favorite entertainments is welcome, particularly as we recover from the cavalcade of distressing news we got this week. Enter the Emmy award nominations.

But these noms should also inspire some amount of awe for putting on display the tremendous shifts happening on the boob tube.

First, we have the talk of the town: Netflix. The one-time snail mail DVD service (and Qwikster… remember that?) has made history with a best drama nomination for its original series House of Cards. In fact, it earned a total of nine nominations, including recognition for acting. It helps when you’ve got Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright in the cast. The fact that a Netflix series can attract that kind of talent speaks to the depth of broadcast entertainment and the willingness out there to try something new.

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New Yorkers Go Bananas for ‘Arrested Development’ Promo

Clearly, the promoters of the soon-to-be-revived cult classic “Arrested Development” did not “make a huge mistake” when they organized yesterday’s NYC giveaway of “Bluth’s Bananas”, a frozen treat featured on the show.

Diehard fans waited as long as 30 minutes in lines that stretched nearly two blocks for a chance to get their own chocolate-dipped frozen bananas from the authentic-looking replica of the Bluth family’s stand.

“I am such a major fan,” 21-year-old Sharah Stanley told the New York Daily News as she waited in line. “When I found out it was going to be here, I raced up. I hope the line doesn’t take too long because I’m on my lunch break.”

Stanley is not alone in waiting on bated breath for new episodes of her beloved show. Arrested Development, which originally ran from 2003 to 2006, will be reborn with a new season scheduled to be released by Netflix on May 26.

Hollywood’s Wary Embrace of Big Data

In recent years the movie business has used social data to connect with audiences and stepped up its reliance on quantitative data to forecast box office revenues. However, if data represented a person, that individual may get a seat at L.A.’s trendiest restaurant, but would still be seated in the back room. That was the gist of a Tribeca Film Festival Industry Talks panel on Tuesday in New York.

“There are three countervailing forces at play that we need to balance, namely the artistic creative side, technological advances and commercial considerations”, said Jason Kassin, co-founder and CEO of Film Track, a rights management company.

“Navigating the world with data points is different than it was five years ago”, added Eugene Hernandez, Film Society of Lincoln Center‘s director of digital strategy. The biggest change is the use of sentiment analysis to monitor audience reactions, though the benefits appear mixed:

  • Sentiment-based date is broadly used: “Big data has become socialized”, said Bill Livek, vice chairman and CEO of entertainment measurement company Rentrak. Their customers include not only big studios, but also independent studios and distributors across the country.
  • Social media monitoring yields massive, but imprecise data: Sentiment analysis measures movie reviews, ratings and audience comments. As Stacy Spikes, CEO and co-founder of theatrical subscription service MoviePass noted, “Going to the movies now is a communal experience”. Nevertheless, social media data isn’t projectable, the panelists cautioned.
  • Sentiment analysis can point to the right direction, according to Christina Warren, Mashable’s senior tech analyst. “But since monitoring is mostly done by machine, it’s best to use the tool to help target audiences and markets”, she explained. Livek concurred, adding, “A social media database can drive certain activities, but not content creation.”

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SEC Issues New Social Media Rules for CEOs

Remember when the SEC threatened to put the smack down on Netflix CEO Reed Hastings for revealing in a Facebook post that his company had achieved a record one billion hours of video streamed in a single month? The organization claimed that he was revealing confidential business info in order to bump up his company’s stock prices, but they’re totally cool with it now.

The organization laid out some new guidelines for CEOs who want to be more active on social media (a course strongly recommended by Leslie-Gaines Ross of Weber Shandwick).

There’s nothing too crazy here — just a realization that the rules regarding business disclosures need to take a step into the 21st century.

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Netflix Finally Proposes to Facebook

After a long and sometimes troubled courtship, two of the biggest names in media finally agreed upon a domestic partnership: Netflix and Facebook will join forces to let all of your “friends” who also have streaming accounts know exactly what you’ve watched in the past and what you’re watching at any given moment.

We see this as a bigger deal for Netflix than Facebook, since the world’s largest social network is a perfect promotional venue for the world’s largest members-only streaming service (despite the fact that all of the “sharing” will take place on the Netflix site itself). And while we have no doubt that this announcement amounts to a PR win for Netflix, we do see some potential problems emerging:

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PopSecret Woos the Netflix Crowd With Social Engagement App

What does a brand do when its competitor has a lock on its biggest market? PopSecret decided to use social media to work its way around the problem. Almost every major movie theater around the country serves Orville Redenbacher’s popcorn, so PopSecret is wooing the Netflix crowd via social engagement with the “Pop Over” movie night app, created by Deutsch LA.

Here’s the deal: users download the Facebook-equipped app, choose a movie and one of several themes (say “This is ladies’ night” and anything with Ryan Gosling), then organize the “event” by time, location and number of attendees (aka available Facebook friends). Everyone on the invite list then RSVPs and lets the crowd know what sort of snacks they’re planning to bring over. Of course, PopSecret hopes that quite a few fans will choose its own product as the snack in question…

The brand made some changes to the app since announcing it last year. We get the idea–but will it be enough to to land those kernels in microwaves across the country?

Pope Benedict Resigns, Concedes Twitter Defeat to Justin Bieber

Pope Benedict XVIWe’d like to take a moment this Monday morning to weigh in on the story that’s dominated everyone’s news feed: Pope Benedict XVI, the man who showed the world that the old school still rules new media by winning Twitter without sending a single message, announced his plans to resign effective February 28th.

Why is everyone freaking out? Well, he’s the first Pope to step down on his own accord in six centuries, citing his “advanced age” and the limitations of this mortal coil. He has also effectively declared Justin Bieber the once and future king of Twitter after giving him a serious run for his money.

The obvious questions: Who will replace him (the gambling has already begun)? More importantly, what will happen to his Twitter feed, his 1.5 million followers and his bland messages about God’s endless love?

We’d like to mourn the tweets that will never be: How will we know whether Benedict will ever grow comfortable with the modern world? Will he ever decide that the Catholic church just needs to accept same-sex marriage and get over it? Does he agree with our assessment of Netflix‘s House of Cards as “Just OK–kind of like Homeland without the terrorists or The Wire without the drug dealers?” We demand validation!

At any rate, we hope Benedict enjoys life out of the social media spotlight–and that he finally gets revenge on that demonic seagull.

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