Netflix


'Netflix' Articles

'Stranger Things' Game Update and Snapchat AR Experience Mark Season 2 Debut on Netflix

Stranger Things: The Game received a feature update on Friday, coinciding with the hit TV series' season two debut on Netflix. Version 1.0.252 of the free retro-style sci-fi adventure game brings a new playable character to the Arcade and a brand new Hawkins High School dungeon. Elsewhere, there are new quests to be gained from the Florist and the Hawk Theater Attendant, while players have another opportunity to get a 100 percent score thanks to a slew of new collectibles. In the words of the game's official blurb: Things are stranger than ever in the town of Hawkins. Mike and the gang have new neighbors. Visit the Arcade to meet the new kid. Explore the Upside Down Gates that have opened around town. Solve the all-new throwback adventure in Hawkins High School.Continuing the Stranger Things 2 theme, Snapchat today launched a new World Lens portal that takes users into an Upside Down version of Joyce Bryers' living room through an augmented reality doorway. The room features several nods to the first season of Stranger Things, including fairy lights, alphabet graffiti, and a gaping hole in the living room wall. Interactive easter eggs and surprises scattered around the AR environment can also be discovered by tapping on objects. To open the Upside Down lens in Snapchat, activate rear camera mode, tap the screen, and select the first sponsored effect in the list at the bottom of the interface. The lens can also be unlocked using Shazam in the Snapchat app when the Stranger Things them tune plays. Two additional Stranger Things lenses are set to debut later

Netflix Prices Set to Increase for U.K. Subscribers From November

Following yesterday's announcement of price hikes in the U.S., Netflix has now confirmed that some U.K. subscribers can also expect to pay more for the video streaming service going forward. Those on the Basic tier, costing £6 a month, won't see a price increase. However, that's where the good news ends, because anyone on the Standard tier, which includes shows in HD and the ability to watch on two screens simultaneously, will see their monthly bill rise from £7.50 per month to £8. Meanwhile, users who pay for 4K HDR privileges and the ability to watch on four screens at once are set to pay £10, up from £9. The cost increases will come into effect beginning November. Netflix said it will inform existing subscribers of the price hikes on October 19. Germany and France are among the other European countries where prices will rise, while subscriptions were tweaked in Canada, Latin America and some Nordic countries earlier this year. Netflix is set to debut the second series of its hit original series Stranger Things on October 27. This week, the company also released an official Stranger Things mobile game, which iPhone and iPad users can download from the App Store for free. (Via What Hi-Fi.)

Netflix Increasing Standard $9.99/Month Plan to $10.99/Month for U.S. Users This November

Over a year after grandfathered subscribers on Netflix's original $7.99/month plan were introduced to the new $9.99/month pricing, Mashable reports that the standard streaming plan will be increasing by $1 starting for U.S. subscribers in November. This means that those who now pay $9.99/month to stream on two screens at once (the standard tier) will be paying $10.99/month soon. The top tier option, which provides streaming on four screens at once and allows access to Ultra HD videos, is also increasing from $11.99/month to $13.99/month. The service's basic plan is staying at $7.99/month, letting users stream only in standard definition on one screen at a time. The exact time that the new prices will show up will vary depending on each subscriber's billing cycle, but starting on October 19 Netflix will send out emails with "at least" 30 days of notice ahead of the bump in price. Regarding the changes, Netflix provided the following statement: "From time to time, Netflix plans and pricing are adjusted as we add more exclusive TV shows and movies, introduce new product features and improve the overall Netflix experience to help members find something great to watch even faster." For the last price change, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings wrote a letter to company investors about an "unexpected" loss of subscribers following the price hike from $7.99 to $9.99. At the time, Hastings said that, "Whatever the price is for something, people don’t like for it to go up," while still claiming that the new price tiers were "working great" for new members who were not

Netflix's 'Stranger Things: The Game' Just Debuted on the App Store for Free

The second season of Stranger Things doesn't hit TV screens for another few weeks yet, but fans of the Netflix original can stoke their excitement in the meantime by downloading the official new iOS game, released today on the App Store. Like the popular TV series, Stranger Things: The Game not only evokes authentic 80s nostalgia in its thematics, but also with its use of retro sounds, graphics, and gameplay, all mixed into a classic top-down shooter style. The action adventure includes seven playable characters each with unique abilities to help players solve puzzles, while locations from the hit show that appear in the game include Mirkwood Forest, Hawkins Lab, and Jim Hopper's home. There are Eggos and Gnomes to find, two unforgiving difficulty modes, a never-before-seen TV trailer to unlock, and a content update for the game that's expected to drop on October 27, to coincide with the Stranger Things season two debut on Netflix.  According to TouchArcade, the game offers over 10 hours of gameplay, with six dungeons to explore and over 30 quests, and there are no in-app purchases to speak of, so this is no quick money grab. Stranger Things: The Game is a free download for iPhone and iPad available now on the App

T-Mobile ONE Family Plans Will Include Free Netflix Subscriptions Starting September 12

T-Mobile today announced that its T-Mobile ONE family plans will come with free Netflix subscriptions beginning September 12, allowing plan members to stream Netflix content at no additional monthly charge. To qualify, users will need two or more paid voice lines on a T-Mobile ONE family plan, and if customers already pay for a Netflix subscription, the un-carrier will cover the cost of the standard price: "meaning you’ll save nearly $120 every year." This means that users who take advantage of the offer will get Netflix's $9.99/month, 2-screen subscription plan at no additional cost. The company is calling the new addition "Netflix On Us," and described it as a way for T-Mobile to tackle "one of the biggest customer pain points" in mobile networking contracts, which is bigger bundles at increased prices. T-Mobile said that while other carrier bundles are about including some features users want and some they don't, with the end goal of increased monthly prices, Netflix On Us adds a service that most T-Mobile customers already use at no extra cost. “The future of mobile entertainment is not about bolting a satellite dish to the side of your house or resuscitating faded 90s dotcoms. The future is mobile, over-the-top and unlimited,” said John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile. “While the carriers spend billions on their franken-strategies to cobble together carrier–cable–content mashups, the Un-carrier just leapfrogged them all by partnering with the best and giving it to customers at no extra charge. Because that’s what we always do. Give more to

Netflix to Spend $7 Billion on Original Programming Next Year

Hot on the heels of news that Apple has set aside $1 billion for original TV programming over the next year, Netflix revealed on Wednesday that it will spend seven times that amount in 2018. In a new interview with Variety, Netflix's chief content officer Ted Sarandos quoted the number of $7 billion, which is up from more than $6 billion in 2017 and $5 billion in 2016. The vast majority of Netflix's budget is spent on licensed content, but the company is working towards balancing that out with more in-house content over the next couple of years, Sarandos said. Some analysts and industry insiders are skeptical of the company's spending habits, arguing its stock is overinflated (it's soared to more than $170 a share, up from around $50 in early 2014, adjusted for a 2015 stock split). "We're not spending money we don't have," Sarandos counters. "We're spending revenue." The company reports its debt load is $4.8 billion, with an additional $15.7 billion in long-term content commitments with studios. "We have one of the low debt levels in the industry," insists Sarandos.Using its budget, Netflix has produced some successful regional TV series such as the German show "Dark". The company hopes to increase that number to up to 100 series in the next couple of years. Netflix is also continuing to push into reality TV programming, with 50 unscripted shows coming to the streaming service next year. Feature films are already on the company's radar, with movies such as War Machine and Sandy Wexler having already debuted, and Bright starring Will Smith set for release in December.

Disney to Pull Movies From Netflix, Launch New Streaming Services

Disney plans to pull all of its movies from Netflix as it prepares to launch its own streaming services, the company said in its latest earnings report (via CNBC.) Starting in early 2018, Disney will launch an ESPN video streaming service that will feature approximately 10,000 MLB, NHL, MLS, collegiate, and tennis sporting events every year. Then, in 2019, Disney will launch a Disney-branded direct-to-consumer streaming service that offers Disney content. It's not clear when Disney plans to remove its content from Netflix, but in 2012, the two companies inked a deal that saw Netflix getting exclusive access to Disney, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and Pixar films. Currently, there are dozens of Disney movies available on Netflix, like The Chronicles of Narnia, Moana, Zootopia, Finding Dory, The Jungle Book, Pirates of the Caribbean, and more. The deal, though initiated in 2012, didn't fully go into effect until 2016, so Netflix has only had access to a wide range of Disney content for under a year. With its huge range of content, Disney stands to become a major competitor to existing streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, and for Apple, this essentially means that if the company ever does manage to launch a streaming service, it may not be able to include any Disney

China to Get Netflix Originals in Content Deal With Local Streaming Service

Netflix has signed a licensing deal with a Beijing-based video platform in order to avoid regulatory restrictions and get its content into China's huge entertainment market (via The Hollywood Reporter). The streaming giant announced the news of its content agreement with iQiyi on Tuesday at the APOS industry conference in Bali, Indonesia. "China is an important market for obvious reasons; it's also a challenging market for obvious reasons," said Robert Roy, Netflix's vice president of content acquisition. "Right now what we will do is look to license content into China. We closed a deal with iQiyi, which is exciting."  "For us, it does a couple of things," Roy added. "It gets our content distribution into the territory and builds awareness of the Netflix brand and Netflix content."A subsidiary of Chinese giant Baidu, iQiyi is currently switching from an advertising-supported streaming service to a subscription model in the same vein as Netflix. The subsidiary reportedly commands the largest customer base and content portfolio in China, however it has been looking to broaden its appeal as rivals like Tencent Video and Youku Tudou compete for viewers in the country's market. It is understood that Netflix will make some of its upcoming original content available on iQiyi at the same time as it appears in other Netflix-serving countries, but further details on which shows would be included in the deal were not forthcoming. Both Amazon and Netflix have been unable to enter China's market because of regulatory hurdles, although Netflix's House of Cards briefly

Netflix Apps Will Today Begin Ditching Star-Based Rating System for Thumbs

Netflix has announced that users will today begin noticing its new thumbs-up and thumbs-down rating system as it appears across various apps and on desktop computers, following a reveal earlier in March that the streaming company was planning to ditch its 5-star rating system. In the previous system, users had to choose between 1 and 5 stars to determine how much they liked a show, and using that data Netflix displayed the same information back at them for titles they have yet to watch. So for a new TV show, Netflix might suggest it as a 4-star title, meaning it's something the user should enjoy. This system confused many users over the years, who believed that the stars were a community aggregate of a show's overall quality, not a personal recommendation system tailored for each user. That'll begin changing today with thumbs, which will ask each user to decide simply whether they want to give a TV show or movie they've watched a thumbs-up or thumbs-down, which Netflix compares to dating apps like Tinder in a new promotional video also debuting today. We are retiring our five-star rating system and replacing it with a simpler and more intuitive thumbs-up and thumbs-down. A thumbs-up tells Netflix that you like something and want to see similar suggestions. A thumbs-down lets us know you aren’t interested in watching that title and we should stop suggesting it to you. You can still search for it, but we’ve heard what you were trying to tell us -- you aren’t a fan -- and it will no longer show up on your homepage. In either case, using thumbs helps us learn

Netflix to Replace Star Ratings With Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down

Netflix announced yesterday that it will replace star-based user reviews in its content library with binary thumbs up and thumbs down ratings over the coming weeks. Previous star ratings given by users will be used to personalize their Netflix profiles, but the ability to rate a TV series or movie by awarding stars is set to disappear altogether, according to Variety. Image via Variety Netflix VP of Product Todd Yellin told journalists on Thursday during a press briefing at the company’s headquarters in Los Gatos, Calif., that the company had tested the new thumbs up and down ratings with hundred of thousands of members in 2016. "We are addicted to the methodology of A/B testing," Yellin said. The result was that thumbs got 200% more ratings than the traditional star-rating feature.According to Netflix, at one point subscribers had awarded over 10 billion 5-star ratings and more than half of all members had rated more than 50 titles. However, the company eventually concluded that star ratings had become less relevant, with some users giving documentaries 5 stars and silly movies just 3 stars, even though they would watch the silly movies more often than the highly rated documentaries. "We made ratings less important because the implicit signal of your behavior is more important," Yellin told journalists. In addition to the binary rating scheme, Netflix is also bringing a new percent-match feature to its interface that shows how good a match any given show or movie is for an individual subscriber. If a movie or TV show fits very closely with a user's taste, it

Netflix Planning to Stream Mobile HDR Content Ahead of 'iPhone 8'

Netflix is planning to offer HDR quality mobile content for viewing on supporting devices because of an increasing mobile subscriber base and the company's belief that the format will eventually be universally adopted on mobile platforms. The comments were made yesterday by Netflix executive Neil Hunt during a briefing with journalists, as part of a two-day event at Dolby Laboratories and Netflix headquarters in San Francisco. Hunt made the remarks as the two companies prepare to launch new Netflix series Iron Fist, which is being shot natively in HDR. HDR stands for high dynamic range, meaning a display supporting the standard is capable of reproducing a wider and richer range of colors, brighter whites, and deeper blacks. HDR content is already available on Netflix and Amazon Video, but only for streaming to televisions that support the standard. However, Hunt and Dolby executives told The Verge that HDR is about to make the leap from big-screen to mobile, with Netflix aiming to be at the forefront of a global transition. It's been about a year since Netflix became available globally — with the exception of a few markets, including China, and since then it has seen mobile usage soar. In established markets like the US and Canada, most Netflix watching still happens on TVs, Hunt said; but in some Asian countries, especially India, "mobile screens are the majority consumption device."Both Netflix and Amazon are said to be gearing up to stream HDR content on mobile devices, possibly as early as April this year, although a specific date from either company has

Amazon and Netflix Celebrate First Oscar Wins For Streaming Services

Amazon and Netflix yesterday collected the first Academy Awards for streaming services, sharing four gold statuettes between them at this year's Oscars. Amazon Studios bagged a Best Actor trophy for Casey Affleck's portrayal of a grieving man in "Manchester by the Sea". Bought by Amazon for $10 million at the Sundance film festival, the movie also won Best Original Screenplay. It has earned $46.8 million at domestic theaters, and is set to appear later this year on Amazon's Prime Video service. Scene from "Manchester by the Sea", courtesy K Period Media Amazon also gained another accolade for Best Foreign Language Film with Iranian drama "The Salesman," which the company distributed in the United States and Canada. Netflix won Best Documentary in the short-subject category for 40-minute film "The White Helmets", which followed volunteer rescue workers in war-torn Syria. The Netflix Original was directed by Orlando von Einsiedel. According to one former Wall Street analyst, Apple's first Academy Award is not too far away either. Venture capitalist and tech ponderer Gene Munster predicted on Friday that Apple will win an Oscar in five years. "We think Apple will win an Oscar in the next five years," Munster wrote in a research note issued by his company, Loup Ventures. "That's how long it will take for Apple to scale its original content spend from less than $200 million today to $5-7 billion." According to Munster, Apple's moves towards making original content to drive user engagement with its ecosystem will turn increasingly towards movies and TV

Netflix Beats Subscription Rate Predictions By One Third As Shares Reach All-Time High

Netflix added over a third more subscribers than expected in the last quarter of 2016, the streaming video service revealed yesterday. According to its latest Q4 letter to shareholders, Netflix signed up 7.1 million new subscribers worldwide, almost two million more than analysts expected, despite price raises during the quarter. The company put the boost down to the success of original shows like season 3 of Black Mirror and British drama The Crown which have garnered strong global followings. Notably, the company said millions of U.S. subscribers had tuned in to watch dubbed and subtitled versions of Brazilian series 3%, making it the first Portuguese-language TV show to travel meaningfully beyond Latin America and Portugal. Internet video is a global phenomenon. Amazon Prime Video expanded recently to match our territory footprint, while YouTube remains far larger than either of us in terms of global video enjoyment minutes. Video consumption is growing on Facebook, and Apple is rumored to be adding video to its music service. ...The BBC has become the first major linear network to announce plans to go binge-first with new seasons, favoring internet over linear viewers. We presume HBO is not far behind the BBC. In short, it’s becoming an internet TV world, which presents both challenges and opportunities for Netflix as we strive to earn screen time. Netflix said it planned to release more than 1,000 hours of original programming this year, up from 600 hours in 2016. It also said it had recently signed a deal with comedian Jerry Seinfeld to stream Comedians in

Netflix Becomes Top Grossing iOS App in the U.S. for the First Time

Netflix yesterday briefly became the number one top-grossing iOS app in the U.S. for the first time, holding at bay the likes of Spotify and Candy Crush Saga for most of Monday. The app also occupied the coveted top spot on iPhone in India, Mexico, and Colombia yesterday, as noted by app tracking company SensorTower, which offered a timeline leading up to the achievement in a blog post. Image via SensorTower. The accomplishment comes approximately one year after Netflix introduced the ability for users to pay the monthly subscription fee as an in-app purchase. Over that time, its weekly net revenue has grown from less than $50,000 to nearly $2.9 million. In November, it was the No. 7 grossing iOS app overall in the U.S. Apple takes a 30 percent cut of all in-app fees, but last month announced it was lowering the amount to 15 percent for subscription-based streaming video apps like Netflix and Hulu. Apple will soon extend the 15 percent rate to all subscription video services that are integrated with the company's upcoming TV app. Last week, Netflix added the ability to download select programs via its mobile apps for offline viewing.

Netflix Introduces Offline Viewing for Popular Shows on its iOS App [Updated]

Netflix this morning announced that offline viewing of its shows is now available to users around the world on the service's mobile app. The launch follows reports from over the summer that offline viewing would be coming to Netflix "by the end of the year." Now, users will be able to click a "download" button next to each episode in preparation for the times they won't be connected to the internet. The company said that many popular shows are already available to download -- including Orange is the New Black and The Crown -- with more coming soon. 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. Any Netflix subscriber will have access to offline downloads, and the update will be available today to both the iOS [Direct Link] and Android versions of the mobile Netflix app. Netflix also tweeted out a video to celebrate the launch of downloading and watching "your favorite stories" while offline. Update: You can check out every show and movie available to download within the Netflix app by tapping the navigation menu in the top left corner, then choosing "Available for Download." Netflix's Help Center has more information as

Netflix Shares Soar on Surprise Third Quarter Subscriptions Boom

Netflix has reported surprisingly strong third quarter results, sending the company's share prices soaring 20 percent in late trade (via Reuters). The streaming content company added over 50 percent more subscribers than expected, owing to original shows like Stranger Things and Narcos drawing significant numbers of new international viewers and retaining U.S. customers despite a price hike. The news led to a share price rise to $119.82 in extended trade from a close of $99.80. The company's performance signaled a distinct turnaround from its previous quarter, which indicated largely disappointing subscription growth. Netflix said it was on course to start collecting yields on its global profits next year, even though it was increasing spending on original programming. Netflix said it had added about 3.2 million subscribers in Q3, far higher than a 2 million average estimate. In the U.S., the company added 370,000 subscribers, also above analysts' estimate of 309,000. Netflix has expanded into more than 130 markets worldwide, including most major countries, except China. It said on Monday it was temporarily dropping plans to launch a service in China in the near term, opting instead to license its shows for "modest" revenue. The company plans to increase spending on original TV shows and movies from last year by $1 billion, for a total of $6 billion earmarked for 2017. Netflix's shares have surged in the past few years, thanks to rapid growth as the company achieved a significant shift in television watching habits. However, stock was down 12.7 percent

Netflix Plans to Fill its Streaming Catalog With 50% Original Content

Netflix is aiming to fill half of its streaming catalog with original programming over the next few years, according to company CFO David Wells (via Variety). The announcement marks a renewed push towards offering original TV shows and movies commissioned by Netflix over stocking licensed content. The streaming catalog is already one third of the way toward reaching the target, according Wells, who said the company was undergoing "a multiyear transition and evolution toward more of our own content". Netflix expects to launch 600 hours of programming in 2016, up from 450 hours in 2015, said content chief Ted Sarandos at the start of the year. The company has projected content spending on a profit/loss basis to rise from $5 billion in 2016 to more than $6 billion in 2017. Wells said the original TV series and movies will continue to be a mix of content owned and produced by Netflix, as well as co-productions and acquisitions. The streaming market is seeing a decreasing cost of production and an increasing number of bidders, making it cheaper to take risks on new programming. "You have supply and demand settling out," Wells continued. "We don't necessarily have to have home runs. We can also live with singles, doubles and triples especially commensurate with their cost." The goal, he said, is to release something that appeals to each individual subscriber, every single month, and on that front "we’ve got a ways to go" across different genres and formats. "The nice thing about the platform is it allows a lot of creative freedom," Wells added, offering the

'Stranger Things' and 'The Get Down' Albums Debut Exclusively on Apple Music

Netflix has released the soundtracks for both its popular sci-fi series Stranger Things, and its new musical drama The Get Down, exclusively on iTunes and Apple Music. There are 36 total songs rounding out the "Volume 1" soundtrack for Stranger Things, and on August 19 a "Volume 2" is expected to launch on Apple's music services as well, with both volumes getting physical CD treatments on September 16 and September 23, respectively (via Consequence of Sound). The music from the Stranger Things soundtrack was created by Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein, members of an Austin-based band called Survive. The two musicians helped craft the feel of the show's score by balancing "a classic tone," without going so far as to make it "'80s cheese." “We discussed having a classic tone and feel to the music for the show but being reserved enough that it wasn’t ’80s cheese, while offering a refreshing quality so that felt modern,” Stein said in a press release. “This was one of the qualities that drew them to our music in the first place. Having a familiarity with classic synths worked, but with an overall forward thinking approach.” Netflix has yet to say when or if the two volume soundtrack will hit other streaming platforms. Apple Music has netted plenty of exclusives over the past few months, but the TV soundtrack for Stranger Things marks an interesting new addition of content for the service's users. Earlier in the week, artist Kyle Lambert detailed his process of creating the poster art for Stranger Things, which involved the use of an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. The Get

Netflix Debuts 'FAST Speed Test' App for Quick and Simple Internet Speed Checks

In May, Netflix announced Fast.com, a website where users could quickly and simply check their internet connection speed. The site uses Netflix's servers and technology to give people an instant look at their current internet speed. The site quickly became popular, and Netflix has now released the FAST Speed Test app for mobile devices. Once opened, the app instantly begins giving users a reading of their internet speed. Once the test is fully complete, results can be checked against results from SpeedTest.net, another popular internet speed checking solution. Both the website and app utilize simple, minimalist designs, with the service's logo and download speed tracker taking up much of the space. The refresh button, the lone button in the app, allows users to restart the test. On its blog, Netflix's Sergey Fedorov and Ellen Livengood explained that FAST only displays download speeds because thats how most users interact with the internet, whether it be streaming video or loading webpages. To test speed, the app and website undergoes several download tests using Netflix's technology and services, including downloading chunks of a 25 MB video file through "a variable number of parallel connections." Fedorov and Livengood go into technical detail about how the service works on the company's tech blog. FAST Speed Test is available in the App Store for free [Direct Link

Netflix Faces 'Unexpected' Loss of Subscribers Due to Monthly Price Increase

Earlier this year, Netflix reminded its oldest users that the terms of its grandfathered pricing -- which kept these subscribers at the $7.99 level for two years -- would be coming to a close sometime in the second or third quarter of 2016. In a recent letter to the company's investors, CEO Reed Hastings remarked on the unfortunate churn of its subscriber base who reacted "unexpectedly" to the impending price increase. The loss of grandfathered pricing places these older users at a new $9.99/month charge for the company's popular streaming service, which Netflix sees as an agreeable compensation for its noticeable uptick in consistent, original programs like Orange is the New Black and House of Cards. These shows debuted in 2013, and the $9.99/month price for new subscribers began just the next year, in 2014. Users can choose to stay at $7.99/month if they wish, at the loss of HD video streaming. Due to these abandoned users, the company's stock fell 15 percent before its second quarter earnings report, shared yesterday. In the report, Netflix noted that it expected to add about 532,000 subscribers in the United States and 2.10 million internationally in Q2 2016 (just under a 2.5 million goal), but came up short on both goals. The company ultimately netted 160,000 new customers in the U.S. and 1.52 million overseas, landing under 1.7 million total in the quarter. “Gross additions were on target, but churn ticked up slightly and unexpectedly, coincident with the press coverage in early April of our plan to un-­grandfather longer tenured members and remained