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'Netflix' Articles

Netflix Launches 'Smart Downloads' for Streamlined Access to Offline Content

Netflix today announced the launch of a new Smart Downloads feature that's designed to streamline the process of downloading content for offline viewing. With Smart Downloads, when you finish viewing an episode of a TV show that you've downloaded, Netflix will delete it and then automatically download the next episode. Smart Downloads is designed to download content only when you're connected to Wi-Fi so it's not using your cellular data plan. Netflix users can choose to use or disable the Smart Downloads feature, which is available on iOS and Android devices. Turning off Smart Downloads will keep watched content on your device. On iPhone and iPad, you can tap the Downloads icon, choose "My Downloads" and select "Smart Downloads" to toggle it on or off. Netflix for iOS can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Netflix Debuts New Integration for Sharing Movies and TV Shows in Instagram Stories

Netflix today launched a new Instagram integration that's designed to allow Instagram users to share their favorite movies and TV shows in Stories, reports Variety. The feature can be used by selecting a title of choice within the Netflix app for iOS devices, tapping on the "Share" icon, and then selecting "Instagram Stories" as an option. "We're always on the lookout for ways to make it easier for members to share the Netflix titles they're obsessing about and help them discover something new to watch," said a Netflix spokesperson. "We hope our members enjoy this new feature!"From there, Netflix opens up Instagram with a screen featuring the show's name and artwork, with an option to share it to Stories or send it to close friends. Instagram has been allowing third-party apps to integrate with Stories since May 2018, and other integrations include Spotify and

Netflix Plans Latest Price Hike, Standard Plan Increasing From $11 to $13/Month

Netflix today announced that it will raise the prices for all of its subscription tiers, the latest price hike since November 2017. Specifically, the cheap "Basic" tier will rise from $8 to $9/month, the popular HD "Standard" tier will rise from $11 to $13/month, and the 4K "Premium" tier will rise from $14 to $16/month. According to CNBC, the changes take effect immediately for new customers signing up for Netflix, while current subscribers will be grandfathered in to their existing prices for now, and see the price hike emerge over the next three months. The increase represents a jump of between 13 percent and 18 percent, which is Netflix's biggest price increase since it launched streaming 12 years ago. Today's report says that the extra cash will be used to pay for Netflix's lofty investment in original shows and films, as well as finance the debt it's recently taken on to "ward off streaming threats" from Apple, Disney, and others. Netflix is boosting its original catalog of shows and movies as more companies remove their content from its service and build their own platforms, just like Disney will do with Marvel and Star Wars movies sometime this year. After they're removed from Netflix for good, Disney's streaming service "Disney+" will be the exclusive streaming home of these franchises. Netflix is also gearing up for new competition in the streaming market, particularly from Apple's upcoming original television shows. Apple is planning to debut its first string of shows at some point in 2019, and they'll reportedly be free for Apple device owners in

Netflix No Longer Offering In-App Subscription Options on iOS Devices

Netflix is no longer allowing new or resubscribing members to sign up for a Netflix subscription using an in-app purchase via the App Store, Netflix today told VentureBeat. The change appears to have been implemented late last month. Earlier this year Netflix experimented with disabling in-app subscription options for Netflix subscribers in a number of countries, and as of today, Netflix says the experiment has concluded and the change has been rolled out to the entire Netflix platform. As described on a Netflix support page, iTunes billing options are no longer available to new or rejoining Netflix customers. Those who currently pay for their subscriptions via iTunes can continue to use iTunes billing until their accounts are cancelled. When opening up the Netflix app on an iOS device, there are no longer fields for signing up for a Netflix account within the app nor are there instructions on how to obtain a subscription, likely to avoid violating Apple's App Store rules. The app simply offers a sign-in window and says that members who subscribe to Netflix can watch within the app. Apple's App Store Review Guidelines prohibit developers from asking iOS users to use a purchase method other than in-app purchase, which Netflix is skirting by offering no sign up options at all. iPad and iPhone users who want to sign up for Netflix will now need to do so through the Netflix website rather than through the Netflix app. Netflix undoubtedly made this change to avoid paying subscription fees to Apple. Apple collects a 30 percent commission on all subscription

Netflix's New Interactive 'Black Mirror: Bandersnatch' Episode Doesn't Work on Apple TV

The latest episode of popular horror series "Black Mirror" is available on Netflix today, but you're not going to want to watch it on the Apple TV. "Bandersnatch," the new episode, is an interactive choose-your-own adventure style show where you make the decisions on how the story progresses. As it turns out, the interactive feature does not work on the Apple TV, Chromecast, the Windows App, or browsers using Silverlight. According to a Netflix support document, its interactive content is limited to smart TVs, streaming media players, game consoles, iOS devices, and Android devices running the latest version of the Netflix app. Those with Apple devices are going to want to use an iPhone, iPad, or web browser to watch "Bandersnatch" to get the full experience. If you try to watch on the Apple TV, you will see a message that the interactive content can't be displayed, with Netflix recommending that you watch on another device. From Netflix's website:Black Mirror: Bandersnatch is only available on devices that support interactive content. No linear version is available. If you attempt to watch Black Mirror: Bandersnatch on a device that does not support interactive content, you will be instructed to switch to a supported device. "Black Mirror: Bandersnatch" is available as of this morning on Netflix. You can make sure you're watching a the episode on a compatible device if you see a red badge in the corner of the

Netflix Testing Cheaper Mobile-Only Subscription Model in Select Countries

As Netflix tries to grow subscriber numbers outside of the United States, TechCrunch reports today that the streaming video company is testing out a subscription model where users are only able to watch on a phone or a tablet. With this stipulation, the cost of Netflix is cut by as much as 50 percent from the "Basic" tier, down to around $4/month from $8/month. Right now, the test appears to be centered in Malaysia, but earlier in the week Netflix CEO Reed Hastings told Bloomberg that the company plans to test numerous lower-price plans throughout Asia. A Netflix spokesperson speaking to TechCrunch confirmed that similar mobile-only trials are "running in a few countries." For the mobile-only option, users can only watch shows in SD, and if they ever want to watch Netflix on a laptop or television, they'll have to upgrade their plan. Like many companies, Netflix is always testing out new features and updates to its service, so it's unclear if mobile-only options will grow beyond trials and enter countries where Netflix is already popular, like the United States. As of now, Netflix offers three subscription tiers: Basic, Standard, and Premium. Basic costs $7.99/month, offers one screen to stream content on at a time, and only in SD. Standard upgrades this by offering two simultaneous streams in HD for $10.99/month, while Premium has the most simultaneous streams on offer at four, as well as HD and Ultra HD content, all for $13.99/month. One year ago Netflix increased the price of its Standard and Premium tiers, which previously cost $9.99 and $11.99

Netflix Tests Disabling In-App Subscriptions on iOS in Some Countries

Netflix is already one of the highest grossing apps on the App Store, as many iPhone and iPad users pay for their subscriptions via iTunes/Apple ID billing, but the streaming video platform wants an even bigger piece of the pie. TechCrunch today reported that, until September 30, new or lapsed subscribers in some 33 countries will be unable to pay using iTunes. The countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, and the UK. A customer service representative for Netflix confirmed the test with TechCrunch:During this time, customers in these countries may experience any of the following when launching the Netflix app on an iOS (mobile or tablet) device: 1. Ability to sign up in app with only iTunes Mode Of Payment. 2. Ability to log into Netflix but not sign up (sign up only via mobile browser). We are constantly innovating and testing new signup approaches on different platforms to better understand what our members like. Based on what we learn, we work to improve the Netflix experience for members everywhere.This means that some iPhone and iPad users who open the Netflix app will only be able to sign into an existing, active account, with no option to create a new account. By the sound of it, Netflix is hoping that these users will close the app, and sign up through its mobile website or elsewhere with a

Netflix Tests Video Promos Between TV Show Episodes

Netflix is testing a new feature that adds video promos in between episodes of TV shows, Netflix confirmed to TechCrunch this afternoon. The promos Netflix is showing to some users include full-screen personalized videos with content recommendations similar to Netflix recommendations available elsewhere on Netflix. According to TechCrunch, the promotional videos displace preview information for the next episode of a TV show, with title, description, and thumbnail no longer visible. Many Netflix users on Reddit and Twitter who have the new video promos have been complaining about them, with multiple threats to cancel the service if Netflix does indeed introduce promotional videos. TechCrunch says that this is not a feature that is rolling out to subscribers at this time, but is instead a test that Netflix is running to determine how to better promote content. Still, a small percentage of Netflix's global audience is impacted by the test, which is ongoing. At Netflix, we conduct hundreds of tests every year so we can better understand what helps members more easily find something great to watch. A couple of years ago, we introduced video previews to the TV experience, because we saw that it significantly cut the time members spend browsing and helped them find something they would enjoy watching even faster. Since then, we have been experimenting even more with video based on personalized recommendations for shows and movies on the service or coming shortly, and continue to learn from our members. In this particular case, we are testing whether surfacing

New Legislation Suggests Implementing Emergency Alerts Into Streaming Services Like Netflix and Spotify

Currently, when users in a certain area face potentially bad weather, threats of danger, or a nearby AMBER alert, their iPhone or other smartphone sounds off and displays a message explaining the emergency. In new legislation shared today, United States senators Brian Schatz and John Thune hope to "explore" ways this system could improve to enhance reliability, including implementing these alerts into audio and video online streaming services (via TechCrunch) According to the Reliable Emergency Alert Distribution Improvement (READI) Act, more people would be successfully alerted to and aware of potential emergencies if these alerts played on services like Netflix and Spotify. In these situations, the legislation argues, users might have left their smartphone behind in another part of the house while streaming on a TV or computer, missing an alert in the process. Senator Schatz explained that the mishap with the false missile alert in Hawaii earlier this year "exposed real flaws in the way people receive emergency alerts," inspiring change and the new legislation. “When a missile alert went out across Hawai‘i in January, some people never got the message on their phones, while others missed it on their TVs and radios. Even though it was a false alarm, the missile alert exposed real flaws in the way people receive emergency alerts,” said Senator Schatz, lead Democrat on the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet. “Our bill fixes a number of important problems with the system responsible for delivering emergency alerts.

Netflix Redesigns TV Apps With Side Bar Interface Housing My List, Search, and More

Netflix today revealed a new design for its "TV experiences," or TV-based apps, that aims to make it easier to find TV shows and movies on the service. In addition to the rows with various themes, Netflix subscribers watching on a TV will now see a sidebar on the left side of the app that expands when they scroll over to it. This UI has Search, Home, Series, Movies, My List, and New hubs, making it far simpler to jump directly to specific sections of Netflix you want to get to without having to scroll around looking for them. Otherwise, browsing around Netflix on a TV app appears to be largely the same, with video previews that automatically play once you've stopped on a show or movie. Netflix's director of product innovation Stephen Garcia said that the new update came out of "extensive research" into how its users browse for content. While this may feel like an obvious update to some, validating that this TV experience was better for our members took extensive research, testing and technology improvements. Along those lines, we will continuously learn from our members and evolve the TV experience so that it gets even more simple, fun and easy to find the stories that make Netflix great. In our testing of this new interface, we saw that that this simpler design helped members find something great to watch. The company didn't directly confirm which platforms this update will arrive on, but it typically uses "TV experiences" as an all-encompassing reference to apps on streaming boxes, game consoles, smart TVs, and anywhere else Netflix is viewed on a TV set.

Netflix Announces 'Smart Downloads' Feature Coming to iOS Later This Year

Netflix has announced a new feature launching for Android smartphones and tablets today, and coming to iOS devices later this year, called "Smart Downloads." With this turned on, the Netflix app will automatically delete the downloaded episode of a show that you've finished watching offline, and replace it by automatically downloading the next episode in line (via BuzzFeed News). The company says this will help to save space on smartphones and tablets while ensuring that users can keep binges going without having to search through the app's menus for the next episode they want to watch offline. Netflix explains that Smart Downloads are only activated when users are connected to Wi-Fi and are done with an episode. "Downloading is a very manual process today," Netflix director of product innovation Cameron Johnson told BuzzFeed News. "And you have to manually go back and delete episodes." How is this useful? Imagine you download an episode or two of Stranger Things at home and watch it on the subway ride to work. Once you connect to your office WiFi, Netflix will delete the episodes you've already watched and seamlessly download the next one in the background. If users want to keep an episode downloaded to their device without having to worry about Smart Downloads deleting it, the feature can be turned off as well. Smart Downloads only work for episodic TV shows and will not automatically replace a movie with another similar program. Netflix first introduced offline downloads in November 2016, allowing viewers to download select shows and films to their devices

Netflix Testing New 'Ultra' Tier of Service That Cuts Premium Plan Streams From Four to Two

Netflix is reportedly testing a new tier of service for subscribers that supersedes the existing top tier Premium plan, according to Italian blog Tutto Android. Titled "Ultra", the new plan would allow up to four devices to receive Ultra HD and HDR video, and audio streaming at the same time. In Italy, the tier is priced at 16.99 euros, or approximately $19.80. Image credit: Evan Davis Netflix has three subscription plans at present: Basic ($7.99), Standard ($10.99), and Premium ($13.99). Basic subscribers can watch Netflix on one screen at a time, Standard enables simultaneous viewing on two screens, and Premium allows up to four screens to be used at once to stream the service. Commenting on the story, Netflix provided CNET with the following statement: "We continuously test new things at Netflix and these tests typically vary in length of time," Smita Saran, a Netflix spokeswoman, said in an email. "In this case, we are testing slightly different price points and features to better understand how consumers value Netflix."Saran went on to say that not all Netflix subscribers would see the Ultra tier currently being tested, and the company many never offer the plan and its features to a wider base. Promotional screens suggests that HDR would be exclusive to the Ultra plan, while the above screenshot implies that the number of simultaneous streams for existing Premium users would get reduced from four to two, with only Ultra subscribers getting four at the higher price. Similarly, users on the Standard plan appear to be getting only one stream instead of the

Netflix iOS App Gains Unobtrusive Volume Indicator and 10-Second Double Tap Controls for Some Users

Netflix appears to be testing -- or slowly rolling out -- a new user interface control scheme for its iOS app, which enables an unobtrusive volume indicator and lets users jump forwards or backwards in a video with a quick double-tap gesture. As spotted by Redditor mm2nam, the update brings Netflix's video controls closer to those of YouTube on iOS, which lets users double tap on the right edge of the screen to fast forward 10 seconds and on the left side to rewind 10 seconds. Netflix's implementation includes the double tap gesture, as well as physical buttons on the screen that appear after you tap once on the video to bring up the playback controls. Image via Redditor mm2nam Quick time jump controls have become increasingly popular in a variety of apps and in certain products, with Apple itself using a similar feature on its Siri Remote for Apple TV. On fourth and fifth generation devices, users can swipe to the right and click to jump forward 10 seconds and the same to go back 10 seconds, as long as the app supports Apple's native playback controls. In regards to the volume indicator, Netflix currently has a bit of an unclear method for this piece of UI: some users lack an indicator completely, while others still see Apple's large, semi-translucent square that blocks most of the video every time the volume is toggled. It appears that along with the new 10-second playback gestures, Netflix is also planning to release a unified and unobtrusive volume indicator, which sits at the top of the screen, similar to YouTube and Instagram. With no further

Netflix Adds 30-Second Preview Videos to iOS App

Netflix today added a slew of 30-second video trailers to its iOS app, after limited testing of the feature since early March. Optimized for mobile, the trailers ape the look of Snapchat and Instagram Stories, appearing as circular icons on the app's main screen and playing back in a vertical format on iPhones. Netflix offered its rationale for the feature in a blog post on its website: Today, we are excited to introduce mobile previews (launching today on iOS and coming soon to Android) to the mobile experience. Mobile previews present members with a fun, simple, and easy way to learn about all the new content on Netflix -- and find something great to watch even faster. Years of testing has made it clear that video previews help our members browse less and discover new content more quickly. With the launch of mobile previews, we are bringing a video browse experience to your mobile phone in a fun and mobile-optimized way.While watching a trailer, users can tap to play the content being previewed, get more information on it, or add it to their Watch Later list. Tapping the video or swiping across it also skips to another trailer without having to return to the main screen. The company introduced video previews to its TV and web interface last year, but Netflix says around a fifth of all viewing occurs on mobile devices, which is why previews will be a permanent feature of the app going forward. Currently in the list are 75 custom-crop previews for both original and licensed content, with Netflix expected to add more in future. Netflix exceeded Wall Street

Netflix Nixes Feature That Gave Patches to Kids for Watching TV

Netflix has decided to stop testing a new gamified TV streaming experience for children, which offered kids "patches" (aka stickers) for watching episodes of certain television shows. Netflix started testing the feature in February, but it received widespread attention last week after the beta test was highlighted by various media sites. Given the negative attention Netflix received over the feature from parents concerned about their children watching too much TV, Netflix has decided not to move forward with development. Image from Twitter In a statement to BuzzFeed, Netflix said the testing for patches has ended and the feature will not be implemented."We've concluded the test for patches and have decided not to move forward with the feature for kids. We test lots of things at Netflix in order to learn what works well - and what doesn't work well - for our members."During the beta testing period, there were several complaints about the feature from users who encountered it, with customers sharing their negative opinions on Twitter and other social networks. Netflix was accused of attempting to turn children into "binge watchers" through the patch program. Hey @netflix! If this becomes a thing, my kids are not going to be allowed to watch Netflix any more. We don't need you to drive engagement for them to *watch more TV*. https://t.co/Eb9sEBy3oV— aprotim (@aprotim) March 12, 2018 @netflix hi. i have been a netflix subscriber for over ten years. i will cancel my subscription if patches stick around. i don't need you actively encouraging my child to waste

Netflix Tests New Gamification Feature for Children's Shows

Netflix is testing a new gamified streaming experience for children, the company confirmed in a statement provided to Variety this morning. The new feature lets kids collect "patches" for watching episodes of certain shows. Netflix says the patches, which have been available for a few weeks for some users, are designed to allow for a more interactive experience for children. Image from Twitter "We are testing a new feature on select kids titles that introduces collectible items for a more interactive experience and to expand the storytelling world for the show. We learn by testing and this feature may or may not become part of the Netflix experience."Netflix shows that are part of the test are marked with red locks for Netflix users who have been selected to be part of the test. Eligible shows include "A Series of Unfortunate Events," "Trolls," "Troll Hunters," Fuller House," and more. At the current time, it does not appear that collecting patches unlocks any additional content or rewards on Netflix. Netflix says that this feature is still in testing and that it might not become part of the Netflix experience if the testing proves unsuccessful or unpopular with

Apple Reportedly Interested in Obama Series if Netflix Fails to Clinch Content Deal With Former President

Netflix is said to be in advanced negotiations with former President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle to produce a series of high-profile shows for the streaming service, with Apple said to be waiting in line if a deal between the two parties falls through. The New York Times reports that Netflix is offering to pay the Obamas to produce the exclusive content, according to people familiar with the discussions, although it's unclear how much is on the table given the couple's lack of experience in the media business. Image via Getty Images However, rather than use the shows to respond to President Trump or conservative critics, Obama is reportedly interested in treating them as a platform for topics that dominated his presidency, such as health care, voting rights, immigration, foreign policy, and climate change.Another program could feature Mrs. Obama on topics, like nutrition, that she championed in the White House. The former president and first lady could also lend their brand — and their endorsement — to documentaries or fictional programming on Netflix that align with their beliefs and values. Several people familiar with the Netflix discussions said that executives from Apple and Amazon, which have their own streaming services, have also expressed interest in talking with Mr. Obama about content deals.The New York Times notes that Obama retains close ties to Ted Sarandos, Netflix's chief content officer. Sarandos is married to Nicole A. Avant, an activist who served as Obama's ambassador to the Bahamas. Reed Hastings, the chief executive of Netflix, was

Netflix Subscriber Data Reveals 70% of Global Streaming Ends Up on TVs, 10% on Phones

Netflix this week gave a briefing to a group of reporters in its Los Gatos, California company headquarters, revealing data about its subscribers' device streaming habits and how these habits might change over the course of a few months (via Recode). While the information isn't particularly shocking, it is one of the rare times that Netflix has provided data and opened up about the streaming habits of its users. In terms of global Netflix user signups, 40 percent of signups happen on a Mac or PC, but after six months those users have dwindled down to just 15 percent still watching Netflix on their computer. Over time, users understandably migrate to larger screens, with 70 percent of total global Netflix streams ending up on television sets six months after first signing up. Under TVs and computers, smartphones represent 10 percent of Netflix streaming six months after signing up, followed by tablets at just 5 percent. Netflix graphs via Recode While there are some exceptions, this largely stays true across various countries around the globe. In Italy, for example, 36 percent of users are signing up for Netflix on their computer and 54 percent are spending most of their viewing hours on a TV set. Thailand users are predominantly signing up on their smartphones, but viewing habits are nearly equal between TV (35 percent) and computers (29 percent). The favoritism for TV continues when broken down by genres, although there are slight variations in percentages where device preference varies from genre to genre. Kids shows, for example, are the least popular

Netflix to Debut New Vertical Preview Feature on Mobile Next Month

Netflix is set to introduce a new movie and show preview mode to its iOS app next month (via Variety). Announced on Wednesday at the company's Lab Days press event in California, the upcoming feature will mean Netflix subscribers can watch 30-second previews displayed as vertical video on mobile devices. The previews will appear as round icons on the home screen below a carousel showcasing the latest Netflix content available. Users tap on the icons to watch the previews and can swipe across them to see more. Netflix will debut up to 75 of its custom-crop previews for both original and licensed content when the feature goes live in April. A similar preview feature has been part of Netflix's TV interface for a few years now, but this will be the first time the company has used a vertical viewing format within its mobile apps. Some subscribers who signed up to the "Test Participation" feature in their Netflix.com account settings may already see the previews in the iPhone app. Netflix said approximately 20 percent of all viewing happens on a mobile device, which is why the company has been working on several improvements to its mobile offering, including the recent launch of mobile downloads and codec optimization to enable higher-resolution viewing over as little as 200kbps

Netflix Gaining Expanded Parental Controls, More Prominent Ratings

Netflix today announced a platform-wide update to introduce expanded parental controls that will give parents more granular access to the television shows and movies their children are watching. A new PIN parental control for individual movies and TV shows is being added, so parents will be able to block access to specific content if so desired. . We understand that every family is different and that parents have differing perspectives on what they feel is appropriate to watch at different ages. While we already provide PIN protection for all content at a particular maturity level for Netflix accounts, PIN protection for a specific series or film provides families with an additional tool to make decisions they are comfortable with.Netflix also plans to begin offering more prominent maturity level ratings for a series or a movie once a Netflix user hits play on a title. Ratings are available before starting a movie or a TV show, but Netflix is expanding their availability to make sure members are "fully aware of the maturity level as they begin watching." According to Netflix, these parental control changes will be rolling out to Netflix members on all Netflix-compatible devices "in the coming