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'Netflix' Articles

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

Netflix Rolling Out iOS Update That Adds Bottom Tab Bar for Easier Navigation

Over the past few days there have been multiple reports of a new update to the Netflix app on iOS and Android devices, which includes a design overhaul for the streaming service's navigation bar on smartphones. Instead of placing every piece of navigation within the top lefthand corner "hamburger" menu, Netflix has introduced a simpler tab bar at the bottom of the app with four tabs for Home, Search, Downloads, and More. Netflix's hamburger menu (iPad) compared to the new bottom tab bar (iPhone) Previously, the left-handed menu housed profile switching, notifications, downloads, My List, and various themed categories. Now, these options are mostly located in the "More" tab, and Netflix has broken out Search and Downloads as a quicker method of jumping into those areas of the app. TV and film categories are also now located in the Search tab, including those Available for Download, Netflix Originals, Action, Dramas, Horror, and more. On Android, it appears that there will be an additional tab for users called "Coming Soon," displaying TV shows and movies launching soon on Netflix. Apple encourages developers to use tab bars at the bottom of their apps in its Human Interface Guidelines, since they're easier to use one-handed and provide more information at a glance. Two years ago Spotify made a similar change, replacing its hamburger menu with five tabs for Home, Browse, Search, Radio, and Your Library, akin to Apple Music's tabs on iOS. Earlier this month, Google Maps added a bottom tab bar in its iOS app as well, so users could easily jump to Explore, Driving, or

'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