And Now for the Bonus Round…What are the Two Ways Netflix Delivers Movies?Merger and Acquisition Audit Assessment and Prop...
Table of Contents:<br />Executive Summary<br />Organizational Profile Facts and Figures: Netflix and Targeted Enterprises<...
Consultant’s Goals and Objectives:1. Provide primary and secondary auditing services for client2. Execute and create a com...
Netflix Company Portfolio:◊ Movie rental provider of DVDs and online streaming◊  Founded in 1997 in Scotts Valley, CA., by...
Netflix Company Portfolio:◊ Future expansion projects underway for Europe and Spain by Year-end 2012◊ 1 million DVDs maile...
Netflix Company Portfolio:◊  The company went public on May 20, 2002; IPO trading began on May 24, 2002◊  Actual offered p...
“A Virtual Catch-Up Effect for Content Distribution in the Internet World”◊ Product lifecycle curve: Moderate to sharp nas...
◊ Netflix ranked 4th for percentage of VOD upstream traffic in 2010◊ In January 2011, viewers on average spent 4 hours and...
◊ Ranked 2nd for percentage of VOD downstream traffic◊ Download streaming exclusively uses Microsoft’s Silverlight playbac...
◊Achieves the highest % differential increase between upstream and downstream among ranking qualifiers◊Three-tiered downlo...
◊ Netflix shares are held by 570 institutions: Accounting for 87.05% of all shares held.◊ Among the top 5-10 institutions ...
◊ Product paradigm shift from DVDs to online movie and TV shows streaming◊ Content obtained from studios via fixed-fee lic...
◊ Steady increase in liabilities is partially due to domestic and international expansion◊ Netflix’ “Watch Instantly” firs...
Three main factors that identify and explain the large disparity between Netflix’ ROIC and M/B ratio and that of its targe...
Sample Illustration of Liquidity and Profitability Matrix Worksheet<br />Solvency and Profitability MRA Continued…<br />
◊ Five-year deal reached with Paramount, Liongates, and MGM worth nearly $1 billion to stream movies◊ As a result of the d...
◊ Rapid growth of E-Commerce compared to traditional brick-and-mortar facilities has impacted companies like Redbox, Inc. ...
◊ Netflix reported positive net operating profit after taxes and free cash flow for 2010◊ Conversely, Comcast saw a signif...
ROIC and M/B Visual Recap<br />Solvency and Profitability MRA Continued…<br />
◊ Netflix’ migration strategic plan transitioning legacy business model (DVD retail) to contemporary business model (Inter...
Netflix’ operation efficiency significantly outperforms acquisition targets with regards to sales, or COGS, to inventory<b...
Netflix Current Ratio Performance Record:◊ Netflix efficient SOP (standard operating procedure) throughout its entire supp...
Consultant’s Opinions and Final Recommendations <br />Consultant’s Closing Audit Assessment and Final Recommendation<br />...
Current integration measures for existing by-mail subscription services to VOD long-run is plausible and should be acceler...
Because online subscription service over the Internet is experiencing steady yet substantial growth well above industry av...
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  • Cinematch: In October 2006, offered $1 million dollar prize awarded to the first developer to create an algorithm that predicts customer ratings by more than 10%Netflix, Inc.100 Winchester Cir.Los Gatos, CA 95032Company Web Site Phone: 408-540-3700Fax: 408-540-3737Tapping technologies from multiple eras, Netflix steers couch potatoes away from the video store to the mailbox or PC. Its Netflix.com website offers DVD rentals to more than 20 million subscribers for a monthly fee. Movies are delivered via the US Postal Service from distribution centers located in major US cities or streamed to PCs or TVs. Netflix ships some 2 million discs daily in the US. It does not charge late fees or have due dates, and its service employs user ratings to predict preferences and make recommendations. An agreement with TiVo, which gives TiVo customers with certain DVR models access to a Netflix library of some 12,000 movies and TV shows, has spawned similar services with other devices. IPO InformationDate Went Public: May 20, 2002Filing Date: Mar 3, 2002Proposed Offer Price: $13.00 to $15.00Actual Offer Price: $15.00First Day Open: $16.19First Day Close: $16.75Shares Offered (mil.): 5.50Offering Amount (mil.): $82.50Post-Offering Shares (mil.): 20.60Underwriters: Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner &amp; Smith Incorporated; Thomas Weisel Partners LLC; U.S. Bancorp Piper JaffrayFin300 Team assignments, according to the following sections: Situational Analysis (according to the Du Pont equation model)Delegated Researcher (2): JennyDP Model Functionality and Utilization
  • Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner &amp; Smith Incorporated; Thomas Weisel Partners LLC; U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray
  • About Netflix With more than 23 million members in the United States and Canada, Netflix, Inc. [Nasdaq: NFLX] is the world&apos;s leading Internet subscription service for enjoying movies and TV shows. For $7.99 a month, Netflix members can instantly watch unlimited movies and TV episodes streamed over the Internet to PCs, Macs and TVs. Among the large and expanding base of devices streaming from Netflix are Microsoft&apos;s Xbox 360, Nintendo&apos;s Wii and Sony&apos;s PS3 consoles; an array of Blu-ray disc players, Internet-connected TVs, home theater systems, digital video recorders and Internet video players; Apple&apos;s iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, as well as Apple TV and Google TV. In all, more than 200 devices that stream from Netflix are available in the U.S. and a growing number are available in Canada. For more information, visit www.netflix.com.
  • Netflix offers Internet video streaming (&quot;Watch Instantly&quot;) of selected titles to computers running Windows or Mac OS X and to compatible devices. Internet video streaming comes at no additional charge with Netflix&apos;s regular subscription service; however, only a portion of Netflix&apos;s content is available via the &quot;Watch Instantly&quot; option.[19] In its simplest form, video is streamed to the user using standard PC hardware, and requires Microsoft&apos;s Silverlight software to be installed. Viewing is initiated by pressing a &quot;Play Instantly&quot; button, and played back on the PC monitor. Films can be paused or restarted at will. According to a 2011 report by Sandvine, Netflix is the biggest source of North American web traffic, accounting for 24.71 percent of aggregated traffic.[20]
  • According to Netflix Tech Support, Netflix&apos;s content library is encoded into three bandwidth tiers, in a compression format based on the VC-1 video and Windows Media audio codecs. The lowest tier requires a continuous downstream bandwidth (to the client) of 1.5 Mbit/s, and offers stereo audio and video quality comparable to DVD. The middle tier requires 3 Mbit/s, and offers &quot;better than DVD quality&quot;. The highest tier requires 5 Mbit/s, and offers 720p HD with surround sound audio. As of December 2010[update], the PS3 is the only device able to stream Netflix at 1080p resolution.Netflix does not support playback on Linux PCs although the Linux-based Roku devices are supported. It is possible to connect the Roku device, game console, or blu-ray player to a Linux PC (or directly to the computer monitor) with an adapter. It is also possible to run Windows and Netflix in a virtual machine such as Virtualbox or Qemu. In a TechRepublic interview in August 2010, Netflix&apos;s VP of Corporate Communications stated that available Silverlight plugins for Linux, such as Moonlight, do not support the PlayReadyDRM system that Netflix requires for playback.[22] Netflix does support the Android operating system, which uses the Linux kernel, although is otherwise separate from Linux.
  • Fin300 Team assignments, according to the following sections:Du Pont Model ReportDelegated Researcher (s): JennySupporting info to help clarify and assist presentation part:NetflixFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to: navigation, searchNetflix, Inc.TypePublic companyTraded asNASDAQ: NFLXIndustryVideo rentalFounded1997[1]HeadquartersLos Gatos, California, USArea servedUnited States, CanadaKey peopleReed Hastings, co-founder and CEODavid Wells, CFO, SecretaryLeslie J. Kilgore, CMOProductsProprietaryMicrosoftVC-1 video download, online DVD and Blu-ray Disc rentalRevenueUS$1.67 billion (FY 2009)[2]Operating incomeUS$194 million (FY 2009)[2]Net incomeUS$116 million (FY 2009)[2]Total assetsUS$680 million (FY 2009)[3]Total equityUS$199 million (FY 2009)[3]Employees2,180 full-time (2010)[4]Websitenetflix.comNetflix, Inc., (NASDAQ: NFLX) is an American provider of on-demand internet streaming video in the United States and Canada,[5] and flat rateDVD-by-mail in the United States. The company was established in 1997 and is headquartered in Los Gatos, California. It started its subscription service in 1999[6] and by 2009 it was offering a collection of 100,000 titles on DVD, surpassing 10 million subscribers. On February 25, 2007, Netflix announced the billionth DVD delivery.[7] In April 2011, Netflix announced 23.6 million subscribers.[8] In summer 2011, Netflix announced they will expand into the European market, starting in Spain by 2012.[9]Contents[hide]1 History2 Services2.1 Internet video streaming2.1.1 History2.2 Disc rental2.3 Original programming2.4 Profiles3 Device support3.1 Hardware supported3.2 Software support3.3 Video game consoles3.4 Set-top boxes3.5 Blu-ray players3.6 Televisions3.7 Handheld devices4 Sales and marketing4.1 Expansion4.2 Competitors4.2.1 Time Warner cable5 Finance and revenue5.1 20105.2 20116 Legal issues and controversies6.1 &quot;Recommendation Algorithm&quot;6.2 &quot;Throttling&quot;6.3 Releasing This Week6.4 Dynamic queue, subscription &amp; delivery methods6.5 Removal of Friends feature6.6 Linux support6.7 Partnerships6.7.1 Starz6.8 Closed captioning7 Technical details7.1 Streaming7.2 &quot;Throttling&quot;7.3 Netflix API8 See also9 References10 External linksHistoryNetflix headquarters in Los GatosNetflix was founded in 1997 in Scotts Valley, California by Marc Randolph[citation needed] and Reed Hastings, who previously had worked together at Pure Software, along with Mitch Lowe. Hastings was inspired to start the company after being charged late fees for returning a rented copy of Apollo 13 after the due date.[10] The Netflix website launched in April 1998 with an online version of a more traditional pay-per-rental model (US $4 per rental plus US $2 in postage; late fees applied).[11] Netflix introduced the monthly subscription concept in September 1999,[12] then dropped the single-rental model in early 2000. Since that time the company has built its reputation on the business model of flat-fee unlimited rentals without due dates, late fees, shipping or handling fees, or per title rental fees.Netflix developed and maintains an extensive personalized video-recommendation system based on ratings and reviews by its customers. On October 1, 2006, Netflix offered a $1,000,000 prize to the first developer of a video-recommendation algorithm that could beat its existing algorithm, Cinematch, at predicting customer ratings by more than 10%.[13]&quot;Some 35,000 different film titles are contained in the 1 million DVDs it sends out every day.&quot;[14]Netflix has played a prominent role in independent film distribution. Through a division called Red Envelope Entertainment, Netflix licensed and distributed independent films such as Born into Brothels and Sherrybaby. As of late 2006, Red Envelope Entertainment also expanded into producing original content with filmmakers such as John Waters.[15] Netflix announced plans to close Red Envelope Entertainment in 2008, in part to avoid competition with its studio partners.[16][17]Netflix initiated an initial public offering (IPO) on May 29, 2002, selling 5,500,000 shares of common stock at the price of US $15.00 per share. On June 14, 2002, the company sold an additional 825,000 shares of common stock at the same price. After incurring substantial losses during its first few years, Netflix posted its first profit during fiscal year 2003, earning US $6.5 million profit on revenues of US $272 million. The company is well-known for its worker-oriented culture, including unlimited vacation time for salaried workers and allowing those employees to take any amount of their paychecks in stock options.[18]Netflix has been one of the most successful dot-com ventures. A The New York Times article from September 2002, said that, at the time, Netflix mailed about 190,000 discs per day to its 670,000 monthly subscribers. The company&apos;s published subscriber count increased from one million in the fourth quarter of 2002 to around 5.6 million at the end of the third quarter of 2006, to 14 million in March 2010. Netflix&apos;s growth has been fueled by the fast spread of DVD players in households; as of 2004, nearly two-thirds of U.S. homes had a DVD player. Netflix capitalized on the success of the DVD and its rapid expansion into U.S. homes, integrating the potential of the Internet and e-commerce to provide services and catalogs that brick and mortar retailers could not compete with. Netflix also operates an online affiliate program which has helped it to build online sales for DVD rentals.ServicesNetflix is a subscription-based movie and television show rental service that offers media to subscribers via Internet streaming and via US mail.Internet video streamingNetflix offers Internet video streaming (&quot;Watch Instantly&quot;) of selected titles to computers running Windows or Mac OS X and to compatible devices. Internet video streaming comes at no additional charge with Netflix&apos;s regular subscription service; however, only a portion of Netflix&apos;s content is available via the &quot;Watch Instantly&quot; option.[19] In its simplest form, video is streamed to the user using standard PC hardware, and requires Microsoft&apos;s Silverlight software to be installed. Viewing is initiated by pressing a &quot;Play Instantly&quot; button, and played back on the PC monitor. Films can be paused or restarted at will. According to a 2011 report by Sandvine, Netflix is the biggest source of North American web traffic, accounting for 24.71 percent of aggregated traffic.[20]Initially, the feature offered subscribers one hour of media for approximately every dollar they spent on their subscription. (A $16.99 plan, for example, entitled the subscriber to 17 hours of streaming media.) In January 2008, however, Netflix lifted this restriction. Virtually all subscribers now are entitled to unlimited hours of streaming media at no additional cost. Subscribers with a plan of $4.99/two DVDs per month, one DVD at a time, are allowed two hours which can only be watched on a computer. The new terms of the service are a response to the introduction of Apple&apos;s new video rental services.[21]According to Netflix Tech Support, Netflix&apos;s content library is encoded into three bandwidth tiers, in a compression format based on the VC-1 video and Windows Media audio codecs. The lowest tier requires a continuous downstream bandwidth (to the client) of 1.5 Mbit/s, and offers stereo audio and video quality comparable to DVD. The middle tier requires 3 Mbit/s, and offers &quot;better than DVD quality&quot;. The highest tier requires 5 Mbit/s, and offers 720p HD with surround sound audio. As of December 2010[update], the PS3 is the only device able to stream Netflix at 1080p resolution.Netflix does not support playback on Linux PCs although the Linux-based Roku devices are supported. It is possible to connect the Roku device, game console, or blu-ray player to a Linux PC (or directly to the computer monitor) with an adapter. It is also possible to run Windows and Netflix in a virtual machine such as Virtualbox or Qemu. In a TechRepublic interview in August 2010, Netflix&apos;s VP of Corporate Communications stated that available Silverlight plugins for Linux, such as Moonlight, do not support the PlayReadyDRM system that Netflix requires for playback.[22] Netflix does support the Android operating system, which uses the Linux kernel, although is otherwise separate from Linux.HistoryOn October 1, 2008, Netflix announced a partnership with Starz Entertainment to bring 2,500+ new movies and television shows to Watch Instantly in what is being called Starz Play.[23]In August 2010, Netflix announced it had reached a five-year deal worth nearly $1 billion to stream movies from Paramount, Lionsgate and MGM. The deal increases the amount Netflix spends on streaming movies annually. It spent $117 million in the first six months of 2010 on streaming, up from $31 million in 2009. This deal adds roughly $200 million per year.[24]As of 2011, Netflix&apos;s &quot;Watch Instantly&quot; service holds first-run rights to films from Paramount Pictures, MGM, Lions Gate Entertainment (through an output deal with Epix), along with films from Sony Pictures, Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group, Overture Films, Anchor Bay Entertainment (through an output deal with Starz).[citation needed] Other studios providing first-run films include First Look Pictures, Relativity Media and other smaller and independent distributors.[citation needed] In addition, Netflix holds rights to back-catalog titles to films from Time Warner, Universal Pictures, Sony Pictures, Paramount Pictures, MGM, Lions Gate Entertainment, 20th Century Fox and other distributors.[citation needed] Netflix also provides current and back-catalog TV programs distributed by NBC Universal, 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures, Disney-ABC Domestic Television, with select shows from Warner Bros. as well.[citation needed] Netflix also previously showed movies from the Criterion Collection, but the titles were pulled from the streaming library when Criterion Collection titles were added to Hulu&apos;sHulu Plus streaming library.[25]On July 12, 2011 Netflix announced that it would separate the current subscription plans into two separate plans: one covering the instant streaming and the other DVD rental.[26] The cost for streaming would be $7.99 while DVD rental would start at the same price. The announcement led to a flurry of negative reception amongst Netflix&apos;s Facebook followers, posting negative comments on the company&apos;s wall.[27]Twitter comments also spiked a &quot;Dear Netflix&quot; trend with generally negative comments as well.[27] The company defended its decision during its initial announcement of the change. &quot;Given the long life we think DVDs by mail will have, treating DVDs as a $2 add-on to our unlimited streaming plan neither makes great financial sense nor satisfies people who just want DVDs,&quot; Netflix wrote on its blog. &quot;Creating an unlimited-DVDs-by-mail plan (no streaming) at our lowest price ever, $7.99, does make sense and will ensure a long life for our DVDs-by-mail offering.&quot;[26]Disc rentalThe discs are returned to Netflix in the same envelopes in which they are sent to customers.In the United States, the company provides a monthly flat-fee service for the rental of DVD and Blu-ray discs. A subscriber creates an ordered list, called a rental queue, of movies to rent. The movies are delivered individually via the United States Postal Service from an array of regional warehouses. As of March 28, 2011, Netflix had 58 shipping locations throughout the U.S.[28] The subscriber can keep the rented movie as long as desired, but there is a limit on the number of movies (determined by subscription level) that each subscriber can have on loan simultaneously. To rent a new movie, the subscriber must mail the previous one back to Netflix in a prepaid mailing envelope. Upon receipt of the disc, Netflix ships the next available disc in the subscriber&apos;s rental queue.Netflix offers several pricing tiers, starting at $4.99 per month for one disc at a time and a limit of two-per-month. Netflix also offers gift subscriptions for various rental tiers.Since November 21, 2008, Netflix has offered their subscribers access to Blu-ray Discs for an additional fee of $1 plus $1-per-disc in the subscription plan (i.e., a 3-DVD-at-a-time plan with Blu-Ray costs an additional $4). The fee for this service increased on April 27, 2009.[29]In addition to its movie rental service, Netflix formerly sold used movies. The purchase was delivered via the same system and billed using the same payment methods as rentals. This service was discontinued at the end of November 2008.[30]Starting January 6, 2010, Netflix reached an agreement with Warner Brothers Pictures to delay renting new releases for 28 days from their retail release in an attempt to help studios sell more physical media at retail outlets. A similar deal with Universal Studios and Twentieth Century Fox was reached on April 9, 2010.[31][32][33]Original programmingIn March 2011, Netflix announced plans to begin acquiring first-run original content for its popular Watch Instantly subscription service, beginning with the hour-long political drama House of Cards, which will debut on the streaming service in late 2012. The series will reportedly be helmed by David Fincher, with Academy Award winning actor Kevin Spacey headlining the cast.[34]Netflix is rumored to have outbid heavyweights HBO and AMC,[35] two of the current market leaders in original dramatic programming. As Deadline.com reported on March 15, 2011:&quot;Netflix landed the drama project by offering a staggering commitment of two seasons, or 26 episodes. Given that the price tag for a high-end drama is in the $4–$6 million an episode range and that a launch of a big original series commands tens of millions of dollars for promotion, the deal, is believed to be worth more than $100 million and could change the way people consume TV shows.&quot;[35]Initial industry reactions largely echoed this tone, and, while generally positive, have focused heavily on Netflix&apos;s bold, risky, and potentially transformative entry into the original content game. In the face of breathless and rampant media speculation, Netflix&apos;s response has thus far been reserved and mostly focused on downplaying the potential implications in its core strategy. In an interview with All Things Digital&apos;s Peter Kafka, Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos attempted to put the situation into perspective:[36]&quot;It&apos;s not much of a radical departure in what we do every day. There’s an added risk factor, in that this is the first time we’re licensing something that hasn&apos;t been produced, or at least completed.&quot;[36]But there&apos;s no risk factor in terms of delivery, because we&apos;re not investing development money, and we don&apos;t pay for it unless they deliver the show. But it is the first time we&apos;ve made a very large commitment to a series that hasn’t been produced.[36]It&apos;s just a matter of your philosophy around development. Networks can typically invest tens of millions of dollars in the development of a pilot. And if they put the show on the air and it fails, that&apos;s all lost money. There&apos;s no monetization of a broken series.[36]We&apos;re betting on the creative team and the source material. &quot;House of Cards&quot; is incredible source material–the BBC version is quite popular already on Netflix. David Fincher&apos;s work has all been incredibly well-received on Netflix, and Kevin Spacey&apos;s films have all worked on Netflix. The notion that that team will produce a very good product is a pretty safe bet.[36][...] If the show proves very popular, it won&apos;t be any more expensive than licensing a popular show off of a network. So economically, it&apos;s not a seismic shift, if it&apos;s popular. If it isn&apos;t, then we&apos;ll have paid more for an unpopular show than we normally would have.[36]The day after the after news of the acquisition broke, The Wall Street Journal responded to Deadline.com&apos;s report that Netflix could pay more than $100 million as part of a deal for 26 episodes, citing a source &quot;[...] familiar with Netflix&apos;s plans,&quot; who claimed the actual amount will be &quot;[...] much less than that,&quot;[37] a sentiment echoed Peter Kafka in his influential Media Memo blog.[36]Despite initial media confusion to the contrary, Netflix will not be producing House of Cards directly, but rather will license it from Media Rights Capital who will deficit finance the series.[36] Netflix will have first-run domestic exclusivity, but Media Rights Capital will own the series and retain domestic syndication, foreign distribution, worldwide DVD/Blu-ray, and all other ancillary rights.[34]Netflix spokesmen have declined to specify what the company will actually be paying for the series House of Cards, but as reliable sources have confirmed it to be significantly less than the series&apos; rumored $100 million production cost,[37][36] Netflix&apos;s fee for the 26 episode deal will necessarily amount to less than $3.85 million per episode. For comparison, during the 2006–2010 television seasons, Fox Broadcast Network paid a license fee of $5 million per episode to 20th Century Fox Television for 24,[38] while satellite provider DirecTV pays license fees of only $1–$1.25 million per episode[39] for its critically acclaimed series Damages and Friday Night Lights. Netflix&apos;s licensing costs for House of Cards will therefore fall somewhere between that of a typical high-end hour-long network drama and a modestly budgeted niche cable production.Another significant cost factor for the series will be Netflix&apos;s unique marketing strategy, which, unlike the networks, does not involve spending &quot;anything&quot; to promote the series. According to Netflix spokesman Steve Swasey, &quot;You won&apos;t see billboards or TV ads or banner ads.&quot; Instead, Netflix will rely entirely on its recommendation technology to suggest House of Cards only to its subscribers who are most likely to enjoy it—viewers who, for example, enjoy political dramas, films by David Fincher, and liked American Beauty and The Usual Suspects. It remains unclear however if or how Netflix plans to leverage House of Cards to drive subscriber growth. But regardless, the frenzy of press attention that emerged even before the acquisition was officially announced demonstrates that, at least for now, public and media interest in the series are high.[34]ProfilesIn June 2008, Netflix announced plans to eliminate its online subscriber profile feature that fall.[40] Profiles allow one subscriber account to contain multiple users (e.g. husband and wife, or two roommates) with separate DVD queues, ratings, recommendations, friend lists, reviews, and intra-site communications for each. Netflix contended that elimination of profiles would improve customer experience.[41] However, likely as a result of negative reviews and reaction by Netflix users.[42][43][44] Netflix reversed its decision to remove profiles 11 days after its announcement.[45] In announcing the reinstatement of profiles, Netflix defended its original decision, &quot;Because of an ongoing desire to make our website easier to use, we believed taking a feature away that is only used by a very small minority would help us improve the site for everyone.&quot; Then explained its reversal, &quot;Listening to our members, we realized that users of this feature often describe it as an essential part of their Netflix experience. Simplicity is only one virtue and it can certainly be outweighed by utility.&quot;[46]Device supportMain article: List of Netflix Instant Watch DevicesHardware supportedList of Netflix-ready devices:[47]Apple TV set-top box[48]Boxee Box set-top box[49]Insignia Blu-ray Disc players and home theater systemsLG Electronics Blu-ray Disc players, TVs (LH50 series LCD and PS80 plasma), and home theater systemsLogitech Revue Google TV Buddy BoxMicrosoftXbox 360[50]NintendoWii[51] and Nintendo 3DS[52] (Wii U support also confirmed)Panasonic Some Blu-ray Disc players, televisions and home theater systemsPhilips Some Blu-ray Disc players and TVs[53]Popbox set-top box (announced)Roku set-top box[54]Samsung Some Blu-ray Disc players and home theater systems[55]SeagateFreeAgent Theater+ HD Media PlayersSharp Some Blu-ray Disc players[56]Sony Blu-ray Disc players, TVs, Google TV devices, and PlayStation 3[57]TiVo DVRs (HD, HD XL, Series3™, Premiere and Premiere XL boxes)[58]Viewsonic VMP75Vizio Some Blu-ray Disc players and TVsWestern Digital WD Live plus Media PlayerSoftware supportSupported Web Browsers by Platform:Microsoft Windows: Windows XP Service Pack 2, Windows Vista, Windows 7 running Internet Explorer 6 (or higher), Firefox 2 (or higher) or Google Chrome 6 (or higher). New viewer requires use of the Microsoft Silverlight technology and a 1.2 GHz CPU.[59]Mac OS X: An Intel-based Mac with OS 10.4.8 or later. Browser support is Safari 3 (or higher), Firefox 2 (or higher) or Google Chrome. Mac Netflix was added October 27, 2008, which requires use of the Microsoft Silverlight technology.[60]Other software options:Android including the HTC Incredible (2.2), Nexus One (2.2/3), EVO 4G (2.2) and G2 (2.2), Samsung Nexus S (2.3), Motorola Droid (2.2), LG Revolution (2.2), Casio G&apos;zOne Commando C771 (2.2), and Archos 32 Internet Tablet (2.2). May be limited due to DRM issues[61] Now with device check removed it will work on various devices[62]Boxee OS X and Windows versions only (beta)[citation needed]iOSiPad,[63]iPhone,[64]iPod Touch,[64]Apple TVMediaPortal Windows using the My Netflix plug-in.[citation needed]PlayOn Windows, from MediaMall, used with UPnP clients such as PlayStation 3, Wii and XBMC Media Center[citation needed]Plex media center for Mac OS X only, using the Netflix plug-in from their App Store.[citation needed]Windows Phone 7Video game consolesAt E3 2008, Microsoft announced a deal to distribute Netflix videos over Xbox Live.[65] This service was launched on November 19, 2008[66] to Xbox 360 owners with a Netflix Unlimited subscription and an Xbox Live Gold subscription[67] allowing them to stream movies and TV shows directly from their Netflix Instant Queue from an application on the Dashboard.[68]In October 2009, Sony Computer Entertainment and Netflix announced that the service would also be available on the PlayStation 3 from November 2009. The set-up was similar to that on the Xbox 360, allowing Netflix subscribers to stream movies, videogames, and TV shows from their Instant Queue to watch on the console. Unlike on the Xbox 360, the Netflix application was originally available on a Blu-ray Disc (available free to subscribers). On October 19, 2010, a downloadable application was made available through the PlayStation Network.[69] Users do not have to pay for use of the service other than the monthly Netflix subscription.[70]On January 13, 2010, Nintendo and Netflix announced that the service would become available on the Wii. This service was launched in Spring 2010. The service allows the console to stream content in a user&apos;s Instant Queue. Initially, a streaming disc specifically for the Wii was required along with an Internet connection to the console. Besides a Netflix account with unlimited streaming, there are no additional costs for the service. In contrast to the other two consoles, the Wii is not capable of HD resolution.[71] The Wii streaming disc was released for testing to customers starting Thursday March 25, 2010. The disc was released to all registered Netflix members on April 12, 2010.[72] On October 18, 2010, the streaming disc on the Wii was no longer necessary as Netflix became a free downloadable application on the Wii Shop Channel. On the PlayStation 3, the streaming disc is also no longer necessary, as members can download the application through the PlayStation Store, and will be a tab under the XMB.[73]On June 14, 2011, Nintendo&apos;s president Satoru Iwata confirmed that Wii&apos;s successor console, the Wii U will also have support for Netflix.[74] Netflix service launched for the Nintendo 3DS on July 14, 2011.[75]Set-top boxesIn May 2008 the first set-top-box to stream Netflix&apos;s Watch Instantly movies directly to televisions was released. The device is manufactured by Roku and provides unlimited access to the Netflix streaming media catalog for all subscribers starting at $7.99/month.[54] Set-top box can easily transform your normal regular TV into a &quot;Smart&quot; TV.[76]Blu-ray playersIn October 2008 Netflix agreed to instantly stream movies to two of Samsung&apos;s Blu-ray Disc players.[77] They soon after announced a partnership to instantly stream movies to TiVo DVRs.[78]TelevisionsIn January 2009 Netflix announced a similar partnership with Vizio and LG to instantly stream movies directly to their high definition televisions.[79]In July 2009, Sony announced a partnership with Netflix that will enable Sony BRAVIA Internet Platforms to access instant queues for Netflix users. Any Netflix member with an internet-enabled BRAVIA HDTV will be able to link up their account to their TV and stream videos from their queue.[80]The 2010 line of Panasonic HDTVs with Viera Cast functionality gained the ability to stream Netflix content directly to the television.[81]With 2010&apos;s release of the Google TV, a built in application was Netflix streaming.All other TVs, including LCD and plasma, require connection to a desktop computer, set-top box or game console in order to view streamed content.Handheld devicesIn September 2009, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings expressed his desire to expand his company&apos;s video-streaming service to Apple&apos;s iPhone and iPod Touch mobile devices once the Xbox 360 exclusivity deal expires.[82] In April 2010, the Netflix app debuted on the Apple&apos;s iTunes app store for use with the iPad.[83] The iPhone/ iPod Touch version was released on August 26, 2010 via the App Store.[64] Netflix is also available on Windows Phone 7 devices. Nintendo announced that the Nintendo 3DS portable video game console will support Netflix video streaming in summer 2011.[84] On March 15, 2011, it was announced that Netflix was available for Android phones but not all Android phones can use the application due to DRM issues.[85] Netflix became available on July 14th on the 3DS although no 3D content is available. [86]Sales and marketingThe domain netflix.com attracted at least 194 million visitors annually by 2008, according to a Compete.com survey. This is about five times the number of visitors to blockbuster.com.[87]On March 30, 2009 Netflix announced an increase in the monthly fee it would charge to customers who rent Blu-Ray discs, from $1 a month to $2 a month.[citation needed]During the first quarter of 2011, sales and rentals of packaged DVD and Blu-ray discs plunged about 20 percent, and the sell-through of packaged discs fell 19.99 percent to $2.07 billion, with more money spent on subscription rentals than in-store rentals.[88]ExpansionNetflix had preliminary plans to expand to the UK in 2004, but the expansion was cancelled as Netflix concentrated its services on the U.S. market.[89]Zip.ca currently[when?] markets itself as a Canadian equivalent to Netflix. On July 19, 2010 Netflix announced that in the fall of 2010 it would launch its instant streaming service in Canada, making Canada the first international market expansion for Netflix.[90] On September 22, 2010, Netflix became available in Canada for $7.99/month, but with a severely limited selection due to licensing restrictions. However, since the initial launch in Canada, Netflix has since improved their movie database and continues to add titles several times per week.[91]On September 23, 2010, company CEO Reed Hastings announced that Netflix aims to expand beyond the U.S. and Canadian market. &quot;For now, we&apos;re focused on Canada,&quot; Hastings said in an interview. &quot;If we succeed in Canada, we will certainly look at other markets.&quot;[92]Netflix announced on July 5, 2011 that by the end of 2011 it would expand its services into 43 countries and territories in Latin America and the Caribbean, offering items in English, Spanish and Portuguese.[93]CompetitorsSee also: Online DVD rentalNetflix&apos;s success has inspired a number of other DVD rental companies both in the United States and abroad, but none of the purely online companies appear to approach Netflix in terms of market share or revenues. Wal-Mart began an online rental service in October 2002, but left the market in May 2005 and now has a cross-promotional arrangement with Netflix. Netflix has also cited Amazon.com as a potential competitor,[94] which until 2008 offered online video rentals in the UK and Germany (now sold to LoveFilm), but has remained coy about any similar intentions for the North American market. Amazon bought Lovefilm in 2011.Blockbuster Video, the world&apos;s largest in-store video rental chain, entered the U.S. online market in August 2004 with a US$19.95 monthly subscription service. This sparked a price war; Netflix had raised its popular three-disc plan from US$19.95 to US$21.99 just prior to Blockbuster&apos;s launch, but by October Netflix reduced this fee to US$17.99. Blockbuster responded with rates as low as US$14.99 for a time, but by August 2005, both companies settled at the (identical) current rates. On July 22, 2007, Netflix announced that it would drop the prices of its two most popular plans by US$1.00 in an effort to better compete with Blockbuster&apos;s online-only offerings.[95] Blockbuster&apos;s subscriber base after one year was roughly a third of Netflix&apos;s size and growing, including promotions such as the option to swap DVDs rented online at neighborhood stores and the simultaneous elimination of late fees altogether.[citation needed] Netflix has also been credited with playing a large part in the bankruptcy and shrinkage of several movie rental chains including Blockbuster and Movie Gallery.Many in-store video rental chains now have unlimited rental plans similar to those of Netflix. Hollywood Video started its Movie Value Pass (MVP) service in late 2004, which enables customers to rent up to three movies at a time (due in five days) for US$15 a month. New releases, however, are typically excluded from the service for two to six weeks in the MVP &quot;Basic&quot; plan. Blockbuster started Movie Pass in 2004, which lets customers keep two to three DVDs at a time for US$25–30 a month, without restrictions or due dates. Hollywood&apos;s MVP &quot;Premium&quot; plan offers the same benefits for a comparable price. Both services still require the customer to travel to the store to rent and return the movies, and their respective selections are not as diverse as that offered by Netflix.[citation needed]Redbox is another competitor that uses a kiosk approach: rather than mailing DVDs, customers pick up and return DVDs at self-service kiosks located in metropolitan areas. Coinstar, the owners of Redbox also plan to launch an online streaming service in early 2011. Some speculate this service to be offered at $3.95 per month.[96]Netflix and Blockbuster largely avoid offering pornography, but several adult-video subscription services were inspired by Netflix, such as SugarDVD and WantedList.[97][98]Time Warner cableIn March 2011, with its plans of the $11.5 billion DVD rental and online video service to branch out into original content encroach on the territory staked out by the pioneering Time Warner cable network, Netflix looked less like Web TV and more like HBO.[99]Finance and revenue2010In 2010, Netflix&apos;s stock price increased 219% to $175.70 and it added 8 million subscribers, bringing its total to 20 million. Revenue jumped 29% to $2.16 billion and net income was up 39% to $161 million.[100]2011In April 2011, Netflix is expected to earn $1.07 a share in the first quarter of 2011 on revenue of $705.7 million, a huge increase compared to the year-earlier profit of 59 cents on revenue of $493.7 million, according to a survey of 25 analysts polled by FactSet Research.[101]Legal issues and controversiesA concern has been raised that this article&apos;s Criticism section may be compromising the article&apos;s neutral point of view of the subject. Possible resolutions may be to integrate the material in the section into the article as a whole, or to rewrite the contents of the section. Please see the discussion on the talk page. (July 2010)&quot;Recommendation Algorithm&quot;In 2006, Netflix held the first &quot;Netflix Prize,&quot; competition to find a program to better predict user preferences and beat its existing Netflix movie recommendation system known as Cinematch, by at least 10%. An AT&amp;T Research Team called BellKor combined with commendo&apos;s team BigChaos and others won the 2009 grand prize competition for $1 million. The winning team algorithm called Pragmatic Chaos used machine learning techniques to find that, for example, the rating system people use of older movies is very different than for a movie they just saw. The mood of the day made a difference also; for example, Friday ratings were different than Monday morning ratings.[102]In 2010, Netflix canceled a running contest to improve the company&apos;s recommendation algorithm due to privacy concerns: under the terms of the competition, contestants were given access to customer rental data, which the company had purportedly anonymized. However, it was discovered that even this anonymized dataset could, in fact, personally identify a user. Netflix was sued by KamberLaw L.L.C. and ended the contest after reaching a deal with the FTC.[103]&quot;Throttling&quot;Chavez v. Netflix Inc.In September 2004, a consumer class action lawsuit, Frank Chavez v. Netflix, Inc.,[104] was brought against Netflix in San Francisco Superior Court. The suit alleged false advertising in relation to claims of &quot;unlimited rentals&quot; with &quot;one-day delivery.&quot; In January 2005, Netflix changed its &quot;Terms of Use&quot; to acknowledge what has commonly become known as &quot;throttling&quot;. (Mike Kaltschnee, owner of the Hacking Netflix blog, says Netflix calls this practice &quot;smoothing&quot; internally.)[105]In October 2005, Netflix proposed a settlement for those who had enrolled as a paid Netflix member prior to January 15, 2005. These earlier members would be able to renew their subscriptions with a one-month free membership, and those early members with current subscriptions would receive a one-month free upgrade to the next-highest membership level. Netflix&apos;s settlement denied allegations of any wrongdoing, and the case did not reach a legal judgment. Netflix estimated the settlement cost at approximately US$4 million, which included up to US$2.53 million to cover plaintiff lawyer fees. A controversial aspect of the settlement offer was that the customer&apos;s account would continue at the renewed or upgraded membership level after the free month provided by the settlement, with customers being charged accordingly unless they opted out after the month-long free period ended. After Trial Lawyers for Public Justice filed a challenge to the proposed settlement[106] and the Federal Trade Commission filed an amicus brief urging the rejection or modification of the settlement, Netflix offered to alter the settlement terms requiring customers to actively approve any continuation after the free month. The final settlement hearing took place on March 22, 2006.[107] but, implementation of the settlement was delayed pending appeal the California Appellate Courts.[108] The settlement was affirmed on 2008-04-21, with the court saying, &quot;the trial court did not abuse its discretion in approving the amended class action settlement agreement, approving the notice given to class members, or determining the amount of fees.&quot;[109] Interestingly, the court approved email notice and an online claims submission process.[110] The court said:The summary notice and long-form notice together provided all of the detail required by statute or court rule, in a highly accessible form. The fact that not all of the information was contained in a single e-mail or mailing is immaterial… Using a summary notice that directed the class member wanting more information to a Web site containing a more detailed notice, and provided hyperlinks to that Web site, was a perfectly acceptable manner of giving notice in this case… The class members conducted business with defendant over the Internet, and can be assumed to know how to navigate between the summary notice and the Web site. Using the capability of the Internet in that fashion was a sensible and efficient way of providing notice, especially compared to the alternative Vogel apparently preferred—mailing out a lengthy legalistic document that few class members would have been able to plow through.The settlement was criticized because it paid out $2.5 million to attorneys for fees and costs, while offering only coupons to the class members.[111][112]The Terms of Use have since been amended with terms that indicate such a suit would not be possible in the future:[113]These Terms of Use shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the state of Delaware, without regard to conflicts of laws provisions. You and Netflix agree that the United States District Court for the Northern District of California and/or the California Superior Court for the County of Santa Clara shall have exclusive jurisdiction over any dispute between you and Netflix relating in any way to the Netflix service or Web site or these Terms of Use. You and Netflix expressly and irrevocably consent to personal jurisdiction and venue in these courts. The parties agree that in any such dispute or subsequent legal action, they will only assert claims in an individual (non-class, non-representative) basis, and that they will not seek or agree to serve as a named representative in a class action or seek relief on behalf of those other than themselves.Releasing This WeekThe Netflix website at one time featured a list of titles &quot;Releasing This Week&quot; (RTW) that enabled customers to easily view new DVDs the company planned for rental release each week.[114] On December 21, 2007, the company removed the link to the page without notice and replaced it with a slider system showing only four previously released movies at a time. The new page, called &quot;Popular New Releases&quot;, does not list newly released DVDs for rental.[115] The listing of new releases is still active,[114] though no menu option links to the page.On January 1, 2008, a Netflix employee unofficially stated on the Netflix Community Blog that customers used the RTW page to add newly released movies to the top of their queues, then complained about delays in receiving them after demand outstripped the supply of DVDs on hand. By removing the page, Netflix sought to quell complaints that these movies were not readily available. Critics, however, have suggested this was just another Netflix attempt at &quot;throttling&quot;.[116]Dynamic queue, subscription &amp; delivery methodsNetflix vs. BlockbusterOn April 4, 2006, Netflix filed a patent infringement lawsuit in which it demanded a jury trial in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, alleging that Blockbuster&apos;s online DVD rental subscription program violated two patents held by Netflix. The first cause of action alleged Blockbuster&apos;s infringement of U.S. Patent No. 7,024,381 (issued April 4, 2006; only hours before the lawsuit was filed) by copying the &quot;dynamic queue&quot; of DVDs available for each customer, Netflix&apos;s method of using the ranked preferences in the queue to send DVDs to subscribers, and Netflix&apos;s method permitting the queue to be updated and reordered.[117] The second cause of action alleged infringement of Patent No. 6,584,450 (issued June 24, 2003), which covers in less detail the subscription rental service as well as Netflix&apos;s methods of communication and delivery.[118] The dispute was ended a year later, on June 25, 2007, with both companies declining to disclose the terms of their legal settlement, except for a statement by Blockbuster that it would not have a major impact on its future financial performance.[119][120] Blockbuster also said that the company planned to close 282 stores that year to shift focus to its online service. The company already had closed 290 stores in 2006.[citation needed]In fall 2006, Blockbuster signed a deal with The Weinstein Company, that gave it the exclusive rental rights to the studio&apos;s films beginning January 1, 2007.[121] This agreement forced Netflix to obtain copies from mass merchants or retailers, instead of directly from the studio.[122] Netflix has speculated that the effect of the Blockbuster-Weinstein agreement could result in higher rental costs and/or fewer copies of the studio&apos;s movies, which would limit the number of each movie&apos;s DVDs that would be available to subscribers at any one time.[123] As of June 2007[update], Netflix continues to make available Weinstein movies, including Unknown, School For Scoundrels and Harsh Times, among others. The first-sale doctrine allows Netflix and other video rental businesses to offer movies released by the Weinstein Company, but the long-term effects of the Blockbuster-Weinstein deal remain uncertain.Removal of Friends featureSince 2004, Netflix subscribers could utilize a feature that allowed them to interact with friends who were also members. This feature was meant to tap into the growing popularity of social networking. With this feature, users could see how their friends rated a movie on that movie&apos;s page; view what DVDs their friends were renting; and allow them to leave their friends notes with film recommendations.[124][125]In March 2010, as part of a redesign of its movie-details pages, the Friends feature began to be phased out. Users could no longer see their friends&apos; ratings on movie pages, and what remained of the friends section was moved to a small link at the bottom of each page. The initial announcement about the redesign on Netflix&apos;s official blog made no reference to any changes to the Friends feature.[126] Hundreds of angry users posted negative comments, and the feedback prompted Netflix&apos;s Vice President of Product Management, Todd Yellin, to post a follow-up statement. While apologizing for poor communication about the changes, Yellin stated that the Friends feature would continue to be phased out, citing figures that only 2% of members used the feature and the company&apos;s limited resources to maintain the service.[124][125][127] Netflix users also began using the movie-reviews section of the website to post comments protesting the changes.[128]Linux supportNetflix has consistently shown reluctance to support customers using Linux and other open-source operating systems.[129] The company continues to support only Microsoft Windows and Macintosh, relying on Microsoft Silverlight technology. Steve Swasey, Netflix Vice-President of Corporate Communications, told TechRepublic that despite the willingness of developers to implement Digital Rights Management measures in the media framework application Moonlight (which is an open-source implementation of Silverlight), Netflix cannot be &quot;everything for everybody all the time&quot;. Netflix does support Android, which is a mobile variant of Linux optimized for cell phones.As of May 9, 2011 (2011 -05-09)[update], Google released plans for a Chrome/Chrome OS plugin that would allow users with the Chrome OS/browser to use said plugin to view and stream material on Netflix, including Linux users.[130]PartnershipsStarzIn April 2011, the pay cable channel, Starz, was about to be more restrictive about what it allows Netflix to stream to customers’ computers and television sets.[131]Starz – one of Netflix’s closest partners – backed off a bit from that partnership, when it announced a three-month delay between the time Starz plays new TV episodes and when those episodes will be available on Netflix.[131]Closed captioningIn June 2011, the National Association of the Deaf filed a lawsuit against Netflix for not providing closed captioning on all of its Watch Instantly movies. The group claims that Netflix is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by not providing equal access on entertainment.[132]Technical detailsStreamingNetflix streams HD content using Microsoft VC1AP encoding at a maximum bitrate of between 2600 kbit/s and 3800 kbit/s (depending on the movie).[133] A lower bitrate feed[134] may be supplied if the user&apos;s network connection is not capable of handling the maximum bitrate available for the film in question. One problem with the streaming is the content, a film can change from &quot;Instant Streaming&quot; to &quot;Just DVD&quot; because of the licenses Netflix agrees with the studios. An example is the movie 1984 which fluctuates from &quot;save&quot; to &quot;Instant Streaming&quot; and back because of the licensing agreement.[citation needed]Netflix recommends that people stream its movies over a broadband connection with a speed of at least 1.5 megabits per second (1.5 Mbit/s), and that people use an Internet connection of at least 3 megabits per second to get better-looking video on par with a DVD.[135]&quot;Throttling&quot;Netflix&apos;s allocation policy – referred to by many as &quot;throttling&quot; – gives priority shipping and selection to customers who rent fewer discs per month. Higher volume renters may see some of their selections delayed, routed elsewhere, or sent out of order.[136]Netflix claims that &quot;the large majority of our subscribers are able to receive their movies in about one business day following our shipment of the requested movie from their local distribution center.&quot;[137] However, not all shipments come from the subscriber&apos;s local distribution center, and shipments from distant centers are often delayed, as well.Netflix APIOn October 1, 2008, Netflix launched an Application Programming Interface (API).[138] The Netflix API[139] allows access to data for all Netflix titles as well as access on a user&apos;s behalf to manage their movie queue. The Developer Network includes a forum for asking and answering questions. The Netflix API is free and allows commercial use. A variety of services have been created around the Netflix API or have integrated the API. Examples include Rotten Tomatoes and The New York Times, which allow users to click to add titles to their Netflix queue or begin watching on Watch Instantly from their pages,[140] and Jinni, which additionally enables search within Watch Instantly and import of some user information like reviews.[141]The API has allowed many developers to release Netflix applications for mobile devices. On November 16, 2009 Netflix released an official Nokia app that allows some trailer streaming.[142] An official iPhone app was released on August 26, 2010.[64]See alsoGameFly, a similar online video game rental service modeled after Netflix.Simply Audiobooks, a similar online rental service for audiobooks.LoveFilm, an online video rental service similar to Netflix but for Northern EuropeReferences
  • Fin300 Team assignments, according to the following sections: Du Pont ModelDelegated Researcher (s): LiciaSupporting info to help clarify and assist presentation part:NetflixFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to: navigation, searchNetflix, Inc.TypePublic companyTraded asNASDAQ: NFLXIndustryVideo rentalFounded1997[1]HeadquartersLos Gatos, California, USArea servedUnited States, CanadaKey peopleReed Hastings, co-founder and CEODavid Wells, CFO, SecretaryLeslie J. Kilgore, CMOProductsProprietaryMicrosoftVC-1 video download, online DVD and Blu-ray Disc rentalRevenueUS$1.67 billion (FY 2009)[2]Operating incomeUS$194 million (FY 2009)[2]Net incomeUS$116 million (FY 2009)[2]Total assetsUS$680 million (FY 2009)[3]Total equityUS$199 million (FY 2009)[3]Employees2,180 full-time (2010)[4]Websitenetflix.comNetflix, Inc., (NASDAQ: NFLX) is an American provider of on-demand internet streaming video in the United States and Canada,[5] and flat rateDVD-by-mail in the United States. The company was established in 1997 and is headquartered in Los Gatos, California. It started its subscription service in 1999[6] and by 2009 it was offering a collection of 100,000 titles on DVD, surpassing 10 million subscribers. On February 25, 2007, Netflix announced the billionth DVD delivery.[7] In April 2011, Netflix announced 23.6 million subscribers.[8] In summer 2011, Netflix announced they will expand into the European market, starting in Spain by 2012.[9]Contents[hide]1 History2 Services2.1 Internet video streaming2.1.1 History2.2 Disc rental2.3 Original programming2.4 Profiles3 Device support3.1 Hardware supported3.2 Software support3.3 Video game consoles3.4 Set-top boxes3.5 Blu-ray players3.6 Televisions3.7 Handheld devices4 Sales and marketing4.1 Expansion4.2 Competitors4.2.1 Time Warner cable5 Finance and revenue5.1 20105.2 20116 Legal issues and controversies6.1 &quot;Recommendation Algorithm&quot;6.2 &quot;Throttling&quot;6.3 Releasing This Week6.4 Dynamic queue, subscription &amp; delivery methods6.5 Removal of Friends feature6.6 Linux support6.7 Partnerships6.7.1 Starz6.8 Closed captioning7 Technical details7.1 Streaming7.2 &quot;Throttling&quot;7.3 Netflix API8 See also9 References10 External linksHistoryNetflix headquarters in Los GatosNetflix was founded in 1997 in Scotts Valley, California by Marc Randolph[citation needed] and Reed Hastings, who previously had worked together at Pure Software, along with Mitch Lowe. Hastings was inspired to start the company after being charged late fees for returning a rented copy of Apollo 13 after the due date.[10] The Netflix website launched in April 1998 with an online version of a more traditional pay-per-rental model (US $4 per rental plus US $2 in postage; late fees applied).[11] Netflix introduced the monthly subscription concept in September 1999,[12] then dropped the single-rental model in early 2000. Since that time the company has built its reputation on the business model of flat-fee unlimited rentals without due dates, late fees, shipping or handling fees, or per title rental fees.Netflix developed and maintains an extensive personalized video-recommendation system based on ratings and reviews by its customers. On October 1, 2006, Netflix offered a $1,000,000 prize to the first developer of a video-recommendation algorithm that could beat its existing algorithm, Cinematch, at predicting customer ratings by more than 10%.[13]&quot;Some 35,000 different film titles are contained in the 1 million DVDs it sends out every day.&quot;[14]Netflix has played a prominent role in independent film distribution. Through a division called Red Envelope Entertainment, Netflix licensed and distributed independent films such as Born into Brothels and Sherrybaby. As of late 2006, Red Envelope Entertainment also expanded into producing original content with filmmakers such as John Waters.[15] Netflix announced plans to close Red Envelope Entertainment in 2008, in part to avoid competition with its studio partners.[16][17]Netflix initiated an initial public offering (IPO) on May 29, 2002, selling 5,500,000 shares of common stock at the price of US $15.00 per share. On June 14, 2002, the company sold an additional 825,000 shares of common stock at the same price. After incurring substantial losses during its first few years, Netflix posted its first profit during fiscal year 2003, earning US $6.5 million profit on revenues of US $272 million. The company is well-known for its worker-oriented culture, including unlimited vacation time for salaried workers and allowing those employees to take any amount of their paychecks in stock options.[18]Netflix has been one of the most successful dot-com ventures. A The New York Times article from September 2002, said that, at the time, Netflix mailed about 190,000 discs per day to its 670,000 monthly subscribers. The company&apos;s published subscriber count increased from one million in the fourth quarter of 2002 to around 5.6 million at the end of the third quarter of 2006, to 14 million in March 2010. Netflix&apos;s growth has been fueled by the fast spread of DVD players in households; as of 2004, nearly two-thirds of U.S. homes had a DVD player. Netflix capitalized on the success of the DVD and its rapid expansion into U.S. homes, integrating the potential of the Internet and e-commerce to provide services and catalogs that brick and mortar retailers could not compete with. Netflix also operates an online affiliate program which has helped it to build online sales for DVD rentals.ServicesNetflix is a subscription-based movie and television show rental service that offers media to subscribers via Internet streaming and via US mail.Internet video streamingNetflix offers Internet video streaming (&quot;Watch Instantly&quot;) of selected titles to computers running Windows or Mac OS X and to compatible devices. Internet video streaming comes at no additional charge with Netflix&apos;s regular subscription service; however, only a portion of Netflix&apos;s content is available via the &quot;Watch Instantly&quot; option.[19] In its simplest form, video is streamed to the user using standard PC hardware, and requires Microsoft&apos;s Silverlight software to be installed. Viewing is initiated by pressing a &quot;Play Instantly&quot; button, and played back on the PC monitor. Films can be paused or restarted at will. According to a 2011 report by Sandvine, Netflix is the biggest source of North American web traffic, accounting for 24.71 percent of aggregated traffic.[20]Initially, the feature offered subscribers one hour of media for approximately every dollar they spent on their subscription. (A $16.99 plan, for example, entitled the subscriber to 17 hours of streaming media.) In January 2008, however, Netflix lifted this restriction. Virtually all subscribers now are entitled to unlimited hours of streaming media at no additional cost. Subscribers with a plan of $4.99/two DVDs per month, one DVD at a time, are allowed two hours which can only be watched on a computer. The new terms of the service are a response to the introduction of Apple&apos;s new video rental services.[21]According to Netflix Tech Support, Netflix&apos;s content library is encoded into three bandwidth tiers, in a compression format based on the VC-1 video and Windows Media audio codecs. The lowest tier requires a continuous downstream bandwidth (to the client) of 1.5 Mbit/s, and offers stereo audio and video quality comparable to DVD. The middle tier requires 3 Mbit/s, and offers &quot;better than DVD quality&quot;. The highest tier requires 5 Mbit/s, and offers 720p HD with surround sound audio. As of December 2010[update], the PS3 is the only device able to stream Netflix at 1080p resolution.Netflix does not support playback on Linux PCs although the Linux-based Roku devices are supported. It is possible to connect the Roku device, game console, or blu-ray player to a Linux PC (or directly to the computer monitor) with an adapter. It is also possible to run Windows and Netflix in a virtual machine such as Virtualbox or Qemu. In a TechRepublic interview in August 2010, Netflix&apos;s VP of Corporate Communications stated that available Silverlight plugins for Linux, such as Moonlight, do not support the PlayReadyDRM system that Netflix requires for playback.[22] Netflix does support the Android operating system, which uses the Linux kernel, although is otherwise separate from Linux.HistoryOn October 1, 2008, Netflix announced a partnership with Starz Entertainment to bring 2,500+ new movies and television shows to Watch Instantly in what is being called Starz Play.[23]In August 2010, Netflix announced it had reached a five-year deal worth nearly $1 billion to stream movies from Paramount, Lionsgate and MGM. The deal increases the amount Netflix spends on streaming movies annually. It spent $117 million in the first six months of 2010 on streaming, up from $31 million in 2009. This deal adds roughly $200 million per year.[24]As of 2011, Netflix&apos;s &quot;Watch Instantly&quot; service holds first-run rights to films from Paramount Pictures, MGM, Lions Gate Entertainment (through an output deal with Epix), along with films from Sony Pictures, Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group, Overture Films, Anchor Bay Entertainment (through an output deal with Starz).[citation needed] Other studios providing first-run films include First Look Pictures, Relativity Media and other smaller and independent distributors.[citation needed] In addition, Netflix holds rights to back-catalog titles to films from Time Warner, Universal Pictures, Sony Pictures, Paramount Pictures, MGM, Lions Gate Entertainment, 20th Century Fox and other distributors.[citation needed] Netflix also provides current and back-catalog TV programs distributed by NBC Universal, 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures, Disney-ABC Domestic Television, with select shows from Warner Bros. as well.[citation needed] Netflix also previously showed movies from the Criterion Collection, but the titles were pulled from the streaming library when Criterion Collection titles were added to Hulu&apos;sHulu Plus streaming library.[25]On July 12, 2011 Netflix announced that it would separate the current subscription plans into two separate plans: one covering the instant streaming and the other DVD rental.[26] The cost for streaming would be $7.99 while DVD rental would start at the same price. The announcement led to a flurry of negative reception amongst Netflix&apos;s Facebook followers, posting negative comments on the company&apos;s wall.[27]Twitter comments also spiked a &quot;Dear Netflix&quot; trend with generally negative comments as well.[27] The company defended its decision during its initial announcement of the change. &quot;Given the long life we think DVDs by mail will have, treating DVDs as a $2 add-on to our unlimited streaming plan neither makes great financial sense nor satisfies people who just want DVDs,&quot; Netflix wrote on its blog. &quot;Creating an unlimited-DVDs-by-mail plan (no streaming) at our lowest price ever, $7.99, does make sense and will ensure a long life for our DVDs-by-mail offering.&quot;[26]Disc rentalThe discs are returned to Netflix in the same envelopes in which they are sent to customers.In the United States, the company provides a monthly flat-fee service for the rental of DVD and Blu-ray discs. A subscriber creates an ordered list, called a rental queue, of movies to rent. The movies are delivered individually via the United States Postal Service from an array of regional warehouses. As of March 28, 2011, Netflix had 58 shipping locations throughout the U.S.[28] The subscriber can keep the rented movie as long as desired, but there is a limit on the number of movies (determined by subscription level) that each subscriber can have on loan simultaneously. To rent a new movie, the subscriber must mail the previous one back to Netflix in a prepaid mailing envelope. Upon receipt of the disc, Netflix ships the next available disc in the subscriber&apos;s rental queue.Netflix offers several pricing tiers, starting at $4.99 per month for one disc at a time and a limit of two-per-month. Netflix also offers gift subscriptions for various rental tiers.Since November 21, 2008, Netflix has offered their subscribers access to Blu-ray Discs for an additional fee of $1 plus $1-per-disc in the subscription plan (i.e., a 3-DVD-at-a-time plan with Blu-Ray costs an additional $4). The fee for this service increased on April 27, 2009.[29]In addition to its movie rental service, Netflix formerly sold used movies. The purchase was delivered via the same system and billed using the same payment methods as rentals. This service was discontinued at the end of November 2008.[30]Starting January 6, 2010, Netflix reached an agreement with Warner Brothers Pictures to delay renting new releases for 28 days from their retail release in an attempt to help studios sell more physical media at retail outlets. A similar deal with Universal Studios and Twentieth Century Fox was reached on April 9, 2010.[31][32][33]Original programmingIn March 2011, Netflix announced plans to begin acquiring first-run original content for its popular Watch Instantly subscription service, beginning with the hour-long political drama House of Cards, which will debut on the streaming service in late 2012. The series will reportedly be helmed by David Fincher, with Academy Award winning actor Kevin Spacey headlining the cast.[34]Netflix is rumored to have outbid heavyweights HBO and AMC,[35] two of the current market leaders in original dramatic programming. As Deadline.com reported on March 15, 2011:&quot;Netflix landed the drama project by offering a staggering commitment of two seasons, or 26 episodes. Given that the price tag for a high-end drama is in the $4–$6 million an episode range and that a launch of a big original series commands tens of millions of dollars for promotion, the deal, is believed to be worth more than $100 million and could change the way people consume TV shows.&quot;[35]Initial industry reactions largely echoed this tone, and, while generally positive, have focused heavily on Netflix&apos;s bold, risky, and potentially transformative entry into the original content game. In the face of breathless and rampant media speculation, Netflix&apos;s response has thus far been reserved and mostly focused on downplaying the potential implications in its core strategy. In an interview with All Things Digital&apos;s Peter Kafka, Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos attempted to put the situation into perspective:[36]&quot;It&apos;s not much of a radical departure in what we do every day. There’s an added risk factor, in that this is the first time we’re licensing something that hasn&apos;t been produced, or at least completed.&quot;[36]But there&apos;s no risk factor in terms of delivery, because we&apos;re not investing development money, and we don&apos;t pay for it unless they deliver the show. But it is the first time we&apos;ve made a very large commitment to a series that hasn’t been produced.[36]It&apos;s just a matter of your philosophy around development. Networks can typically invest tens of millions of dollars in the development of a pilot. And if they put the show on the air and it fails, that&apos;s all lost money. There&apos;s no monetization of a broken series.[36]We&apos;re betting on the creative team and the source material. &quot;House of Cards&quot; is incredible source material–the BBC version is quite popular already on Netflix. David Fincher&apos;s work has all been incredibly well-received on Netflix, and Kevin Spacey&apos;s films have all worked on Netflix. The notion that that team will produce a very good product is a pretty safe bet.[36][...] If the show proves very popular, it won&apos;t be any more expensive than licensing a popular show off of a network. So economically, it&apos;s not a seismic shift, if it&apos;s popular. If it isn&apos;t, then we&apos;ll have paid more for an unpopular show than we normally would have.[36]The day after the after news of the acquisition broke, The Wall Street Journal responded to Deadline.com&apos;s report that Netflix could pay more than $100 million as part of a deal for 26 episodes, citing a source &quot;[...] familiar with Netflix&apos;s plans,&quot; who claimed the actual amount will be &quot;[...] much less than that,&quot;[37] a sentiment echoed Peter Kafka in his influential Media Memo blog.[36]Despite initial media confusion to the contrary, Netflix will not be producing House of Cards directly, but rather will license it from Media Rights Capital who will deficit finance the series.[36] Netflix will have first-run domestic exclusivity, but Media Rights Capital will own the series and retain domestic syndication, foreign distribution, worldwide DVD/Blu-ray, and all other ancillary rights.[34]Netflix spokesmen have declined to specify what the company will actually be paying for the series House of Cards, but as reliable sources have confirmed it to be significantly less than the series&apos; rumored $100 million production cost,[37][36] Netflix&apos;s fee for the 26 episode deal will necessarily amount to less than $3.85 million per episode. For comparison, during the 2006–2010 television seasons, Fox Broadcast Network paid a license fee of $5 million per episode to 20th Century Fox Television for 24,[38] while satellite provider DirecTV pays license fees of only $1–$1.25 million per episode[39] for its critically acclaimed series Damages and Friday Night Lights. Netflix&apos;s licensing costs for House of Cards will therefore fall somewhere between that of a typical high-end hour-long network drama and a modestly budgeted niche cable production.Another significant cost factor for the series will be Netflix&apos;s unique marketing strategy, which, unlike the networks, does not involve spending &quot;anything&quot; to promote the series. According to Netflix spokesman Steve Swasey, &quot;You won&apos;t see billboards or TV ads or banner ads.&quot; Instead, Netflix will rely entirely on its recommendation technology to suggest House of Cards only to its subscribers who are most likely to enjoy it—viewers who, for example, enjoy political dramas, films by David Fincher, and liked American Beauty and The Usual Suspects. It remains unclear however if or how Netflix plans to leverage House of Cards to drive subscriber growth. But regardless, the frenzy of press attention that emerged even before the acquisition was officially announced demonstrates that, at least for now, public and media interest in the series are high.[34]ProfilesIn June 2008, Netflix announced plans to eliminate its online subscriber profile feature that fall.[40] Profiles allow one subscriber account to contain multiple users (e.g. husband and wife, or two roommates) with separate DVD queues, ratings, recommendations, friend lists, reviews, and intra-site communications for each. Netflix contended that elimination of profiles would improve customer experience.[41] However, likely as a result of negative reviews and reaction by Netflix users.[42][43][44] Netflix reversed its decision to remove profiles 11 days after its announcement.[45] In announcing the reinstatement of profiles, Netflix defended its original decision, &quot;Because of an ongoing desire to make our website easier to use, we believed taking a feature away that is only used by a very small minority would help us improve the site for everyone.&quot; Then explained its reversal, &quot;Listening to our members, we realized that users of this feature often describe it as an essential part of their Netflix experience. Simplicity is only one virtue and it can certainly be outweighed by utility.&quot;[46]Device supportMain article: List of Netflix Instant Watch DevicesHardware supportedList of Netflix-ready devices:[47]Apple TV set-top box[48]Boxee Box set-top box[49]Insignia Blu-ray Disc players and home theater systemsLG Electronics Blu-ray Disc players, TVs (LH50 series LCD and PS80 plasma), and home theater systemsLogitech Revue Google TV Buddy BoxMicrosoftXbox 360[50]NintendoWii[51] and Nintendo 3DS[52] (Wii U support also confirmed)Panasonic Some Blu-ray Disc players, televisions and home theater systemsPhilips Some Blu-ray Disc players and TVs[53]Popbox set-top box (announced)Roku set-top box[54]Samsung Some Blu-ray Disc players and home theater systems[55]SeagateFreeAgent Theater+ HD Media PlayersSharp Some Blu-ray Disc players[56]Sony Blu-ray Disc players, TVs, Google TV devices, and PlayStation 3[57]TiVo DVRs (HD, HD XL, Series3™, Premiere and Premiere XL boxes)[58]Viewsonic VMP75Vizio Some Blu-ray Disc players and TVsWestern Digital WD Live plus Media PlayerSoftware supportSupported Web Browsers by Platform:Microsoft Windows: Windows XP Service Pack 2, Windows Vista, Windows 7 running Internet Explorer 6 (or higher), Firefox 2 (or higher) or Google Chrome 6 (or higher). New viewer requires use of the Microsoft Silverlight technology and a 1.2 GHz CPU.[59]Mac OS X: An Intel-based Mac with OS 10.4.8 or later. Browser support is Safari 3 (or higher), Firefox 2 (or higher) or Google Chrome. Mac Netflix was added October 27, 2008, which requires use of the Microsoft Silverlight technology.[60]Other software options:Android including the HTC Incredible (2.2), Nexus One (2.2/3), EVO 4G (2.2) and G2 (2.2), Samsung Nexus S (2.3), Motorola Droid (2.2), LG Revolution (2.2), Casio G&apos;zOne Commando C771 (2.2), and Archos 32 Internet Tablet (2.2). May be limited due to DRM issues[61] Now with device check removed it will work on various devices[62]Boxee OS X and Windows versions only (beta)[citation needed]iOSiPad,[63]iPhone,[64]iPod Touch,[64]Apple TVMediaPortal Windows using the My Netflix plug-in.[citation needed]PlayOn Windows, from MediaMall, used with UPnP clients such as PlayStation 3, Wii and XBMC Media Center[citation needed]Plex media center for Mac OS X only, using the Netflix plug-in from their App Store.[citation needed]Windows Phone 7Video game consolesAt E3 2008, Microsoft announced a deal to distribute Netflix videos over Xbox Live.[65] This service was launched on November 19, 2008[66] to Xbox 360 owners with a Netflix Unlimited subscription and an Xbox Live Gold subscription[67] allowing them to stream movies and TV shows directly from their Netflix Instant Queue from an application on the Dashboard.[68]In October 2009, Sony Computer Entertainment and Netflix announced that the service would also be available on the PlayStation 3 from November 2009. The set-up was similar to that on the Xbox 360, allowing Netflix subscribers to stream movies, videogames, and TV shows from their Instant Queue to watch on the console. Unlike on the Xbox 360, the Netflix application was originally available on a Blu-ray Disc (available free to subscribers). On October 19, 2010, a downloadable application was made available through the PlayStation Network.[69] Users do not have to pay for use of the service other than the monthly Netflix subscription.[70]On January 13, 2010, Nintendo and Netflix announced that the service would become available on the Wii. This service was launched in Spring 2010. The service allows the console to stream content in a user&apos;s Instant Queue. Initially, a streaming disc specifically for the Wii was required along with an Internet connection to the console. Besides a Netflix account with unlimited streaming, there are no additional costs for the service. In contrast to the other two consoles, the Wii is not capable of HD resolution.[71] The Wii streaming disc was released for testing to customers starting Thursday March 25, 2010. The disc was released to all registered Netflix members on April 12, 2010.[72] On October 18, 2010, the streaming disc on the Wii was no longer necessary as Netflix became a free downloadable application on the Wii Shop Channel. On the PlayStation 3, the streaming disc is also no longer necessary, as members can download the application through the PlayStation Store, and will be a tab under the XMB.[73]On June 14, 2011, Nintendo&apos;s president Satoru Iwata confirmed that Wii&apos;s successor console, the Wii U will also have support for Netflix.[74] Netflix service launched for the Nintendo 3DS on July 14, 2011.[75]Set-top boxesIn May 2008 the first set-top-box to stream Netflix&apos;s Watch Instantly movies directly to televisions was released. The device is manufactured by Roku and provides unlimited access to the Netflix streaming media catalog for all subscribers starting at $7.99/month.[54] Set-top box can easily transform your normal regular TV into a &quot;Smart&quot; TV.[76]Blu-ray playersIn October 2008 Netflix agreed to instantly stream movies to two of Samsung&apos;s Blu-ray Disc players.[77] They soon after announced a partnership to instantly stream movies to TiVo DVRs.[78]TelevisionsIn January 2009 Netflix announced a similar partnership with Vizio and LG to instantly stream movies directly to their high definition televisions.[79]In July 2009, Sony announced a partnership with Netflix that will enable Sony BRAVIA Internet Platforms to access instant queues for Netflix users. Any Netflix member with an internet-enabled BRAVIA HDTV will be able to link up their account to their TV and stream videos from their queue.[80]The 2010 line of Panasonic HDTVs with Viera Cast functionality gained the ability to stream Netflix content directly to the television.[81]With 2010&apos;s release of the Google TV, a built in application was Netflix streaming.All other TVs, including LCD and plasma, require connection to a desktop computer, set-top box or game console in order to view streamed content.Handheld devicesIn September 2009, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings expressed his desire to expand his company&apos;s video-streaming service to Apple&apos;s iPhone and iPod Touch mobile devices once the Xbox 360 exclusivity deal expires.[82] In April 2010, the Netflix app debuted on the Apple&apos;s iTunes app store for use with the iPad.[83] The iPhone/ iPod Touch version was released on August 26, 2010 via the App Store.[64] Netflix is also available on Windows Phone 7 devices. Nintendo announced that the Nintendo 3DS portable video game console will support Netflix video streaming in summer 2011.[84] On March 15, 2011, it was announced that Netflix was available for Android phones but not all Android phones can use the application due to DRM issues.[85] Netflix became available on July 14th on the 3DS although no 3D content is available. [86]Sales and marketingThe domain netflix.com attracted at least 194 million visitors annually by 2008, according to a Compete.com survey. This is about five times the number of visitors to blockbuster.com.[87]On March 30, 2009 Netflix announced an increase in the monthly fee it would charge to customers who rent Blu-Ray discs, from $1 a month to $2 a month.[citation needed]During the first quarter of 2011, sales and rentals of packaged DVD and Blu-ray discs plunged about 20 percent, and the sell-through of packaged discs fell 19.99 percent to $2.07 billion, with more money spent on subscription rentals than in-store rentals.[88]ExpansionNetflix had preliminary plans to expand to the UK in 2004, but the expansion was cancelled as Netflix concentrated its services on the U.S. market.[89]Zip.ca currently[when?] markets itself as a Canadian equivalent to Netflix. On July 19, 2010 Netflix announced that in the fall of 2010 it would launch its instant streaming service in Canada, making Canada the first international market expansion for Netflix.[90] On September 22, 2010, Netflix became available in Canada for $7.99/month, but with a severely limited selection due to licensing restrictions. However, since the initial launch in Canada, Netflix has since improved their movie database and continues to add titles several times per week.[91]On September 23, 2010, company CEO Reed Hastings announced that Netflix aims to expand beyond the U.S. and Canadian market. &quot;For now, we&apos;re focused on Canada,&quot; Hastings said in an interview. &quot;If we succeed in Canada, we will certainly look at other markets.&quot;[92]Netflix announced on July 5, 2011 that by the end of 2011 it would expand its services into 43 countries and territories in Latin America and the Caribbean, offering items in English, Spanish and Portuguese.[93]CompetitorsSee also: Online DVD rentalNetflix&apos;s success has inspired a number of other DVD rental companies both in the United States and abroad, but none of the purely online companies appear to approach Netflix in terms of market share or revenues. Wal-Mart began an online rental service in October 2002, but left the market in May 2005 and now has a cross-promotional arrangement with Netflix. Netflix has also cited Amazon.com as a potential competitor,[94] which until 2008 offered online video rentals in the UK and Germany (now sold to LoveFilm), but has remained coy about any similar intentions for the North American market. Amazon bought Lovefilm in 2011.Blockbuster Video, the world&apos;s largest in-store video rental chain, entered the U.S. online market in August 2004 with a US$19.95 monthly subscription service. This sparked a price war; Netflix had raised its popular three-disc plan from US$19.95 to US$21.99 just prior to Blockbuster&apos;s launch, but by October Netflix reduced this fee to US$17.99. Blockbuster responded with rates as low as US$14.99 for a time, but by August 2005, both companies settled at the (identical) current rates. On July 22, 2007, Netflix announced that it would drop the prices of its two most popular plans by US$1.00 in an effort to better compete with Blockbuster&apos;s online-only offerings.[95] Blockbuster&apos;s subscriber base after one year was roughly a third of Netflix&apos;s size and growing, including promotions such as the option to swap DVDs rented online at neighborhood stores and the simultaneous elimination of late fees altogether.[citation needed] Netflix has also been credited with playing a large part in the bankruptcy and shrinkage of several movie rental chains including Blockbuster and Movie Gallery.Many in-store video rental chains now have unlimited rental plans similar to those of Netflix. Hollywood Video started its Movie Value Pass (MVP) service in late 2004, which enables customers to rent up to three movies at a time (due in five days) for US$15 a month. New releases, however, are typically excluded from the service for two to six weeks in the MVP &quot;Basic&quot; plan. Blockbuster started Movie Pass in 2004, which lets customers keep two to three DVDs at a time for US$25–30 a month, without restrictions or due dates. Hollywood&apos;s MVP &quot;Premium&quot; plan offers the same benefits for a comparable price. Both services still require the customer to travel to the store to rent and return the movies, and their respective selections are not as diverse as that offered by Netflix.[citation needed]Redbox is another competitor that uses a kiosk approach: rather than mailing DVDs, customers pick up and return DVDs at self-service kiosks located in metropolitan areas. Coinstar, the owners of Redbox also plan to launch an online streaming service in early 2011. Some speculate this service to be offered at $3.95 per month.[96]Netflix and Blockbuster largely avoid offering pornography, but several adult-video subscription services were inspired by Netflix, such as SugarDVD and WantedList.[97][98]Time Warner cableIn March 2011, with its plans of the $11.5 billion DVD rental and online video service to branch out into original content encroach on the territory staked out by the pioneering Time Warner cable network, Netflix looked less like Web TV and more like HBO.[99]Finance and revenue2010In 2010, Netflix&apos;s stock price increased 219% to $175.70 and it added 8 million subscribers, bringing its total to 20 million. Revenue jumped 29% to $2.16 billion and net income was up 39% to $161 million.[100]2011In April 2011, Netflix is expected to earn $1.07 a share in the first quarter of 2011 on revenue of $705.7 million, a huge increase compared to the year-earlier profit of 59 cents on revenue of $493.7 million, according to a survey of 25 analysts polled by FactSet Research.[101]Legal issues and controversiesA concern has been raised that this article&apos;s Criticism section may be compromising the article&apos;s neutral point of view of the subject. Possible resolutions may be to integrate the material in the section into the article as a whole, or to rewrite the contents of the section. Please see the discussion on the talk page. (July 2010)&quot;Recommendation Algorithm&quot;In 2006, Netflix held the first &quot;Netflix Prize,&quot; competition to find a program to better predict user preferences and beat its existing Netflix movie recommendation system known as Cinematch, by at least 10%. An AT&amp;T Research Team called BellKor combined with commendo&apos;s team BigChaos and others won the 2009 grand prize competition for $1 million. The winning team algorithm called Pragmatic Chaos used machine learning techniques to find that, for example, the rating system people use of older movies is very different than for a movie they just saw. The mood of the day made a difference also; for example, Friday ratings were different than Monday morning ratings.[102]In 2010, Netflix canceled a running contest to improve the company&apos;s recommendation algorithm due to privacy concerns: under the terms of the competition, contestants were given access to customer rental data, which the company had purportedly anonymized. However, it was discovered that even this anonymized dataset could, in fact, personally identify a user. Netflix was sued by KamberLaw L.L.C. and ended the contest after reaching a deal with the FTC.[103]&quot;Throttling&quot;Chavez v. Netflix Inc.In September 2004, a consumer class action lawsuit, Frank Chavez v. Netflix, Inc.,[104] was brought against Netflix in San Francisco Superior Court. The suit alleged false advertising in relation to claims of &quot;unlimited rentals&quot; with &quot;one-day delivery.&quot; In January 2005, Netflix changed its &quot;Terms of Use&quot; to acknowledge what has commonly become known as &quot;throttling&quot;. (Mike Kaltschnee, owner of the Hacking Netflix blog, says Netflix calls this practice &quot;smoothing&quot; internally.)[105]In October 2005, Netflix proposed a settlement for those who had enrolled as a paid Netflix member prior to January 15, 2005. These earlier members would be able to renew their subscriptions with a one-month free membership, and those early members with current subscriptions would receive a one-month free upgrade to the next-highest membership level. Netflix&apos;s settlement denied allegations of any wrongdoing, and the case did not reach a legal judgment. Netflix estimated the settlement cost at approximately US$4 million, which included up to US$2.53 million to cover plaintiff lawyer fees. A controversial aspect of the settlement offer was that the customer&apos;s account would continue at the renewed or upgraded membership level after the free month provided by the settlement, with customers being charged accordingly unless they opted out after the month-long free period ended. After Trial Lawyers for Public Justice filed a challenge to the proposed settlement[106] and the Federal Trade Commission filed an amicus brief urging the rejection or modification of the settlement, Netflix offered to alter the settlement terms requiring customers to actively approve any continuation after the free month. The final settlement hearing took place on March 22, 2006.[107] but, implementation of the settlement was delayed pending appeal the California Appellate Courts.[108] The settlement was affirmed on 2008-04-21, with the court saying, &quot;the trial court did not abuse its discretion in approving the amended class action settlement agreement, approving the notice given to class members, or determining the amount of fees.&quot;[109] Interestingly, the court approved email notice and an online claims submission process.[110] The court said:The summary notice and long-form notice together provided all of the detail required by statute or court rule, in a highly accessible form. The fact that not all of the information was contained in a single e-mail or mailing is immaterial… Using a summary notice that directed the class member wanting more information to a Web site containing a more detailed notice, and provided hyperlinks to that Web site, was a perfectly acceptable manner of giving notice in this case… The class members conducted business with defendant over the Internet, and can be assumed to know how to navigate between the summary notice and the Web site. Using the capability of the Internet in that fashion was a sensible and efficient way of providing notice, especially compared to the alternative Vogel apparently preferred—mailing out a lengthy legalistic document that few class members would have been able to plow through.The settlement was criticized because it paid out $2.5 million to attorneys for fees and costs, while offering only coupons to the class members.[111][112]The Terms of Use have since been amended with terms that indicate such a suit would not be possible in the future:[113]These Terms of Use shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the state of Delaware, without regard to conflicts of laws provisions. You and Netflix agree that the United States District Court for the Northern District of California and/or the California Superior Court for the County of Santa Clara shall have exclusive jurisdiction over any dispute between you and Netflix relating in any way to the Netflix service or Web site or these Terms of Use. You and Netflix expressly and irrevocably consent to personal jurisdiction and venue in these courts. The parties agree that in any such dispute or subsequent legal action, they will only assert claims in an individual (non-class, non-representative) basis, and that they will not seek or agree to serve as a named representative in a class action or seek relief on behalf of those other than themselves.Releasing This WeekThe Netflix website at one time featured a list of titles &quot;Releasing This Week&quot; (RTW) that enabled customers to easily view new DVDs the company planned for rental release each week.[114] On December 21, 2007, the company removed the link to the page without notice and replaced it with a slider system showing only four previously released movies at a time. The new page, called &quot;Popular New Releases&quot;, does not list newly released DVDs for rental.[115] The listing of new releases is still active,[114] though no menu option links to the page.On January 1, 2008, a Netflix employee unofficially stated on the Netflix Community Blog that customers used the RTW page to add newly released movies to the top of their queues, then complained about delays in receiving them after demand outstripped the supply of DVDs on hand. By removing the page, Netflix sought to quell complaints that these movies were not readily available. Critics, however, have suggested this was just another Netflix attempt at &quot;throttling&quot;.[116]Dynamic queue, subscription &amp; delivery methodsNetflix vs. BlockbusterOn April 4, 2006, Netflix filed a patent infringement lawsuit in which it demanded a jury trial in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, alleging that Blockbuster&apos;s online DVD rental subscription program violated two patents held by Netflix. The first cause of action alleged Blockbuster&apos;s infringement of U.S. Patent No. 7,024,381 (issued April 4, 2006; only hours before the lawsuit was filed) by copying the &quot;dynamic queue&quot; of DVDs available for each customer, Netflix&apos;s method of using the ranked preferences in the queue to send DVDs to subscribers, and Netflix&apos;s method permitting the queue to be updated and reordered.[117] The second cause of action alleged infringement of Patent No. 6,584,450 (issued June 24, 2003), which covers in less detail the subscription rental service as well as Netflix&apos;s methods of communication and delivery.[118] The dispute was ended a year later, on June 25, 2007, with both companies declining to disclose the terms of their legal settlement, except for a statement by Blockbuster that it would not have a major impact on its future financial performance.[119][120] Blockbuster also said that the company planned to close 282 stores that year to shift focus to its online service. The company already had closed 290 stores in 2006.[citation needed]In fall 2006, Blockbuster signed a deal with The Weinstein Company, that gave it the exclusive rental rights to the studio&apos;s films beginning January 1, 2007.[121] This agreement forced Netflix to obtain copies from mass merchants or retailers, instead of directly from the studio.[122] Netflix has speculated that the effect of the Blockbuster-Weinstein agreement could result in higher rental costs and/or fewer copies of the studio&apos;s movies, which would limit the number of each movie&apos;s DVDs that would be available to subscribers at any one time.[123] As of June 2007[update], Netflix continues to make available Weinstein movies, including Unknown, School For Scoundrels and Harsh Times, among others. The first-sale doctrine allows Netflix and other video rental businesses to offer movies released by the Weinstein Company, but the long-term effects of the Blockbuster-Weinstein deal remain uncertain.Removal of Friends featureSince 2004, Netflix subscribers could utilize a feature that allowed them to interact with friends who were also members. This feature was meant to tap into the growing popularity of social networking. With this feature, users could see how their friends rated a movie on that movie&apos;s page; view what DVDs their friends were renting; and allow them to leave their friends notes with film recommendations.[124][125]In March 2010, as part of a redesign of its movie-details pages, the Friends feature began to be phased out. Users could no longer see their friends&apos; ratings on movie pages, and what remained of the friends section was moved to a small link at the bottom of each page. The initial announcement about the redesign on Netflix&apos;s official blog made no reference to any changes to the Friends feature.[126] Hundreds of angry users posted negative comments, and the feedback prompted Netflix&apos;s Vice President of Product Management, Todd Yellin, to post a follow-up statement. While apologizing for poor communication about the changes, Yellin stated that the Friends feature would continue to be phased out, citing figures that only 2% of members used the feature and the company&apos;s limited resources to maintain the service.[124][125][127] Netflix users also began using the movie-reviews section of the website to post comments protesting the changes.[128]Linux supportNetflix has consistently shown reluctance to support customers using Linux and other open-source operating systems.[129] The company continues to support only Microsoft Windows and Macintosh, relying on Microsoft Silverlight technology. Steve Swasey, Netflix Vice-President of Corporate Communications, told TechRepublic that despite the willingness of developers to implement Digital Rights Management measures in the media framework application Moonlight (which is an open-source implementation of Silverlight), Netflix cannot be &quot;everything for everybody all the time&quot;. Netflix does support Android, which is a mobile variant of Linux optimized for cell phones.As of May 9, 2011 (2011 -05-09)[update], Google released plans for a Chrome/Chrome OS plugin that would allow users with the Chrome OS/browser to use said plugin to view and stream material on Netflix, including Linux users.[130]PartnershipsStarzIn April 2011, the pay cable channel, Starz, was about to be more restrictive about what it allows Netflix to stream to customers’ computers and television sets.[131]Starz – one of Netflix’s closest partners – backed off a bit from that partnership, when it announced a three-month delay between the time Starz plays new TV episodes and when those episodes will be available on Netflix.[131]Closed captioningIn June 2011, the National Association of the Deaf filed a lawsuit against Netflix for not providing closed captioning on all of its Watch Instantly movies. The group claims that Netflix is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by not providing equal access on entertainment.[132]Technical detailsStreamingNetflix streams HD content using Microsoft VC1AP encoding at a maximum bitrate of between 2600 kbit/s and 3800 kbit/s (depending on the movie).[133] A lower bitrate feed[134] may be supplied if the user&apos;s network connection is not capable of handling the maximum bitrate available for the film in question. One problem with the streaming is the content, a film can change from &quot;Instant Streaming&quot; to &quot;Just DVD&quot; because of the licenses Netflix agrees with the studios. An example is the movie 1984 which fluctuates from &quot;save&quot; to &quot;Instant Streaming&quot; and back because of the licensing agreement.[citation needed]Netflix recommends that people stream its movies over a broadband connection with a speed of at least 1.5 megabits per second (1.5 Mbit/s), and that people use an Internet connection of at least 3 megabits per second to get better-looking video on par with a DVD.[135]&quot;Throttling&quot;Netflix&apos;s allocation policy – referred to by many as &quot;throttling&quot; – gives priority shipping and selection to customers who rent fewer discs per month. Higher volume renters may see some of their selections delayed, routed elsewhere, or sent out of order.[136]Netflix claims that &quot;the large majority of our subscribers are able to receive their movies in about one business day following our shipment of the requested movie from their local distribution center.&quot;[137] However, not all shipments come from the subscriber&apos;s local distribution center, and shipments from distant centers are often delayed, as well.Netflix APIOn October 1, 2008, Netflix launched an Application Programming Interface (API).[138] The Netflix API[139] allows access to data for all Netflix titles as well as access on a user&apos;s behalf to manage their movie queue. The Developer Network includes a forum for asking and answering questions. The Netflix API is free and allows commercial use. A variety of services have been created around the Netflix API or have integrated the API. Examples include Rotten Tomatoes and The New York Times, which allow users to click to add titles to their Netflix queue or begin watching on Watch Instantly from their pages,[140] and Jinni, which additionally enables search within Watch Instantly and import of some user information like reviews.[141]The API has allowed many developers to release Netflix applications for mobile devices. On November 16, 2009 Netflix released an official Nokia app that allows some trailer streaming.[142] An official iPhone app was released on August 26, 2010.[64]See alsoGameFly, a similar online video game rental service modeled after Netflix.Simply Audiobooks, a similar online rental service for audiobooks.LoveFilm, an online video rental service similar to Netflix but for Northern EuropeReferences
  • Fin300 Team assignments, according to the following sections: Du Pont ModelDelegated Researcher (s): Licia
  • Fin300 Team assignments, according to the following sections: Calculations and FormulasDelegated Researcher (s): Nina and AliciaSupporting info to help clarify and assist presentation part:NetflixFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to: navigation, searchNetflix, Inc.TypePublic companyTraded asNASDAQ: NFLXIndustryVideo rentalFounded1997[1]HeadquartersLos Gatos, California, USArea servedUnited States, CanadaKey peopleReed Hastings, co-founder and CEODavid Wells, CFO, SecretaryLeslie J. Kilgore, CMOProductsProprietaryMicrosoftVC-1 video download, online DVD and Blu-ray Disc rentalRevenueUS$1.67 billion (FY 2009)[2]Operating incomeUS$194 million (FY 2009)[2]Net incomeUS$116 million (FY 2009)[2]Total assetsUS$680 million (FY 2009)[3]Total equityUS$199 million (FY 2009)[3]Employees2,180 full-time (2010)[4]Websitenetflix.comNetflix, Inc., (NASDAQ: NFLX) is an American provider of on-demand internet streaming video in the United States and Canada,[5] and flat rateDVD-by-mail in the United States. The company was established in 1997 and is headquartered in Los Gatos, California. It started its subscription service in 1999[6] and by 2009 it was offering a collection of 100,000 titles on DVD, surpassing 10 million subscribers. On February 25, 2007, Netflix announced the billionth DVD delivery.[7] In April 2011, Netflix announced 23.6 million subscribers.[8] In summer 2011, Netflix announced they will expand into the European market, starting in Spain by 2012.[9]Contents[hide]1 History2 Services2.1 Internet video streaming2.1.1 History2.2 Disc rental2.3 Original programming2.4 Profiles3 Device support3.1 Hardware supported3.2 Software support3.3 Video game consoles3.4 Set-top boxes3.5 Blu-ray players3.6 Televisions3.7 Handheld devices4 Sales and marketing4.1 Expansion4.2 Competitors4.2.1 Time Warner cable5 Finance and revenue5.1 20105.2 20116 Legal issues and controversies6.1 &quot;Recommendation Algorithm&quot;6.2 &quot;Throttling&quot;6.3 Releasing This Week6.4 Dynamic queue, subscription &amp; delivery methods6.5 Removal of Friends feature6.6 Linux support6.7 Partnerships6.7.1 Starz6.8 Closed captioning7 Technical details7.1 Streaming7.2 &quot;Throttling&quot;7.3 Netflix API8 See also9 References10 External linksHistoryNetflix headquarters in Los GatosNetflix was founded in 1997 in Scotts Valley, California by Marc Randolph[citation needed] and Reed Hastings, who previously had worked together at Pure Software, along with Mitch Lowe. Hastings was inspired to start the company after being charged late fees for returning a rented copy of Apollo 13 after the due date.[10] The Netflix website launched in April 1998 with an online version of a more traditional pay-per-rental model (US $4 per rental plus US $2 in postage; late fees applied).[11] Netflix introduced the monthly subscription concept in September 1999,[12] then dropped the single-rental model in early 2000. Since that time the company has built its reputation on the business model of flat-fee unlimited rentals without due dates, late fees, shipping or handling fees, or per title rental fees.Netflix developed and maintains an extensive personalized video-recommendation system based on ratings and reviews by its customers. On October 1, 2006, Netflix offered a $1,000,000 prize to the first developer of a video-recommendation algorithm that could beat its existing algorithm, Cinematch, at predicting customer ratings by more than 10%.[13]&quot;Some 35,000 different film titles are contained in the 1 million DVDs it sends out every day.&quot;[14]Netflix has played a prominent role in independent film distribution. Through a division called Red Envelope Entertainment, Netflix licensed and distributed independent films such as Born into Brothels and Sherrybaby. As of late 2006, Red Envelope Entertainment also expanded into producing original content with filmmakers such as John Waters.[15] Netflix announced plans to close Red Envelope Entertainment in 2008, in part to avoid competition with its studio partners.[16][17]Netflix initiated an initial public offering (IPO) on May 29, 2002, selling 5,500,000 shares of common stock at the price of US $15.00 per share. On June 14, 2002, the company sold an additional 825,000 shares of common stock at the same price. After incurring substantial losses during its first few years, Netflix posted its first profit during fiscal year 2003, earning US $6.5 million profit on revenues of US $272 million. The company is well-known for its worker-oriented culture, including unlimited vacation time for salaried workers and allowing those employees to take any amount of their paychecks in stock options.[18]Netflix has been one of the most successful dot-com ventures. A The New York Times article from September 2002, said that, at the time, Netflix mailed about 190,000 discs per day to its 670,000 monthly subscribers. The company&apos;s published subscriber count increased from one million in the fourth quarter of 2002 to around 5.6 million at the end of the third quarter of 2006, to 14 million in March 2010. Netflix&apos;s growth has been fueled by the fast spread of DVD players in households; as of 2004, nearly two-thirds of U.S. homes had a DVD player. Netflix capitalized on the success of the DVD and its rapid expansion into U.S. homes, integrating the potential of the Internet and e-commerce to provide services and catalogs that brick and mortar retailers could not compete with. Netflix also operates an online affiliate program which has helped it to build online sales for DVD rentals.ServicesNetflix is a subscription-based movie and television show rental service that offers media to subscribers via Internet streaming and via US mail.Internet video streamingNetflix offers Internet video streaming (&quot;Watch Instantly&quot;) of selected titles to computers running Windows or Mac OS X and to compatible devices. Internet video streaming comes at no additional charge with Netflix&apos;s regular subscription service; however, only a portion of Netflix&apos;s content is available via the &quot;Watch Instantly&quot; option.[19] In its simplest form, video is streamed to the user using standard PC hardware, and requires Microsoft&apos;s Silverlight software to be installed. Viewing is initiated by pressing a &quot;Play Instantly&quot; button, and played back on the PC monitor. Films can be paused or restarted at will. According to a 2011 report by Sandvine, Netflix is the biggest source of North American web traffic, accounting for 24.71 percent of aggregated traffic.[20]Initially, the feature offered subscribers one hour of media for approximately every dollar they spent on their subscription. (A $16.99 plan, for example, entitled the subscriber to 17 hours of streaming media.) In January 2008, however, Netflix lifted this restriction. Virtually all subscribers now are entitled to unlimited hours of streaming media at no additional cost. Subscribers with a plan of $4.99/two DVDs per month, one DVD at a time, are allowed two hours which can only be watched on a computer. The new terms of the service are a response to the introduction of Apple&apos;s new video rental services.[21]According to Netflix Tech Support, Netflix&apos;s content library is encoded into three bandwidth tiers, in a compression format based on the VC-1 video and Windows Media audio codecs. The lowest tier requires a continuous downstream bandwidth (to the client) of 1.5 Mbit/s, and offers stereo audio and video quality comparable to DVD. The middle tier requires 3 Mbit/s, and offers &quot;better than DVD quality&quot;. The highest tier requires 5 Mbit/s, and offers 720p HD with surround sound audio. As of December 2010[update], the PS3 is the only device able to stream Netflix at 1080p resolution.Netflix does not support playback on Linux PCs although the Linux-based Roku devices are supported. It is possible to connect the Roku device, game console, or blu-ray player to a Linux PC (or directly to the computer monitor) with an adapter. It is also possible to run Windows and Netflix in a virtual machine such as Virtualbox or Qemu. In a TechRepublic interview in August 2010, Netflix&apos;s VP of Corporate Communications stated that available Silverlight plugins for Linux, such as Moonlight, do not support the PlayReadyDRM system that Netflix requires for playback.[22] Netflix does support the Android operating system, which uses the Linux kernel, although is otherwise separate from Linux.HistoryOn October 1, 2008, Netflix announced a partnership with Starz Entertainment to bring 2,500+ new movies and television shows to Watch Instantly in what is being called Starz Play.[23]In August 2010, Netflix announced it had reached a five-year deal worth nearly $1 billion to stream movies from Paramount, Lionsgate and MGM. The deal increases the amount Netflix spends on streaming movies annually. It spent $117 million in the first six months of 2010 on streaming, up from $31 million in 2009. This deal adds roughly $200 million per year.[24]As of 2011, Netflix&apos;s &quot;Watch Instantly&quot; service holds first-run rights to films from Paramount Pictures, MGM, Lions Gate Entertainment (through an output deal with Epix), along with films from Sony Pictures, Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group, Overture Films, Anchor Bay Entertainment (through an output deal with Starz).[citation needed] Other studios providing first-run films include First Look Pictures, Relativity Media and other smaller and independent distributors.[citation needed] In addition, Netflix holds rights to back-catalog titles to films from Time Warner, Universal Pictures, Sony Pictures, Paramount Pictures, MGM, Lions Gate Entertainment, 20th Century Fox and other distributors.[citation needed] Netflix also provides current and back-catalog TV programs distributed by NBC Universal, 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures, Disney-ABC Domestic Television, with select shows from Warner Bros. as well.[citation needed] Netflix also previously showed movies from the Criterion Collection, but the titles were pulled from the streaming library when Criterion Collection titles were added to Hulu&apos;sHulu Plus streaming library.[25]On July 12, 2011 Netflix announced that it would separate the current subscription plans into two separate plans: one covering the instant streaming and the other DVD rental.[26] The cost for streaming would be $7.99 while DVD rental would start at the same price. The announcement led to a flurry of negative reception amongst Netflix&apos;s Facebook followers, posting negative comments on the company&apos;s wall.[27]Twitter comments also spiked a &quot;Dear Netflix&quot; trend with generally negative comments as well.[27] The company defended its decision during its initial announcement of the change. &quot;Given the long life we think DVDs by mail will have, treating DVDs as a $2 add-on to our unlimited streaming plan neither makes great financial sense nor satisfies people who just want DVDs,&quot; Netflix wrote on its blog. &quot;Creating an unlimited-DVDs-by-mail plan (no streaming) at our lowest price ever, $7.99, does make sense and will ensure a long life for our DVDs-by-mail offering.&quot;[26]Disc rentalThe discs are returned to Netflix in the same envelopes in which they are sent to customers.In the United States, the company provides a monthly flat-fee service for the rental of DVD and Blu-ray discs. A subscriber creates an ordered list, called a rental queue, of movies to rent. The movies are delivered individually via the United States Postal Service from an array of regional warehouses. As of March 28, 2011, Netflix had 58 shipping locations throughout the U.S.[28] The subscriber can keep the rented movie as long as desired, but there is a limit on the number of movies (determined by subscription level) that each subscriber can have on loan simultaneously. To rent a new movie, the subscriber must mail the previous one back to Netflix in a prepaid mailing envelope. Upon receipt of the disc, Netflix ships the next available disc in the subscriber&apos;s rental queue.Netflix offers several pricing tiers, starting at $4.99 per month for one disc at a time and a limit of two-per-month. Netflix also offers gift subscriptions for various rental tiers.Since November 21, 2008, Netflix has offered their subscribers access to Blu-ray Discs for an additional fee of $1 plus $1-per-disc in the subscription plan (i.e., a 3-DVD-at-a-time plan with Blu-Ray costs an additional $4). The fee for this service increased on April 27, 2009.[29]In addition to its movie rental service, Netflix formerly sold used movies. The purchase was delivered via the same system and billed using the same payment methods as rentals. This service was discontinued at the end of November 2008.[30]Starting January 6, 2010, Netflix reached an agreement with Warner Brothers Pictures to delay renting new releases for 28 days from their retail release in an attempt to help studios sell more physical media at retail outlets. A similar deal with Universal Studios and Twentieth Century Fox was reached on April 9, 2010.[31][32][33]Original programmingIn March 2011, Netflix announced plans to begin acquiring first-run original content for its popular Watch Instantly subscription service, beginning with the hour-long political drama House of Cards, which will debut on the streaming service in late 2012. The series will reportedly be helmed by David Fincher, with Academy Award winning actor Kevin Spacey headlining the cast.[34]Netflix is rumored to have outbid heavyweights HBO and AMC,[35] two of the current market leaders in original dramatic programming. As Deadline.com reported on March 15, 2011:&quot;Netflix landed the drama project by offering a staggering commitment of two seasons, or 26 episodes. Given that the price tag for a high-end drama is in the $4–$6 million an episode range and that a launch of a big original series commands tens of millions of dollars for promotion, the deal, is believed to be worth more than $100 million and could change the way people consume TV shows.&quot;[35]Initial industry reactions largely echoed this tone, and, while generally positive, have focused heavily on Netflix&apos;s bold, risky, and potentially transformative entry into the original content game. In the face of breathless and rampant media speculation, Netflix&apos;s response has thus far been reserved and mostly focused on downplaying the potential implications in its core strategy. In an interview with All Things Digital&apos;s Peter Kafka, Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos attempted to put the situation into perspective:[36]&quot;It&apos;s not much of a radical departure in what we do every day. There’s an added risk factor, in that this is the first time we’re licensing something that hasn&apos;t been produced, or at least completed.&quot;[36]But there&apos;s no risk factor in terms of delivery, because we&apos;re not investing development money, and we don&apos;t pay for it unless they deliver the show. But it is the first time we&apos;ve made a very large commitment to a series that hasn’t been produced.[36]It&apos;s just a matter of your philosophy around development. Networks can typically invest tens of millions of dollars in the development of a pilot. And if they put the show on the air and it fails, that&apos;s all lost money. There&apos;s no monetization of a broken series.[36]We&apos;re betting on the creative team and the source material. &quot;House of Cards&quot; is incredible source material–the BBC version is quite popular already on Netflix. David Fincher&apos;s work has all been incredibly well-received on Netflix, and Kevin Spacey&apos;s films have all worked on Netflix. The notion that that team will produce a very good product is a pretty safe bet.[36][...] If the show proves very popular, it won&apos;t be any more expensive than licensing a popular show off of a network. So economically, it&apos;s not a seismic shift, if it&apos;s popular. If it isn&apos;t, then we&apos;ll have paid more for an unpopular show than we normally would have.[36]The day after the after news of the acquisition broke, The Wall Street Journal responded to Deadline.com&apos;s report that Netflix could pay more than $100 million as part of a deal for 26 episodes, citing a source &quot;[...] familiar with Netflix&apos;s plans,&quot; who claimed the actual amount will be &quot;[...] much less than that,&quot;[37] a sentiment echoed Peter Kafka in his influential Media Memo blog.[36]Despite initial media confusion to the contrary, Netflix will not be producing House of Cards directly, but rather will license it from Media Rights Capital who will deficit finance the series.[36] Netflix will have first-run domestic exclusivity, but Media Rights Capital will own the series and retain domestic syndication, foreign distribution, worldwide DVD/Blu-ray, and all other ancillary rights.[34]Netflix spokesmen have declined to specify what the company will actually be paying for the series House of Cards, but as reliable sources have confirmed it to be significantly less than the series&apos; rumored $100 million production cost,[37][36] Netflix&apos;s fee for the 26 episode deal will necessarily amount to less than $3.85 million per episode. For comparison, during the 2006–2010 television seasons, Fox Broadcast Network paid a license fee of $5 million per episode to 20th Century Fox Television for 24,[38] while satellite provider DirecTV pays license fees of only $1–$1.25 million per episode[39] for its critically acclaimed series Damages and Friday Night Lights. Netflix&apos;s licensing costs for House of Cards will therefore fall somewhere between that of a typical high-end hour-long network drama and a modestly budgeted niche cable production.Another significant cost factor for the series will be Netflix&apos;s unique marketing strategy, which, unlike the networks, does not involve spending &quot;anything&quot; to promote the series. According to Netflix spokesman Steve Swasey, &quot;You won&apos;t see billboards or TV ads or banner ads.&quot; Instead, Netflix will rely entirely on its recommendation technology to suggest House of Cards only to its subscribers who are most likely to enjoy it—viewers who, for example, enjoy political dramas, films by David Fincher, and liked American Beauty and The Usual Suspects. It remains unclear however if or how Netflix plans to leverage House of Cards to drive subscriber growth. But regardless, the frenzy of press attention that emerged even before the acquisition was officially announced demonstrates that, at least for now, public and media interest in the series are high.[34]ProfilesIn June 2008, Netflix announced plans to eliminate its online subscriber profile feature that fall.[40] Profiles allow one subscriber account to contain multiple users (e.g. husband and wife, or two roommates) with separate DVD queues, ratings, recommendations, friend lists, reviews, and intra-site communications for each. Netflix contended that elimination of profiles would improve customer experience.[41] However, likely as a result of negative reviews and reaction by Netflix users.[42][43][44] Netflix reversed its decision to remove profiles 11 days after its announcement.[45] In announcing the reinstatement of profiles, Netflix defended its original decision, &quot;Because of an ongoing desire to make our website easier to use, we believed taking a feature away that is only used by a very small minority would help us improve the site for everyone.&quot; Then explained its reversal, &quot;Listening to our members, we realized that users of this feature often describe it as an essential part of their Netflix experience. Simplicity is only one virtue and it can certainly be outweighed by utility.&quot;[46]Device supportMain article: List of Netflix Instant Watch DevicesHardware supportedList of Netflix-ready devices:[47]Apple TV set-top box[48]Boxee Box set-top box[49]Insignia Blu-ray Disc players and home theater systemsLG Electronics Blu-ray Disc players, TVs (LH50 series LCD and PS80 plasma), and home theater systemsLogitech Revue Google TV Buddy BoxMicrosoftXbox 360[50]NintendoWii[51] and Nintendo 3DS[52] (Wii U support also confirmed)Panasonic Some Blu-ray Disc players, televisions and home theater systemsPhilips Some Blu-ray Disc players and TVs[53]Popbox set-top box (announced)Roku set-top box[54]Samsung Some Blu-ray Disc players and home theater systems[55]SeagateFreeAgent Theater+ HD Media PlayersSharp Some Blu-ray Disc players[56]Sony Blu-ray Disc players, TVs, Google TV devices, and PlayStation 3[57]TiVo DVRs (HD, HD XL, Series3™, Premiere and Premiere XL boxes)[58]Viewsonic VMP75Vizio Some Blu-ray Disc players and TVsWestern Digital WD Live plus Media PlayerSoftware supportSupported Web Browsers by Platform:Microsoft Windows: Windows XP Service Pack 2, Windows Vista, Windows 7 running Internet Explorer 6 (or higher), Firefox 2 (or higher) or Google Chrome 6 (or higher). New viewer requires use of the Microsoft Silverlight technology and a 1.2 GHz CPU.[59]Mac OS X: An Intel-based Mac with OS 10.4.8 or later. Browser support is Safari 3 (or higher), Firefox 2 (or higher) or Google Chrome. Mac Netflix was added October 27, 2008, which requires use of the Microsoft Silverlight technology.[60]Other software options:Android including the HTC Incredible (2.2), Nexus One (2.2/3), EVO 4G (2.2) and G2 (2.2), Samsung Nexus S (2.3), Motorola Droid (2.2), LG Revolution (2.2), Casio G&apos;zOne Commando C771 (2.2), and Archos 32 Internet Tablet (2.2). May be limited due to DRM issues[61] Now with device check removed it will work on various devices[62]Boxee OS X and Windows versions only (beta)[citation needed]iOSiPad,[63]iPhone,[64]iPod Touch,[64]Apple TVMediaPortal Windows using the My Netflix plug-in.[citation needed]PlayOn Windows, from MediaMall, used with UPnP clients such as PlayStation 3, Wii and XBMC Media Center[citation needed]Plex media center for Mac OS X only, using the Netflix plug-in from their App Store.[citation needed]Windows Phone 7Video game consolesAt E3 2008, Microsoft announced a deal to distribute Netflix videos over Xbox Live.[65] This service was launched on November 19, 2008[66] to Xbox 360 owners with a Netflix Unlimited subscription and an Xbox Live Gold subscription[67] allowing them to stream movies and TV shows directly from their Netflix Instant Queue from an application on the Dashboard.[68]In October 2009, Sony Computer Entertainment and Netflix announced that the service would also be available on the PlayStation 3 from November 2009. The set-up was similar to that on the Xbox 360, allowing Netflix subscribers to stream movies, videogames, and TV shows from their Instant Queue to watch on the console. Unlike on the Xbox 360, the Netflix application was originally available on a Blu-ray Disc (available free to subscribers). On October 19, 2010, a downloadable application was made available through the PlayStation Network.[69] Users do not have to pay for use of the service other than the monthly Netflix subscription.[70]On January 13, 2010, Nintendo and Netflix announced that the service would become available on the Wii. This service was launched in Spring 2010. The service allows the console to stream content in a user&apos;s Instant Queue. Initially, a streaming disc specifically for the Wii was required along with an Internet connection to the console. Besides a Netflix account with unlimited streaming, there are no additional costs for the service. In contrast to the other two consoles, the Wii is not capable of HD resolution.[71] The Wii streaming disc was released for testing to customers starting Thursday March 25, 2010. The disc was released to all registered Netflix members on April 12, 2010.[72] On October 18, 2010, the streaming disc on the Wii was no longer necessary as Netflix became a free downloadable application on the Wii Shop Channel. On the PlayStation 3, the streaming disc is also no longer necessary, as members can download the application through the PlayStation Store, and will be a tab under the XMB.[73]On June 14, 2011, Nintendo&apos;s president Satoru Iwata confirmed that Wii&apos;s successor console, the Wii U will also have support for Netflix.[74] Netflix service launched for the Nintendo 3DS on July 14, 2011.[75]Set-top boxesIn May 2008 the first set-top-box to stream Netflix&apos;s Watch Instantly movies directly to televisions was released. The device is manufactured by Roku and provides unlimited access to the Netflix streaming media catalog for all subscribers starting at $7.99/month.[54] Set-top box can easily transform your normal regular TV into a &quot;Smart&quot; TV.[76]Blu-ray playersIn October 2008 Netflix agreed to instantly stream movies to two of Samsung&apos;s Blu-ray Disc players.[77] They soon after announced a partnership to instantly stream movies to TiVo DVRs.[78]TelevisionsIn January 2009 Netflix announced a similar partnership with Vizio and LG to instantly stream movies directly to their high definition televisions.[79]In July 2009, Sony announced a partnership with Netflix that will enable Sony BRAVIA Internet Platforms to access instant queues for Netflix users. Any Netflix member with an internet-enabled BRAVIA HDTV will be able to link up their account to their TV and stream videos from their queue.[80]The 2010 line of Panasonic HDTVs with Viera Cast functionality gained the ability to stream Netflix content directly to the television.[81]With 2010&apos;s release of the Google TV, a built in application was Netflix streaming.All other TVs, including LCD and plasma, require connection to a desktop computer, set-top box or game console in order to view streamed content.Handheld devicesIn September 2009, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings expressed his desire to expand his company&apos;s video-streaming service to Apple&apos;s iPhone and iPod Touch mobile devices once the Xbox 360 exclusivity deal expires.[82] In April 2010, the Netflix app debuted on the Apple&apos;s iTunes app store for use with the iPad.[83] The iPhone/ iPod Touch version was released on August 26, 2010 via the App Store.[64] Netflix is also available on Windows Phone 7 devices. Nintendo announced that the Nintendo 3DS portable video game console will support Netflix video streaming in summer 2011.[84] On March 15, 2011, it was announced that Netflix was available for Android phones but not all Android phones can use the application due to DRM issues.[85] Netflix became available on July 14th on the 3DS although no 3D content is available. [86]Sales and marketingThe domain netflix.com attracted at least 194 million visitors annually by 2008, according to a Compete.com survey. This is about five times the number of visitors to blockbuster.com.[87]On March 30, 2009 Netflix announced an increase in the monthly fee it would charge to customers who rent Blu-Ray discs, from $1 a month to $2 a month.[citation needed]During the first quarter of 2011, sales and rentals of packaged DVD and Blu-ray discs plunged about 20 percent, and the sell-through of packaged discs fell 19.99 percent to $2.07 billion, with more money spent on subscription rentals than in-store rentals.[88]ExpansionNetflix had preliminary plans to expand to the UK in 2004, but the expansion was cancelled as Netflix concentrated its services on the U.S. market.[89]Zip.ca currently[when?] markets itself as a Canadian equivalent to Netflix. On July 19, 2010 Netflix announced that in the fall of 2010 it would launch its instant streaming service in Canada, making Canada the first international market expansion for Netflix.[90] On September 22, 2010, Netflix became available in Canada for $7.99/month, but with a severely limited selection due to licensing restrictions. However, since the initial launch in Canada, Netflix has since improved their movie database and continues to add titles several times per week.[91]On September 23, 2010, company CEO Reed Hastings announced that Netflix aims to expand beyond the U.S. and Canadian market. &quot;For now, we&apos;re focused on Canada,&quot; Hastings said in an interview. &quot;If we succeed in Canada, we will certainly look at other markets.&quot;[92]Netflix announced on July 5, 2011 that by the end of 2011 it would expand its services into 43 countries and territories in Latin America and the Caribbean, offering items in English, Spanish and Portuguese.[93]CompetitorsSee also: Online DVD rentalNetflix&apos;s success has inspired a number of other DVD rental companies both in the United States and abroad, but none of the purely online companies appear to approach Netflix in terms of market share or revenues. Wal-Mart began an online rental service in October 2002, but left the market in May 2005 and now has a cross-promotional arrangement with Netflix. Netflix has also cited Amazon.com as a potential competitor,[94] which until 2008 offered online video rentals in the UK and Germany (now sold to LoveFilm), but has remained coy about any similar intentions for the North American market. Amazon bought Lovefilm in 2011.Blockbuster Video, the world&apos;s largest in-store video rental chain, entered the U.S. online market in August 2004 with a US$19.95 monthly subscription service. This sparked a price war; Netflix had raised its popular three-disc plan from US$19.95 to US$21.99 just prior to Blockbuster&apos;s launch, but by October Netflix reduced this fee to US$17.99. Blockbuster responded with rates as low as US$14.99 for a time, but by August 2005, both companies settled at the (identical) current rates. On July 22, 2007, Netflix announced that it would drop the prices of its two most popular plans by US$1.00 in an effort to better compete with Blockbuster&apos;s online-only offerings.[95] Blockbuster&apos;s subscriber base after one year was roughly a third of Netflix&apos;s size and growing, including promotions such as the option to swap DVDs rented online at neighborhood stores and the simultaneous elimination of late fees altogether.[citation needed] Netflix has also been credited with playing a large part in the bankruptcy and shrinkage of several movie rental chains including Blockbuster and Movie Gallery.Many in-store video rental chains now have unlimited rental plans similar to those of Netflix. Hollywood Video started its Movie Value Pass (MVP) service in late 2004, which enables customers to rent up to three movies at a time (due in five days) for US$15 a month. New releases, however, are typically excluded from the service for two to six weeks in the MVP &quot;Basic&quot; plan. Blockbuster started Movie Pass in 2004, which lets customers keep two to three DVDs at a time for US$25–30 a month, without restrictions or due dates. Hollywood&apos;s MVP &quot;Premium&quot; plan offers the same benefits for a comparable price. Both services still require the customer to travel to the store to rent and return the movies, and their respective selections are not as diverse as that offered by Netflix.[citation needed]Redbox is another competitor that uses a kiosk approach: rather than mailing DVDs, customers pick up and return DVDs at self-service kiosks located in metropolitan areas. Coinstar, the owners of Redbox also plan to launch an online streaming service in early 2011. Some speculate this service to be offered at $3.95 per month.[96]Netflix and Blockbuster largely avoid offering pornography, but several adult-video subscription services were inspired by Netflix, such as SugarDVD and WantedList.[97][98]Time Warner cableIn March 2011, with its plans of the $11.5 billion DVD rental and online video service to branch out into original content encroach on the territory staked out by the pioneering Time Warner cable network, Netflix looked less like Web TV and more like HBO.[99]Finance and revenue2010In 2010, Netflix&apos;s stock price increased 219% to $175.70 and it added 8 million subscribers, bringing its total to 20 million. Revenue jumped 29% to $2.16 billion and net income was up 39% to $161 million.[100]2011In April 2011, Netflix is expected to earn $1.07 a share in the first quarter of 2011 on revenue of $705.7 million, a huge increase compared to the year-earlier profit of 59 cents on revenue of $493.7 million, according to a survey of 25 analysts polled by FactSet Research.[101]Legal issues and controversiesA concern has been raised that this article&apos;s Criticism section may be compromising the article&apos;s neutral point of view of the subject. Possible resolutions may be to integrate the material in the section into the article as a whole, or to rewrite the contents of the section. Please see the discussion on the talk page. (July 2010)&quot;Recommendation Algorithm&quot;In 2006, Netflix held the first &quot;Netflix Prize,&quot; competition to find a program to better predict user preferences and beat its existing Netflix movie recommendation system known as Cinematch, by at least 10%. An AT&amp;T Research Team called BellKor combined with commendo&apos;s team BigChaos and others won the 2009 grand prize competition for $1 million. The winning team algorithm called Pragmatic Chaos used machine learning techniques to find that, for example, the rating system people use of older movies is very different than for a movie they just saw. The mood of the day made a difference also; for example, Friday ratings were different than Monday morning ratings.[102]In 2010, Netflix canceled a running contest to improve the company&apos;s recommendation algorithm due to privacy concerns: under the terms of the competition, contestants were given access to customer rental data, which the company had purportedly anonymized. However, it was discovered that even this anonymized dataset could, in fact, personally identify a user. Netflix was sued by KamberLaw L.L.C. and ended the contest after reaching a deal with the FTC.[103]&quot;Throttling&quot;Chavez v. Netflix Inc.In September 2004, a consumer class action lawsuit, Frank Chavez v. Netflix, Inc.,[104] was brought against Netflix in San Francisco Superior Court. The suit alleged false advertising in relation to claims of &quot;unlimited rentals&quot; with &quot;one-day delivery.&quot; In January 2005, Netflix changed its &quot;Terms of Use&quot; to acknowledge what has commonly become known as &quot;throttling&quot;. (Mike Kaltschnee, owner of the Hacking Netflix blog, says Netflix calls this practice &quot;smoothing&quot; internally.)[105]In October 2005, Netflix proposed a settlement for those who had enrolled as a paid Netflix member prior to January 15, 2005. These earlier members would be able to renew their subscriptions with a one-month free membership, and those early members with current subscriptions would receive a one-month free upgrade to the next-highest membership level. Netflix&apos;s settlement denied allegations of any wrongdoing, and the case did not reach a legal judgment. Netflix estimated the settlement cost at approximately US$4 million, which included up to US$2.53 million to cover plaintiff lawyer fees. A controversial aspect of the settlement offer was that the customer&apos;s account would continue at the renewed or upgraded membership level after the free month provided by the settlement, with customers being charged accordingly unless they opted out after the month-long free period ended. After Trial Lawyers for Public Justice filed a challenge to the proposed settlement[106] and the Federal Trade Commission filed an amicus brief urging the rejection or modification of the settlement, Netflix offered to alter the settlement terms requiring customers to actively approve any continuation after the free month. The final settlement hearing took place on March 22, 2006.[107] but, implementation of the settlement was delayed pending appeal the California Appellate Courts.[108] The settlement was affirmed on 2008-04-21, with the court saying, &quot;the trial court did not abuse its discretion in approving the amended class action settlement agreement, approving the notice given to class members, or determining the amount of fees.&quot;[109] Interestingly, the court approved email notice and an online claims submission process.[110] The court said:The summary notice and long-form notice together provided all of the detail required by statute or court rule, in a highly accessible form. The fact that not all of the information was contained in a single e-mail or mailing is immaterial… Using a summary notice that directed the class member wanting more information to a Web site containing a more detailed notice, and provided hyperlinks to that Web site, was a perfectly acceptable manner of giving notice in this case… The class members conducted business with defendant over the Internet, and can be assumed to know how to navigate between the summary notice and the Web site. Using the capability of the Internet in that fashion was a sensible and efficient way of providing notice, especially compared to the alternative Vogel apparently preferred—mailing out a lengthy legalistic document that few class members would have been able to plow through.The settlement was criticized because it paid out $2.5 million to attorneys for fees and costs, while offering only coupons to the class members.[111][112]The Terms of Use have since been amended with terms that indicate such a suit would not be possible in the future:[113]These Terms of Use shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the state of Delaware, without regard to conflicts of laws provisions. You and Netflix agree that the United States District Court for the Northern District of California and/or the California Superior Court for the County of Santa Clara shall have exclusive jurisdiction over any dispute between you and Netflix relating in any way to the Netflix service or Web site or these Terms of Use. You and Netflix expressly and irrevocably consent to personal jurisdiction and venue in these courts. The parties agree that in any such dispute or subsequent legal action, they will only assert claims in an individual (non-class, non-representative) basis, and that they will not seek or agree to serve as a named representative in a class action or seek relief on behalf of those other than themselves.Releasing This WeekThe Netflix website at one time featured a list of titles &quot;Releasing This Week&quot; (RTW) that enabled customers to easily view new DVDs the company planned for rental release each week.[114] On December 21, 2007, the company removed the link to the page without notice and replaced it with a slider system showing only four previously released movies at a time. The new page, called &quot;Popular New Releases&quot;, does not list newly released DVDs for rental.[115] The listing of new releases is still active,[114] though no menu option links to the page.On January 1, 2008, a Netflix employee unofficially stated on the Netflix Community Blog that customers used the RTW page to add newly released movies to the top of their queues, then complained about delays in receiving them after demand outstripped the supply of DVDs on hand. By removing the page, Netflix sought to quell complaints that these movies were not readily available. Critics, however, have suggested this was just another Netflix attempt at &quot;throttling&quot;.[116]Dynamic queue, subscription &amp; delivery methodsNetflix vs. BlockbusterOn April 4, 2006, Netflix filed a patent infringement lawsuit in which it demanded a jury trial in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, alleging that Blockbuster&apos;s online DVD rental subscription program violated two patents held by Netflix. The first cause of action alleged Blockbuster&apos;s infringement of U.S. Patent No. 7,024,381 (issued April 4, 2006; only hours before the lawsuit was filed) by copying the &quot;dynamic queue&quot; of DVDs available for each customer, Netflix&apos;s method of using the ranked preferences in the queue to send DVDs to subscribers, and Netflix&apos;s method permitting the queue to be updated and reordered.[117] The second cause of action alleged infringement of Patent No. 6,584,450 (issued June 24, 2003), which covers in less detail the subscription rental service as well as Netflix&apos;s methods of communication and delivery.[118] The dispute was ended a year later, on June 25, 2007, with both companies declining to disclose the terms of their legal settlement, except for a statement by Blockbuster that it would not have a major impact on its future financial performance.[119][120] Blockbuster also said that the company planned to close 282 stores that year to shift focus to its online service. The company already had closed 290 stores in 2006.[citation needed]In fall 2006, Blockbuster signed a deal with The Weinstein Company, that gave it the exclusive rental rights to the studio&apos;s films beginning January 1, 2007.[121] This agreement forced Netflix to obtain copies from mass merchants or retailers, instead of directly from the studio.[122] Netflix has speculated that the effect of the Blockbuster-Weinstein agreement could result in higher rental costs and/or fewer copies of the studio&apos;s movies, which would limit the number of each movie&apos;s DVDs that would be available to subscribers at any one time.[123] As of June 2007[update], Netflix continues to make available Weinstein movies, including Unknown, School For Scoundrels and Harsh Times, among others. The first-sale doctrine allows Netflix and other video rental businesses to offer movies released by the Weinstein Company, but the long-term effects of the Blockbuster-Weinstein deal remain uncertain.Removal of Friends featureSince 2004, Netflix subscribers could utilize a feature that allowed them to interact with friends who were also members. This feature was meant to tap into the growing popularity of social networking. With this feature, users could see how their friends rated a movie on that movie&apos;s page; view what DVDs their friends were renting; and allow them to leave their friends notes with film recommendations.[124][125]In March 2010, as part of a redesign of its movie-details pages, the Friends feature began to be phased out. Users could no longer see their friends&apos; ratings on movie pages, and what remained of the friends section was moved to a small link at the bottom of each page. The initial announcement about the redesign on Netflix&apos;s official blog made no reference to any changes to the Friends feature.[126] Hundreds of angry users posted negative comments, and the feedback prompted Netflix&apos;s Vice President of Product Management, Todd Yellin, to post a follow-up statement. While apologizing for poor communication about the changes, Yellin stated that the Friends feature would continue to be phased out, citing figures that only 2% of members used the feature and the company&apos;s limited resources to maintain the service.[124][125][127] Netflix users also began using the movie-reviews section of the website to post comments protesting the changes.[128]Linux supportNetflix has consistently shown reluctance to support customers using Linux and other open-source operating systems.[129] The company continues to support only Microsoft Windows and Macintosh, relying on Microsoft Silverlight technology. Steve Swasey, Netflix Vice-President of Corporate Communications, told TechRepublic that despite the willingness of developers to implement Digital Rights Management measures in the media framework application Moonlight (which is an open-source implementation of Silverlight), Netflix cannot be &quot;everything for everybody all the time&quot;. Netflix does support Android, which is a mobile variant of Linux optimized for cell phones.As of May 9, 2011 (2011 -05-09)[update], Google released plans for a Chrome/Chrome OS plugin that would allow users with the Chrome OS/browser to use said plugin to view and stream material on Netflix, including Linux users.[130]PartnershipsStarzIn April 2011, the pay cable channel, Starz, was about to be more restrictive about what it allows Netflix to stream to customers’ computers and television sets.[131]Starz – one of Netflix’s closest partners – backed off a bit from that partnership, when it announced a three-month delay between the time Starz plays new TV episodes and when those episodes will be available on Netflix.[131]Closed captioningIn June 2011, the National Association of the Deaf filed a lawsuit against Netflix for not providing closed captioning on all of its Watch Instantly movies. The group claims that Netflix is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by not providing equal access on entertainment.[132]Technical detailsStreamingNetflix streams HD content using Microsoft VC1AP encoding at a maximum bitrate of between 2600 kbit/s and 3800 kbit/s (depending on the movie).[133] A lower bitrate feed[134] may be supplied if the user&apos;s network connection is not capable of handling the maximum bitrate available for the film in question. One problem with the streaming is the content, a film can change from &quot;Instant Streaming&quot; to &quot;Just DVD&quot; because of the licenses Netflix agrees with the studios. An example is the movie 1984 which fluctuates from &quot;save&quot; to &quot;Instant Streaming&quot; and back because of the licensing agreement.[citation needed]Netflix recommends that people stream its movies over a broadband connection with a speed of at least 1.5 megabits per second (1.5 Mbit/s), and that people use an Internet connection of at least 3 megabits per second to get better-looking video on par with a DVD.[135]&quot;Throttling&quot;Netflix&apos;s allocation policy – referred to by many as &quot;throttling&quot; – gives priority shipping and selection to customers who rent fewer discs per month. Higher volume renters may see some of their selections delayed, routed elsewhere, or sent out of order.[136]Netflix claims that &quot;the large majority of our subscribers are able to receive their movies in about one business day following our shipment of the requested movie from their local distribution center.&quot;[137] However, not all shipments come from the subscriber&apos;s local distribution center, and shipments from distant centers are often delayed, as well.Netflix APIOn October 1, 2008, Netflix launched an Application Programming Interface (API).[138] The Netflix API[139] allows access to data for all Netflix titles as well as access on a user&apos;s behalf to manage their movie queue. The Developer Network includes a forum for asking and answering questions. The Netflix API is free and allows commercial use. A variety of services have been created around the Netflix API or have integrated the API. Examples include Rotten Tomatoes and The New York Times, which allow users to click to add titles to their Netflix queue or begin watching on Watch Instantly from their pages,[140] and Jinni, which additionally enables search within Watch Instantly and import of some user information like reviews.[141]The API has allowed many developers to release Netflix applications for mobile devices. On November 16, 2009 Netflix released an official Nokia app that allows some trailer streaming.[142] An official iPhone app was released on August 26, 2010.[64]See alsoGameFly, a similar online video game rental service modeled after Netflix.Simply Audiobooks, a similar online rental service for audiobooks.LoveFilm, an online video rental service similar to Netflix but for Northern EuropeReferences
  • Fin300 Team assignments, according to the following sections: Calculations and Formulas Delegated Researcher (s): Nina and Alicia 
  • Fin300 Team assignments, according to the following sections: Calculations and Formulas Delegated Researcher (s): Nina and Alicia
  • Fin300 Team assignments, according to the following sections: Calculations and Formulas Delegated Researcher (s): Nina and Alicia 
  • Fin300 Team assignments, according to the following sections: Calculations and Formulas Delegated Researcher (s): Nina and Alicia
  • Fin300 Team assignments, according to the following sections: Calculations and Formulas Delegated Researcher (s): Nina and Alicia
  • Fin300 Team assignments, according to the following sections: Calculations and Formulas Delegated Researcher (s): Nina and Alicia
  • Fin300 Team assignments, according to the following sections: Calculations and Formulas Delegated Researcher (s): Nina and Alicia
  • Fin300 Team assignments, according to the following sections: Calculations and Formulas Delegated Researcher (s): Nina and Alicia
  • Fin300 Team assignments, according to the following sections: Brief Recapitulation, Forecast, and Conclusion: Q &amp; ADelegated Researcher: ScottHi Scott,What I mentioned in our meeting is as below:I think Blockbuster is more significant than Redbox because Blockbuster owns movie copyright. Recently, Netflix needs to enlarge its service by having more movies and shows which have copyright. So it is important to buy Blockbuster to take charge of the copyright it owns. Moreover, although Blockbuster is bankrupted, there are still distribution channels available remaining. Netflix now is only available by direct mail and via web, if Netflix acquires Blockbuster, it can take the exsiting distribution channels for its business. Those are the two reasons I think Blockbuster is more important as a target acquisition company.Kindly,Jenny 
  • Fin300 Team assignments, according to the following sections: Brief Recapitulation, Forecast, and Conclusion: Q &amp; ADelegated Researcher: Scott 
  • Fin300 Team assignments, according to the following sections: Executive Summary Delegated Researcher (1): ScottWho are we? - - - i.e., Vision, Mission, Values, Strategy - - - brief statement; What do we do? For whom, and depending on a &quot;push&quot; or &quot;pull&quot; product / service, marketing? Describe the stakeholders, their importance, including management. Situational Analysis (according to the Du Pont equation model)Delegated Researcher (2): JennyDP Model Functionality and Utilization Financial Analysis - The Balance SheetDelegated Researcher (3): Alicia&quot;Ratios&quot;, the “Numbers” - Ratios shown in Table 3-2, text, Chapter 3, page 103, noting by category - - - Liquidity, Asset Management, Debt Management, Profitability, and Market Value. Instant observations are not as important as trend lines - comparing instant analysis to historic data, to trends, to competitors, and also cover projections. You need at least three years of data. Balance Sheet Ratios - - - i.e., Liquidity, Asset Management, Debt Management - - - identify trends plus, asset and debt - - - consistent or not, Vision, Mission, Strategy?Financial Analysis - Profitability and CapitalDelegated Researcher (4 &amp; 5):Licia and NinaProfitable Ratios - - - Trend, Operating Leverage, EBITDACapital (Equity) - - - Profit and Loss Trend, including NOPAT, EVA plus FCF PLUS STOCK PERFORMANCE – Beta, WACC – Value? Brief Recapitulation, Forecast, and Conclusion: Q &amp; ADelegated Researcher: Scott 
  • Fin300 Final Team Project

    1. 1. And Now for the Bonus Round…What are the Two Ways Netflix Delivers Movies?Merger and Acquisition Audit Assessment and Proposal for the Netflix Corporation by L JANS & Associates, LLP, Lead Consultant<br />A PowerPoint Presentation to Meet Partial Requirements for Managerial Finance 300 A<br />Course Professor: Mr. William Sarsfield<br />Members of L JANS and Associates, LP: Hiu Man Chan (Alicia), Jenny, Licia, Nina, & Scott<br />Friday, May 06, 2011<br />
    2. 2. Table of Contents:<br />Executive Summary<br />Organizational Profile Facts and Figures: Netflix and Targeted Enterprises<br />Statistical Market Data and Information: DVD Rental and Internet Streaming for Consumer and Industry<br />Du Pont Model Report Analysis<br />Balance Sheet Report Analysis<br />Liquidity and Probability Metrics Report Analysis<br />Consultant’s Closing Audit Assessment and Final Recommendation<br />Open Session: Q & A<br />References <br />
    3. 3. Consultant’s Goals and Objectives:1. Provide primary and secondary auditing services for client2. Execute and create a comparative performance analysis portfolio3. Perform due diligence analytics on acquisition targets, including contingency plan suppositions4. Deliver closing arguments and final recommendation<br />Executive Summary<br />Disclaimer: Some of the names and events in this report are fictitious and their sole purpose is ancillary in nature to actual data and information under analysis.<br />Portraying the role and function of an accounting consultancy firm, we, L JANS and Associates, are attempting to provide auditing and M & A evaluation services, at the request of our client, Netflix. <br />In addition to performing a comparative auditing assessment between Netflix, Inc. and the Comcast Corporation, Netflix has also made a formal request to execute due diligence evaluation analysis for two potential acquisition candidates: Redbox Automated Retail (a subsidiary of Coinstar, Inc.) and Blockbuster, Inc. <br />Before our final recommendation is rendered and officially submitted, L JANS & Associates will describe the current financial and overall health of the company, as it is compared against both its preferred targets and industry. <br />
    4. 4. Netflix Company Portfolio:◊ Movie rental provider of DVDs and online streaming◊ Founded in 1997 in Scotts Valley, CA., by Marc Randolph and Reed Hastings◊ Netflix maintains the largest library of online content◊ DVD By-Mail Subscription base currently covers both U.S. and Canada<br />Firms Profile Facts and Figures: Netflix and Targeted Enterprises<br />Organizational Profile Facts and Figures: Netflix and Targeted Enterprises<br />
    5. 5. Netflix Company Portfolio:◊ Future expansion projects underway for Europe and Spain by Year-end 2012◊ 1 million DVDs mailed each day contained in 35,000 different titles◊ Developer of the innovative video-recommendation algorithm called Cinematch: “The Netflix Prize”◊ CEO Reed Hastings – Facebook’s newly assigned Board of Director member in 2011<br />Facts and Figures Continued…<br />
    6. 6. Netflix Company Portfolio:◊ The company went public on May 20, 2002; IPO trading began on May 24, 2002◊ Actual offered price @ $15.00; Opened @ $16.19 and closing up 3.5% at $16.75◊ IPO raised $94.5 million◊ Underwriters: Merrill Lynch; Pierce, Fenner, & Smith Incorporated; Thomas Weisel Partners, LLC; U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray<br />Facts and Figures Continued…<br />
    7. 7. “A Virtual Catch-Up Effect for Content Distribution in the Internet World”◊ Product lifecycle curve: Moderate to sharp nascent growth, followed by decline to equilibrium ◊Convergence between Revenue and Growth accelerated after reaching its peak in 2000◊Convergence Consultancy Group of Toronto estimates 1% cable and satellite subscription cancellations by Canadians by the end of 2012<br />U.S. Internet Market Data and Information:<br />
    8. 8. ◊ Netflix ranked 4th for percentage of VOD upstream traffic in 2010◊ In January 2011, viewers on average spent 4 hours and 39 minutes watching Internet video, an increase of 45% from a year earlier◊ Netflix members instantly enjoy unlimited movies and TV episodes streamed over the Internet to PCs, Macs, and TVs◊Devices streaming from Netflix are Microsoft Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, and Sony’s PS3<br />U.S. Internet MD & I Continued…<br />
    9. 9. ◊ Ranked 2nd for percentage of VOD downstream traffic◊ Download streaming exclusively uses Microsoft’s Silverlight playback technology◊ Google’s Chrome OS plugins will become available for like users to stream video on Netflix in 2011◊Real-Time Entertainment traffic accounted for 45.7% average daily content downloading in N.A.◊ “Social Apponomics”: Netflix’ $1.3 billion online movie rental service with 15 million subscribers <br />U.S. Internet MD & I Continued…<br />
    10. 10. ◊Achieves the highest % differential increase between upstream and downstream among ranking qualifiers◊Three-tiered downloading bandwidth approach: Low, Middle, High◊Once a 1:1 ratio, dollar-to-video time (hourly) for subscription packages; Now, unlimited video streaming at no additional charge<br />U.S. Internet MD & I Continued…<br />
    11. 11. ◊ Netflix shares are held by 570 institutions: Accounting for 87.05% of all shares held.◊ Among the top 5-10 institutions are the following:▪ Vanguard Group, Inc. ▪ American Centuries Companies, Inc. ▪ State Street Corp ▪ Blackrock Institutional Trust Company ▪ Bank of New York Mellon Corp◊ Irrational Expectations: Investors reaction to the company’s new subscription price increase◊ Stock price increased 219% in 2010<br />Du Pont Model Report Analysis<br />
    12. 12. ◊ Product paradigm shift from DVDs to online movie and TV shows streaming◊ Content obtained from studios via fixed-fee licenses, revenue-sharing pacts, & direct purchases.◊ Added 8 million subscribers in 2010, bringing total to 20 million◊ In 2010, revenue catapulted up 29%: Net income up 39%<br />Balance Sheet Report Analysis: Netflix, Comcast, Redbox (Coinstar), Blockbuster<br />
    13. 13. ◊ Steady increase in liabilities is partially due to domestic and international expansion◊ Netflix’ “Watch Instantly” first-run rights to films from the following companies: ▪Paramount Pictures; MGM; Lions Gate Entertainment; Sony Pictures; Walt Disney Motion Pictures; First Look Pictures; Relativity Media ◊ Netflix’ “Watch Instantly” back-catalog rights to films from the likes of Time Warner, Universal Pictures, 20th Century Fox<br />Balance Sheet RA Continued…<br />
    14. 14. Three main factors that identify and explain the large disparity between Netflix’ ROIC and M/B ratio and that of its targeted entities:1. One stock split in mid 2000 and the avoidance distribution of cash dividends2. Consequential and direct correlation from previous actions stated, marginal annual rise in stock price3. Favorable long-term content licensing fees arrangements and gradual shift to online distribution<br />Solvency and Profitability Metrics Report Analysis<br />
    15. 15. Sample Illustration of Liquidity and Profitability Matrix Worksheet<br />Solvency and Profitability MRA Continued…<br />
    16. 16. ◊ Five-year deal reached with Paramount, Liongates, and MGM worth nearly $1 billion to stream movies◊ As a result of the deal, annual expenses related to new deal expected to increase to $200 million from $117 million a year earlier◊ Acid Test Ratio slid ▼36.2% in 2010 from a year ago, because of the addition to current liabilities<br />Solvency and Profitability MRA Continued…<br />
    17. 17. ◊ Rapid growth of E-Commerce compared to traditional brick-and-mortar facilities has impacted companies like Redbox, Inc. because of product design and limited distribution channel◊ Blockbuster offers “Total Access” which enables customers to rent movies online, reducing accrual cost liabilities associated with enhanced inventory control and decreased wages<br />Solvency and Profitability MRA Continued…<br />
    18. 18. ◊ Netflix reported positive net operating profit after taxes and free cash flow for 2010◊ Conversely, Comcast saw a significant negative total in FCF; nearly half was attributed to an aggregate of new acquisitions during 2010◊ Although business status is active, Blockbuster incurred negative output for both NOPAT and FCF, as a direct result of preliminary stage of Chapter 11 <br />Solvency and Profitability MRA Continued…<br />
    19. 19. ROIC and M/B Visual Recap<br />Solvency and Profitability MRA Continued…<br />
    20. 20. ◊ Netflix’ migration strategic plan transitioning legacy business model (DVD retail) to contemporary business model (Internet streaming) elevates current debt ratio, from previous years, above industry standard◊ In contrast, fledgling DVD rental market coupled with a limited distribution pipeline results in higher debt ratio for Redbox against the industry standard<br />Solvency and Profitability MRA Continued…<br />
    21. 21. Netflix’ operation efficiency significantly outperforms acquisition targets with regards to sales, or COGS, to inventory<br />Solvency and Profitability MRA Continued…<br />
    22. 22. Netflix Current Ratio Performance Record:◊ Netflix efficient SOP (standard operating procedure) throughout its entire supply chain, accompanied by newly increased subscription ratesNetflix ROE Performance Record:◊ Netflix management decision not to remit dividend payouts◊ Current stock price 52-week high of $297.35<br />Solvency and Profitability MRA Continued…<br />
    23. 23. Consultant’s Opinions and Final Recommendations <br />Consultant’s Closing Audit Assessment and Final Recommendation<br />Opinions:<br /><ul><li>Liquidity and profitability positions are moderately conservative to proactive aggressive and comfortably aligned with corporate business model.
    24. 24. Current integration measures for existing by-mail subscription services to VOD long-run is plausible and should be accelerated.
    25. 25. Because online subscription service over the Internet is experiencing steady yet substantial growth well above industry average, existing short- and long-range migration strategic planning should maintain current course directive for global expansion. </li></ul>II. Recommendations:<br /><ul><li>The company’s new migration directive to boost its online presence, in conjunction with a waning DVD rental market, is not conducive to the functionality of a brick-and-mortar business model. Therefore, we recommend that management should not move forward with its acquisition plan of Redbox Automated Retail, LLC.
    26. 26. Because substantial increases in online product and marketability leverage is projected long-run, we highly suggest that all current considerations and long-range plans to acquire Blockbuster, Inc., upon a successful emergence from Chapter 11, should move beyond the exploratory phase to tactical, to specifically capitalize on Blockbuster’s elaborate and expansive distribution network </li></li></ul><li>Open Session: Q & A<br />…“Uuum, Netflix Watch Instantly and DVD?” <br />“And you are co-o-o-rrect!” <br />“Whoohoo!”<br />
    27. 27. Source References: <br />Literary Sources:<br />Troy, L. Ph.D. (2010 Edition). Almanac of Business and Industry Financial Ratios. Chicago: CCH Group <br />Strategy + Business Magazine (Spring 2011, Issue 62- ). The Coming Wave of Social Apponomics. New York: Booz & Company<br />Web Sources:<br />Businessweek.com (N/A). Investing. Retrieved June 06, 2011, from http://investing.businessweek.com<br />Sagepub.com (N/A). Sage Online Search. Retrieved June 06, 2011, from http://0-online.sagepub.com.library.ggu.edu<br />ReferenceUSA.com (N/A). Reference USA Search. Retrieved June 06, 2011, from http://0-www.referenceusa.com.library.ggu.edu<br />Charlie Rose.com (N/A). Guest Interviews: Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix. Retrieved June 06, 2011, from http://www.charlierose.com<br />
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