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It looks like Netflix might be spending more than $1 million on a recent campaign to improve its recommendation engine. The movie rental company recently held a contest that successfully improve its recommendation by more than 10%. But now an in-the-closet lesbian woman is suing the company for privacy invasion, saying that she could have been outed due to Netflix sharing data that wasn't quite so anonymous.
While her claims may be spurious, this could have legal implications for the ways user information is shared and stored online.
Imagine for a moment that you're the CEO of Netflix. The movie studios don't really like you. They think low-cost rental services like Netflix are cutting into DVD sales, which have declined. So they come up with a plan to block rentals of new releases for a short time, perhaps a month.
The question: do you oppose this plan or do you look to negotiate with the studios for some sort of benefit?
With ad pages in freefall, magazines shedding titles, and the future of magazines in flux, things are looking more than gloomy for the ad industry lately. And the same fate is likely to befall the dvd industry, according to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings.
Speaking at Magazine Publishers of America’s Innovation Summit, Hastings noted that his business is on track to suffer the same fate that magazines are enduring now. Is there anything to be done about it?
YouTube's quest for professionally created content is about to get interesting. The Wall Street Journal reports that the video giant is in talks with movie studios to stream movies to its users for a fee.
That will bring a shift from its free video supported by advertising model, but could go a long way toward helping the site turn a profit for Google — and possibly change the game for online film viewing.
Film studios are working pretty hard to make sure that new online rental services don't steal all their profits. But outside of movie theaters, they aren't entirely in control of the distribution of their content. And if the studios aren't careful, in the process of negotiating revenue deals, they might further choke off their own revenue streams.
This week, Warner Bros., Universal Pictures and 20th Century Fox announced they would withhold new releases from RedBox for 28 days or more after videos go on sale. In addition to delayed access to the video kiosk service, Warner is now seeking new deals with Netflix and will impose the same restrictions on the online rental site unless they give the studio "a day-and-date revenue-sharing option."
Warner is trying to tap into Netflix's increasing revenue potential. If Netflix gives in to Warner's demands, other studios will follow suit. And if the studios are too greedy in their demands, they might lose out on even more money.
Netflix has been hard at work getting its content on as many platforms as possible. This week, they're starting to stream early seasons of ABC shows like "Lost" and "Desperate Housewives." There are also rumors of a Netflix app that will soon stream video content to the iPhone.
This is all great news for Netflix. But is it a winning situation for the networks? Yes.
The free online ad supported video segment may be growing, but new research shows that people are willing to pay for their online video.
According to a report by Boston-based Strategy Analytics, paid-for video is expected to grow faster than free ad-supported video over the next several years, at a rate of 39% annually, compared to 37% for free video.
That's good money if you can get it. But it will be a hard sell to get people to pay for things they get now for free.
The gaming industry is often referred to as recession proof, but the general inclination of people to purchase goods that can entertain them at home in tough times is not enough to fuel the gaming sector right now. The $1.83 billion console industry fell 18% in March and 8% in April.
However, those numbers have less to do with the flailing economy than the state of the gaming console business right now. All three of the leaders in the space — Microsoft's Xbox 360, Sony Playstation 3, and the Nintendo Wii — have not launched new consoles in about three years. Rather than start selling new products, they're looking to marketing tactics and repositioning what they already have on the shelf to increase sales.
Adobe Flash, the rich media technology that's pretty much ubiquitous on the internet, will soon have a second home: your television set.
Thanks to deals that will include the Flash software in the chips that go into televisions and set-top boxes, in the near future you may start coming across Flash while watching and using your TV.
I've been critical of Chris Anderson's long tail 'theory', which argued that "the future of business is selling less of more".
The quantitative evidence suggests that Anderson's thesis was a bit too aggressive. In most industries, from retail to music, the 'head' is still as important as it was decades ago.
CES, the world's largest consumer technology trade show, started yesterday.
Despite the economy and speculation about the economy's impact on CES this year, CES seems to be doing alright this year and is still one of the most important technology trade shows in the world; the place where hot new consumer gadgets are launched and big announcements made.