August 18, 2009 |
As Yogi Berra would say: Yikes, it's dÃ©jÃ vu all over again. In recent days, my newspaper has been chock-full of stories about the latest round of legal battles between the Hollywood studios and Redbox, the upstart $1-per-night DVD rental kiosk company. My colleague Ben Fritz has done a wonderful job of chronicling all the fussing and fighting, having reported on how three of Hollywood's biggest studios -- 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros. and Universal -- are refusing to provide DVDs to Redbox until at least 28 days after they go on sale.
July 24, 2009 |
Apparently it's better to rent than to own DVDs during a recession. While movie studios are reeling from plunging DVD sales, which were down 13.5% in the first half of the year, DVD-by-mail subscription company Netflix Inc. saw its revenue surge 21% to $408.5 million in the second quarter that ended June 30. Net income was $32.4 million, up 22% from the same period a year ago.
July 14, 2009 |
Amazon.com Inc. makes its money as an online retailer. So why would it want a company that rents DVDs? Officially, it doesn't -- or at least it isn't talking about it. But an Amazon purchase of DVD rental king Netflix Inc. has been the subject of on-again, off-again rumors on Wall Street, and that speculation Monday sent Netflix shares up 7%. Although neither company would comment on the speculation, some analysts think it isn't that far-fetched.
April 24, 2009 |
The bottom may be falling out of the DVD market for Hollywood, but not at Netflix Inc. The DVD rental company set a record for subscriber growth -- blowing past the 10-million-customer mark -- and reported that first-quarter profit skyrocketed almost 70% from the same period a year earlier. Reed Hastings, chief executive of Netflix, attributed the growth to the online video service's "unlimited rental" deal, which allows movie junkies all-you-can-watch plans for the month.
March 31, 2009 |
Netflix flexed its muscle Monday, saying it would raise prices about 20% for subscribers who rent Blu-ray movie discs. The movie service said the higher rates would allow it to stock more copies of the high-definition discs to keep pace with demand. The rate change, which takes effect April 27, will add $4 to the $17 monthly fee paid by subscribers who rent three movies at a time. Customers who rent standard DVDs will not be affected.
January 27, 2009 |
Netflix Inc.'s fourth-quarter profit climbed 45%, propelled by the widening appeal of its relatively inexpensive DVD rental and Internet streaming service during a budget-crimping recession. The results, along with an optimistic forecast for the current quarter, drove Netflix shares up more than 7% in extended trading. The Los Gatos, Calif., company added 718,000 customers in the final three months of 2008, more than doubling the growth envisioned by management. The surge left Netflix with just under 9.4 million customers through December, a 26% gain from 2007 that suggests more people are looking for ways to entertain themselves at home in the worst recession since the early 1980s.