Thursday, March 25, 2010

Netflix via Wii - Coming Soon

Jessie Becker here from Marketing and we’ve got some great news to share. We are in the final phase of getting ready for the launch of streaming to Wii. Today, we shipped out instant streaming discs for the Wii to some of our Netflix members. Their feedback will ensure that we deliver a great experience to everyone when we launch. Instantly watching movies and TV episodes from Netflix via Wii will be available soon at no additional cost – all you need is a Netflix unlimited plan starting at $8.99 a month, a Wii console and a broadband Internet connection. If you have reserved your disc already, you don’t need to do anything - we will send you an email as soon as we ship the disc. If you haven’t, reserve your disc today at www.netflix.com/Wii and stay tuned for a launch announcement!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Friends Update

Todd Yellin here, VP of Product Management. We fumbled the ball this week. In making some changes to the Movie Display Page we didn’t fully communicate how they impact users of the Friends feature, and we owe you that.

Friends is a feature on the Netflix Web site that’s been used by less than two percent of all subscribers since we added the feature in 2004. As a comparison, roughly 50 percent of Netflix members are now instantly watching movies and TV episodes on computers and televisions via game consoles, Blu-ray disc players and other devices that have been on the market since 2008.

No company has unlimited resources and we decided to move engineering development time and resources from a little used feature to support and maintain the things that benefit all Netflix members as the service evolves – more devices for streaming and better encoding, for example.

Unfortunately for Friends users, this means the phasing out of the Friends feature, which will continue over the coming months.

We’ve read every blog post, Tweet, news article and call log to Customer Service by those of you who are upset about this decision. To you, we apologize for not being more upfront earlier. We appreciate your passion and we understand your disappointment and frustration. Our decision is meant to benefit all Netflix members by allowing everyone to enjoy more movies and more TV episodes on more devices while still receiving the unbeatable convenience, selection and value that are the hallmarks of the Netflix service.

Thank you for your understanding.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Netflix Prize Update

This is Neil Hunt, Chief Product Officer for Netflix.

About five months ago we announced that Netflix would sponsor a sequel to the Netflix Prize. We've given a lot thought to how to sponsor a contest that discovers more about the predictability of Netflix members' movie watching behavior while always ensuring we protect Netflix members' privacy.

In the past few months, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) asked us how a Netflix Prize sequel might affect Netflix members' privacy, and a lawsuit was filed by KamberLaw LLC pertaining to the sequel. With both the FTC and the plaintiffs' lawyers, we've had very productive discussions centered on our commitment to protecting our members' privacy.

We have reached an understanding with the FTC and have settled the lawsuit with plaintiffs. The resolution to both matters involves certain parameters for how we use Netflix data in any future research programs.

In light of all this, we have decided to not pursue the Netflix Prize sequel that we announced on August 6, 2009.

We will continue to explore ways to collaborate with the research community and improve our recommendations system so we can constantly improve the movie recommendations we make for you. So stay tuned.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

New Movie Details Page Rolled Out

Hi everyone. Jamie from product management here. We just finished the roll out of our new movie details page. We've redesigned the page around the most important information (based on member surveys and user research). Here's some of the changes you'll find:
  • Important information is at the top of the page: synopsis, rating, length, year of release, cast, and genre are all at the top of the page along with the box shot.
  • Better support for episodic content such as TV shows: quick access to the next episode, easy to see, easy to see which episodes you've already watched.
  • One page for each title, regardless of if the title is streaming, DVD, or Blu-Ray. All the details for each format are presented on one page.
  • Easy to find similar content using the row of similar titles at the bottom of the page or by genre, cast member, or theme.
Happy watching!