Friday, March 20, 2015

Spencer Wang Joins Netflix as VP, Finance & Investor Relations

I’m Spencer Wang and I'm excited to join Netflix. This is an industry I followed closely during my time as a media & Internet equity analyst on Wall Street, and I’m looking forward to telling the Netflix story to the investment community.

In my new role, I’ll be periodically blogging here to help investors better understand Netflix, our vision and the future of Internet TV. As an example, here is my report from 2010 that you may find interesting. With the massive change reshaping the video business, it’s great to be part of the team at the forefront of this amazing evolution.

Spencer

Spencer is vice president of finance and investor relations at Netflix.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Netflix ISP Speed Index for February

Here is February data for the Netflix ISP Speed Index, our monthly update on which Internet Service Providers (ISPs) provide the best prime-time Netflix streaming experience.

In the U.S., Charter jumped two spots to No. 6 with an average speed of 3.29 Megabits per second (Mbps), up from 3.14 Mbps last month.

In Sweden, a Telia increase moved the provider from last place to No. 8 in the rankings. The company’s average speed totaled 3.59 Mbps, up from 2.98 Mbps in January.

In Germany, QUiX jumped two spots to No. 3, with an average speed of 3.77 Mbps, up from 3.68 Mbps last month. NetCologne dropped to fourth place, though its average speed remained 3.76 Mbps.

In Mexico, Telecable increased to No. 3, up two spots, with an average speed of 2.87 Mbps, up from 2.68 Mbps last month. Cablevision dropped to fourth place even though its average speed increased to 2.86 Mbps from 2.74 Mbps a month ago.

The Netflix ISP Speed Index is a measure of prime time Netflix performance on a particular ISP and not a measure of overall performance for other services/data that may travel across the specific ISP network. Faster Netflix performance generally means better picture quality, quicker start times and fewer interruptions.

The latest regional rankings are below:




Anne Marie
Anne Marie is a member of the Netflix communications team.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

What Netflix CFO David Wells Really Said About Net Neutrality and Title II Yesterday

For anyone interested in what Netflix Chief Financial Officer David Wells actually said about net neutrality during yesterday’s Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference, here’s both the audio of his talk and the excerpt related to the FCC’s recent vote and Title II:

The full audio is here. [Net neutrality question and answer starts at 34:50.]

“So, over the last year, we've been very pleased that we've been able to rise the issues beyond that narrow piece out into the public consciousness, and I think that, that has come before. Were we pleased that it pushed to Title II, probably not, right? I mean, we were hoping that, there might be a non-regulated solution to it. But it seems like companies that are pursuing their commercial interests including us have to arrive at something like that. So we're super pleased that there is now a notion, at least a vehicle, for a complaint where if we are in the position we were in 12 to 18 months ago, where we can show you what it looks like if you're a subscriber on one ISP versus another. The notion of “well we're paying this one” and that these people are getting better service, even though they’re both paying their consumer price for bandwidth. So I would say we are very pleased with what's been accomplished. You know when you're successful as the ISPs are at providing a service. Essentially Internet has become a utility. If you think about people's willingness to drop their broadband, I think there's been some studies that they're willing to drop many other things including buying milk before they dropped their broadband. That's a pretty strong indicator that you've got something that has become, you know, a utility. And in our opinion it was very important to protect those notions.”

Anne Marie

Anne Marie Squeo is a member of the Netflix communications team.  

Monday, February 9, 2015

Netflix ISP Speed Index for January

Below is January data for the Netflix ISP Speed Index, our monthly update on which Internet Service Providers (ISPs) provide the best prime-time Netflix streaming experience.

In the U.S., Verizon FiOS narrowly held onto the top spot with Cablevision close enough that both ISPs posted an average speed of 3.43 Megabits per second (Mbps) when rounded.

There was much movement in Canada’s January rankings, with Shaw dropping two spots to No. 6 with an average speed of 3.34 Mbps and SaskTel rising two spots to No. 4 with an average speed of 3.35 Mbps. TekSavvy also fell, coming in No. 13 with an average speed of 2.91 Mbps.

In Chile, GTD reclaimed the No. 1 position, posting an average speed of 3.19 Mbps. That displaced VTR, whose average speed slipped to 3.06 Mbps from 3.17 Mbps in December.

In France, Bouygues Telecom topped the ranking for the first time, providing an average speed of 3.74 Mbps in January. Numericable, which had held the top spot since Netflix launched there in September, came in a close second with an average speed of 3.73 Mbps.

The Netflix ISP Speed Index is a measure of prime time Netflix performance on a particular ISP and not a measure of overall performance for other services/data that may travel across the specific ISP network. Faster Netflix performance generally means better picture quality, quicker start times and fewer interruptions.
The latest regional rankings are below:




Anne Marie
Anne Marie Squeo is a member of the Netflix communications team.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Netflix ISP Speed Index for December

Below is December data for the Netflix ISP Speed Index, our monthly update on which Internet Service Providers (ISPs) provide the best prime-time Netflix streaming experience.

December is historically our heaviest viewing month, with December 28 being the largest streaming day of the year.

In the U.S., despite the heavy demand, we saw continued increases in average speeds across the largest ISPs, with Verizon FiOS topping the list at 3.36 Megabits per second (Mbps), Cablevision coming in a close second at 3.32 Mbps, and Bright House just behind at 3.30 Mbps. (That’s up from average speeds last month of 3.27 Mbps, 3.20 Mbps and 3.16 Mbps respectively.) Time Warner Cable posted the largest gain, jumping three spots to sixth place with average speed of 3.18 Mbps, up from 2.97 Mbps in November.

In Mexico, Totalplay joined the index and snagged the top spot in December, posting an average speed of 3.53 Mbps. Axtel X-tremo slipped to second place even while increasing their average speed to 3.44 Mbps from 3.36 Mbps last month.

In Sweden, Bredband2 jumped 2 spots to No. 3 with average speeds of 3.80 Mbps, up from 3.65 Mbps in November.

The Netflix ISP Speed Index is a measure of prime time Netflix performance on a particular ISP and not a measure of overall performance for other services/data that may travel across the specific ISP network. Faster Netflix performance generally means better picture quality, quicker start times and fewer interruptions.

The latest regional rankings are below:




Anne Marie
Anne Marie is a member of the Netflix communications team.

Monday, January 5, 2015

The Misconception About Internet Fast Lanes

In the ongoing discussion about net neutrality, there’s been quite a bit of confusion about so-called fast lanes on the Internet. I’d like to spend a few moments clarifying what these fast lanes are and why they are not a good thing. While some media reports have suggested otherwise, Netflix and other Internet content providers are not using fast lanes to deliver their content to consumers.   

First, what’s a fast lane on the Internet?  Simply put, a fast lane is where one person’s data travelling on an Internet Service Providers (ISPs) last-mile network gets priority delivery over another’s. A helpful way to think about fast lanes is by visualizing cars on a multi-lane highway where one of the lanes can only be used if you pay a toll. The toll lane only becomes attractive because the other lanes are too slow. Only the person controlling the network -- the ISP -- can slow down traffic to make someone else’s go faster.

From a network architecture standpoint, fast lanes aren’t that useful if you’re managing your network effectively. From a marketing perspective, however, they might be quite useful as a way to sell “premium” access to content providers.

This creates two fundamental problems.  Allowing fast lanes gives ISPs a perverse incentive to boost revenues by allowing their networks to congest. It also gives them outsize power to pick winners and losers on the Internet. Those who can’t pay for fast lanes will suffer, entrenching incumbents while undermining the innovative power of the Internet. While the largest ISPs have said they’re not interested in creating fast lanes, one need only look at how they have sought to monetize their network interconnection points to get a glimpse of the future.

It is at these points -- where our traffic enters an ISPs network -- where Netflix and others have been forced to pay Comcast, Verizon, AT&T and Time Warner access fees to reach our mutual customers. Without those payments, ISPs allowed these connection points to congest, resulting in a poor video streaming experience for Netflix users on those networks. While Netflix was able to meet the demand for payments, we continue to believe this practice stands in contrast to an open Internet and all its promise.

After we paid up, our traffic began moving at the same speed as everyone else not facing congestion. This is important, because this is where confusion often arises. Netflix and other content providers are not using fast lanes when they connect with an ISP’s last-mile networks. That is true in cases where we’ve had to make payments as well as when ISPs take advantage of Netflix’s Open Connect Content Delivery Network (CDN). Open Connect brings Netflix content to the location of an ISPs choice, usually at a common Internet exchange or through localized caches. It doesn’t prioritize the data Netflix users have requested. Rather it makes delivery of it more efficient for us and for the ISP.

Right now, there are no paid fast lanes on the Internet. That’s a good thing. A large part of the debate about net neutrality is focused on ensuring it stays that way. If ISPs are allowed to sell fast lanes, competition for various Internet sites and services will become less about the value of what’s offered and more about who can pay the most to deliver it faster. It would be the very opposite environment than the one the Internet created.

Ken

Ken Florance is vice president of content delivery at Netflix.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Netflix on Android Just Got a Lot More Social

In September, we announced our new Social Recommendation feature for the Netflix website, iPad, iPhone, PS3, Xbox, and many set-top boxes and smart TVs. Today, we’re announcing the same feature has been added to the Netflix app for Android phones.

Now you can easily, and privately, recommend the shows you love to the people you care about, right from your Android phone.  

We’ve also added a couple of new exciting features specifically for Android users.

First, we’re taking full advantage of the rich Android push notification capabilities to add images and action buttons that let you to watch, get more info, or thank your friend for a recommendation.
Second, for Android smartwatch users, we’ve created an Android Wear integration that alerts you when you’ve received a recommendation, and lets you watch, thank, play, or get more details on the show.



We love sharing the excitement of finding a great new show with our friends. We’re excited to bring this experience to our Android phone users.

-Cameron