America’s Internet Speed Problem: Half The Country Can Barely Stream Netflix

Netflix

Netflix in the homeRemember when downloading a simple picture on the internet could take several minutes? That problem hasn’t gotten much better in 2012 for at least half of America’s internet users. While pictures may be faster Netflix, Amazon Prime and other video services can not be properly utilized by more than 50% of the American public.

While theFederal Communications Commission’s Eighth Broadband Progress Report this week revealed that 94% of American households have access to “broadband” but 60 percent of those homes subscribe to the minimum broadband speed of768 kilobits per second (kbps) — far less than the FCC’s broadband definition of 4 megabits per second.

To put those speeds in perspective Netflix requires a minimum speed of 500 kbps and when other WiFi connections are being utilized many of those users fall below the minimum video streaming data limits for the monthly subscription based service. [Read more…]

Will we be watching more TV and movies on Facebook? Netflix CEO joins Facebook board

netflix ceo joins facebook board

Facebook has actually made social connections more entertaining, rendering even some of my most boring relatives, friends, co-workers, and casual acquaintances a bit more interesting.

Now that Netflix chairman and CEO Reed Hastings has joined Facebook’s board, I’m wondering what’s going to be down the road of my life on Facebook.  Will I one day look up from my laptop and ask my wife to watch a movie or TV show on Facebook?

Clearly, as Facebook inches towards reaching 1 billion users sometime next year, it is looking for more and more ways to keep people logged in. Games are obvious time consumers and so is music.  Movies and TV?  Definitely. (Even if it means watching Green Lantern laying a big fat egg at the tills.)

As an additional revenue stream (which Facebook probably needs more than just traffic), perhaps it’ll lead to seamless social network TV/movie promotion that actually brings bigger bucks.  That will definitely come in handy, if and when, Facebook goes public next year and needs to support its profitability profile.

[Read more…]

Netflix CEO Joins Facebook Board Of Directors, IPO Could Be Coming Soon

Reed Hastings

Reed HastingsNetflix CEO Reed Hastings is joining the Board of Directors at Facebook, a likely signals that the company is getting closer to announcing their initial public offering (IPO).

Hastings helped Netflix navigate the often confusing world of IPO’s and that move is expected to be the next logical step for the world’s largest social network.

Reed also serves on the board at Microsoft which owns a small stake in the social network.

The move also comes at a time when Netflix has promised to deliver more social media and sharing features into their product, a promise that failed one-time already when their social media offering was less than ideally optimized.

Rumors have speculated that Facebook would take on Netflix via the streaming movie business with Warner Bros. recently testing video on-demand through the social platform, however Reed joining the board could mean a partnership is in the works, for example Netflix could use Facebook’s international reach and know-how to launch their DVD-by-mail and video-streaming services in more countries, while also tapping into Facebook’s nearly 700 million users to grow their own user base which currently tops 23 million customers. [Read more…]

Netflix Pulls the Plug on Social Network

Netflix Community Features Disabled

Netflix Community Features DisabledIt’s been long time coming, since Netflix hammered the first nail in the coffin of the social networking features of their site this past spring. But Friday the end became reality as the doors closed definitively on Netflix community features.

The move comes just days after Apple launched its new product-based social networking service Ping in iTunes. Now Netflix admits the community aspects of their site were hardly used and their engineering resources would be better spent devoted to developing aspects of the site that are highly popular – such as video streaming. Whether Netflix’s poor experience blending products, services, and social interaction will bode unwell for Ping remains to be seen. [Read more…]