Explainers

In This Week’s New Yorker, We Learn Netflix CEO Reed Hastings Wears an Albanian Army Dog Tag

Man with the plan. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

In this week’s issue of the New Yorker, there’s an intriguing profile about Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and his company’s boom.

The lengthy piece, penned by Ken Auletta, is an interesting deep-dive on how the streaming site maneuvered away from the edge of irrelevance to the dominant, Emmy-winning, Robin Wright-purveying entertainment powerhouse that it is. Read More

Streaming

Netflix Fails to Sweep the Emmys, Like That Matters

Netflix's chief content officer and VP of original content turned out. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Variety)

Another awards show season kicked off last night with the Emmys, featuring an overexposed Neal Patrick Harris and way too many tributes to celebs we’ve lost.

But last night was also Netflix’s first big, black-tie outing as a content creator, rather than simply a distributor. The company went into the ceremony with 14 nominations, two wins at the Creative Arts Emmys, and a boatload of breathless think pieces about what it all means. Read More

streaming video

Netflix Replaces Earnings Call With Video Chat In Case You’re Just Dying to See Reed Hastings’ Face

Hey Reed. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Guess Netflix just cannot be contained by traditional means of distributing information to shareholders.

Last year, CEO Reed Hastings got a little finger-wag from the S.E.C. when he announced a milestone over Facebook. Now the company is dropping the old quarterly conference call for a video chat about earnings.

Because you really want to look Reed Hastings square in the eye the next time he’s explaining why he pulled a Qwikster.  Read More

Social Media

Attention, Reed Hastings: The S.E.C. Says Social Media Announcements Are Okay, If You Meet These Conditions

More money. (Photo: flickr.com/jamiesrabbits)

Oh the times, oh the customs! These days, with every Tom Dick and Harry CEO maintaining a Twitter account and public Facebook page, it’s easier than ever to violate the S.E.C.’s rules about where you can disclose key information so all your shareholders see it. That’s already gotten Netflix CEO Reed Hastings into a little trouble (not that his example stopped rogue Tesla CEO and would-be Martian Elon Musk).

Well today the S.E.C. announced that it’s a-okay to announce “key information” (like sales figures) via social media, “so long as investors have been alerted about which social media will be used to disseminate such information.” Read More

Linkages

Booting Up: Ecomom is Liquidating After Founder Jody Sherman’s Suicide

jodysherman

Six months after raising $4.7 million and less than three weeks after founder and CEO Jody Sherman committed suicide, Ecomom is liquidating. [PandoDaily]

Tesla CEO Elon Musk got around to publishing the data he promised would show that a New York Times review of his company’s electric Model S sedan was a “fake”: “We were played for a fool and as a result, let down the cause of electric vehicles.” [Tesla]

Times’ reporter John M. Broder answered Mr. Musk’s post point-for-point, reiterating that he followed the instructions of Tesla employees throughout his test drive.  [NYT]

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings: “House of Cards now the #1 most popular TV show in the world, according to IMDb. And I still can’t get (Neftlix Chief Content Officer) Ted Sarandos to tell me how many millions are enjoying it on Netflix.” [Facebook]

President Barack Obama hosted a Google+ Hangout. [Daily Dot]

Stop calling it the Harlem Shake. Just stop, really. [Gawker]

A meteorite struck Chelyabinsk, Russia, injuring 400 people. [Mashable]

Visiting Dignitaries

Aw, We Think GQ Really Hurt Reed Hastings’s Feelings

(Screencap: Facebook)

GQ just published an in-depth feature on Reed Hastings, the endearingly gaffe-prone (RIP Qwikster) Netflix CEO. With a slew of original programming coming to the platform–including a new Netflix exclusive season of Arrested Development–Mr. Hastings is working diligently to turn the video streaming service into a true HBO competitor.

That’s all well and good, but Mr. Hastings has other worries on his mind: mainly, why did GQ scrap his photo spread? (No doubt the shoot would’ve given the Terry Richardson-Beyonce collab a run for its money.) Read More

Linkages

Booting Up: The Zuckerbergs Cook Breakfast Edition

chef

The Securities and Exchange Commission is considering a civil action against Netflix after CEO Reed Hastings posted on Facebook in June that the company’s customers would soon view 1 billion hours of content a month. Mr. Hastings posted his thoughts on the SEC investigation on Facebook. [Facebook]

Because you’re dying to make “eggnog cinnamon Read More

Cordkeepers

If You Had HBO’s iPhone App, You Could Be Watching Next Week’s Episode of True Blood Right Now

Aw Sookie Sookie.

CEO Reed Hastings has long-tried to maintain that Netflix is not, in fact,  a nefarious plot to destroy the cable companies, but rather a “complementary” service that will leave cords to cable companies neatly intact. Whether or not Mr. Hastings is being sincere about Netflix’s end goal, it looks like that’s how it’s playing out for now.  Using last night’s True Blood premiere as bait, HBO saw its 3 millionth download of the HBO Go mobile app (for the iPad, iPhone, and Android) this weekend. The app, a direct competitor to Netflix, can be accessed for free by paying HBO cable customers.  Considering that there are 28 million HBO subscribers around the country, that means about 10 percent have tried out the app just since it premiered on May 2nd.

Time Warner and Cablevision customers in New York City still have to wait for the city’s largest cable service providers to close the deal. (And deal with their Soviet-style customer service.) But the New York Post reports that talks are underway. Read More