Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Netflix Reminds Us That It’s a Streaming Video Company, Again

Sure, you can rent DVDs from Netflix if you want — and are willing to work a bit. But the company reminds you every chance it gets that it’s really a streaming video company.

Today’s underscore opportunity: A press release announcing that Netflix customers streamed “more than 2 billion hours” of video during the last three months of 2011. CEO Reed Hastings telegraphed this one in December, when he told an investor conference that the company was set to stream “well over” a billion hours for the quarter.

But beyond a boilerplate reference to “more than 20 million streaming members,” Netflix isn’t saying how many customers were watching that video. And it’s not providing any other meaningful metrics until it announces Q4 earnings in about a month. So no need to spend any more time on this one.


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work