Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Of Course Netflix Babysitting Spiked During Sandy

Least surprising Sandy story so far: People who were stuck inside waiting for the storm yesterday watched a ton of Netflix, says Netflix.

The streaming video service says viewership was up 20 percent nationwide yesterday. But for those of us in Sandyland, like New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C., viewership was much higher — up more than 100 percent above a standard Monday.

Also unsurprising to anyone with a kid: A ton of that viewing came from Netflix’s store of kid stuff.

Expect more of the same over the next couple days. In New York City, for instance, schools will be closed at least through Wednesday, and that is a looooooong time to keep little people occupied without the help of video narcotics.

On the other hand, think of how much more viewing time Netflix would capture if the company did what I’m told it discusses quite a bit internally: Add on a video-on-demand component so people who can’t find what they want in the service’s streaming library can buy or rent other movies and TV shows.

At AllThingsD’s Brooklyn outpost, for instance, we dropped $25 on iTunes yesterday (“Happy Feet” and “The Lion King”), and I have a hunch we’re going to spend more before the city dries out. Some of that money could be yours, Reed Hastings …

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald