Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Google’s Answer to the Great Chromecast/Netflix Giveaway Mystery: There’s No Mystery — We Sold Out

sold outWhy did Google kill its Chromecast/Netflix promotion a day after it launched?

It didn’t, exactly. And neither did Netflix.

Here’s a new statement from Google on the end of the deal, which gave Chromecast buyers three months of free Netflix: “Due to overwhelming demand for Chromecast devices since launch, the 3-month Netflix promotion (which was available in limited quantities) is no longer available.”

And here’s a tiny bit of clarity about what that means, as far as I can tell after speaking to people at both companies: Google bought a fixed amount of Netflix subscriptions to bundle with its $35 Web TV gadget, and it sold out.

Feel free to wonder whether Google dramatically underestimated demand for Chromecast, or if it is very happy to have sold out in a day (right now, Gabe Rivera and his robots think this is the most compelling story in tech).

Also feel free to wonder whether the end of the promotion will do anything to dampen enthusiasm for the Chromecast.

My hunch: At an effective price of $11, it was basically free, and thus a very attractive impulse buy. And, at its list price of $35, it is still very, very cheap for a piece of consumer electronics. And it’s probably going to continue to sell well.

(Image courtesy of Shutterstock/Humannet)


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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