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  • Geebo 10:08 am on October 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Netflix,   

    Google to launch its own streaming service 

    Google to launch its own streaming service

    Google announced recently that they will be launching their own video streaming service in 2017 to compete with services like Netflix. Reports say that Google is already in talks with Disney, FOX, and CBS to feature their content. This is both good news and bad news for consumers.

    The good news is that Netflix could use some real competition. Once the darling of the cord-cutting movement Netflix has recently been shown not to have access to all the movies that users feel they should. So, if Google offers an alternative to Netflix, this could cause Netflix to step up its game. Competition and choice is usually good for consumers.

    On the other hand however, Google is entering into an already crowded industry and if Google has the same issues obtaining properties like Netflix does it could just be another service that cord-cutters may have to sign up for. Since not all the services have all the movies or TV shows, this could cause some cord-cutters to subscribe to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, Sling TV, HBO Go and now the new Google service. Since these services cost anywhere from $9.95 to $19.95 a month, the charges for these services start to add up and start to resemble the cable bill that cord-cutters were trying to escape in the first place.

    If any one can beat Netflix at its own game it’s Google with their branding and cache. Maybe we can see a time where Google and Netflix actually become complimentary with each other so we won’t see the return of outrageous bills for our entertainment.

     
  • Geebo 11:18 am on October 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Netflix, Pasadena,   

    Is there a Netflix tax coming soon? 

    Is there a Netflix tax coming soon?

    Since the start of the commercial internet there have been runors and urban legends about certain taxes. There was one that said that the US Postal Service was going to tax every email sent in order to make up for lost revenue. That turned out to be untrue. Then there were rumors that the goverment would be adding taxes to the internet itself, however the government passed the Internet Tax Freedom Act which prevented that. Now there is talk of a tax on Netflix. Is this another urban legend or false alarm? Maybe not.

    With cable prices rising out of control many households are cutting the cord and using online streaming services like Netflix. The more that people start using Netflix rather than cable the more revenue that cable loses. Most cable companies have financial agreements with municipalities to make them the exclusive cable provider of that location. So in turn the more that people Use Netflix that’s money that’s being taken out of the pockets of city governments. At least one city is looking to make up that revenue and Netflix is their target.

    The city of Pasadena, California, is considering taxing Netflix to make up budgetary shortfalls. The proposed tax would only be a dollar but that’s not really the point. This kind of tax requires a public vote which would more than likely defeat the tax. However, the city is saying that the public approved this tax back in 2008 when they voted for a utility tax.

    If Pasadena were allowed to enact this tax it would set a dangerous precedent. Want to watch YouTube instead of TV? That could be a tax. Want to use an antenna to get free broadcast TV? That could be a tax too. Want to use our own site, Geebo? Well that could be a tax to make up revenue that’s being lost from local newspapers.

    The whole cord cutting movement was born out of the fact that consumers have limited choice when it comes to cable providers. If municipalities were to allow multiple cable companies in their area to promote competition then maybe cable priced wouldn’t be so astronomical. Unfortunately cities are very unwilling to give up well established revenue streams without taxing something new that they probably don’t even begin to understand.

     
  • Geebo 3:36 pm on September 13, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , data caps, , , Netflix   

    Netflix wants ISPs to chill on data caps 

    Netflix wants ISPs to chill on data caps

    Whether you realize it or not, your internet service provider (ISP) may have a cap on how much data you can use. They usually don’t talk about it and they make it almost impossible to find if they have one, and if they do have one they make it difficult to find how much data you have used. While most users never reach their limit, there are many power users who do, and a lot of them reach their limit by streaming video over services like Netflix.

    Because of that, Netfilx is petitioning the FCC to make data caps illegal. In their argument, Netflix says that data caps are arbitrary and are only used for ISPs to be able to squeeze more money out of their customers, and they’re not wrong. Most ISPs are run by cable companies. Even the ones that are run by phone companies, like AT&T, usually have some kind of deal with satellite TV. So in either case they really don’t want to see their services used for things like Netflix since that cuts into their business model. By instilling data caps, there’s an air of intimidation to those who use their internet to stream their entertainment rather than paying an expensive cable bill, so in that way data caps can also be seen as anti-competitive. Data caps are also a throwback to the early days of the internet when dial-up providers like AOL charged by the minute.

    This is just another example of the cable companies refusing to innovate and desperately clinging to their decades old business model that doesn’t fit into modern demands. However, if the cable TV side of their business collapses where do you think they’ll try to make up the difference? That would raise the prices for internet services into the realms of what cable bills are today. That also could be rectified if there weren’t so many municipal monopolies for cable companies and ISPs, but that’s another rant for another day.

     
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