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Tag - Netflix
Netflix has increased its subscriber count past 75 million globally, according to the streaming video service's latest quarterly earnings report. A few hours into New Year's Day, Netflix claims it reached the milestone after finishing the fourth quarter with 74.76 million subscribers, an increase of 5.59 million members in the quarter, which itself beats forecasts of 5.15 million and the 4.33 million net additions brought in over the same period last year.
Netflix doesn't hang about with updates to its iOS software, but it also doesn't add a great deal: the new Netflix 7.2.5 app for iPhone and iPad is a bug-fix release. We were hoping it would improve how the service looks on iPad Pro, and we were half-expecting it to support iOS 9's picture-in-picture feature, but neither has happened. Nonetheless, it's a good app with access to a ridiculously great number of films and TV shows to watch.
Netflix is now available in more than 190 countries around the world, after the video streaming service went live in 130 new countries simultaneously during a presentation at CES. The launch now means Netflix is effectively available in almost all countries, though it is still exploring whether it can launch its service in China, and it cannot operate in Crimea, North Korea, and Syria due to US government restrictions on American companies in those territories.
Netflix is going to effectively double the number of original shows it produces for subscribers, as the streaming video service continues to endure licensing issues with broadcasters and content creators. The service will be increasing the number of scripted shows it produces from 16 this year to 31 next year, with it also planning to release ten feature films, 30 kids shows, and a number of documentaries and stand-up specials.
AT&T has enabled Wi-Fi calling for some of its customers, shortly after receiving a waiver from the FCC concerning some regulatory aspects of the service. Confirmed in a blog post, users on iOS 9 devices with a postpaid wireless account set up for HD Voice are now able to make their calls over Wi-Fi if cellular connections are unavailable. Users will be able to make and receive calls through their existing number over Wi-Fi, with no additional charges being applied on calls to US numbers.
Lawsuits have been launched in Chicago to combat the area's new "cloud tax," which hits users of Apple Music, Netflix, Hulu Plus, XBox Live, and other streaming services. The claim by the citizens alleges that not only does the tax violate the US Internet Tax Freedom Act, which is intended to prevent Internet-only taxes, but the city comptroller's decision implements a new tax by fiat, which otherwise would have required a wider city official vote, as well as public debate.
Netflix has revealed it is bringing its video streaming service to more countries in Asia in early 2016, following its launch in Japan last month. The service will be surfacing in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and South Korea in the future, though Netflix has not offered a specific date for each country, but they will get a curated selection of popular TV shows and movies in HD and Ultra HD when it does go live.
Hulu has implemented it's rumored advertising-free subscription option to its streaming service. Priced at $12 per month, the new tier offers the same content as its standard $8 subscription but users will be able to watch shows without interruptions from commercials during the show itself, though TechCrunch notes pre-roll advertising for some shows will continue due to licensing agreements. The service advises that the existing $8 service will continue to show "fewer commercials than scheduled television."
Subscribers of Netflix in the United States will be seeing considerably fewer movies in the streaming service's catalog, as it has decided not to renew a five-year agreement with Epix. A number of major titles will be available until they are removed at the end of September, including Hunger Games: Catching Fire, World War Z, and Transformers: Age of Extinction, as Netflix works to expanding its roster with more exclusive content.
Users of Netflix, Hulu Plus, and other streaming services in Chicago can expect to pay a higher subscription rate in the future, after the city changed laws. The "cloud tax" is effectively an extension of existing laws to add a nine-percent tax on streaming services and some other online platforms, which in at least one case will see the end price of services paid for by consumers in the city go up in order to compensate for the extra cost of business.