T-Mobile has caught some flak lately for its Binge On service, but Netflix has no problem with the zero-rated data offering. Netflix has yet to weigh in on Verizon's new FreeBee program, however.
An industry analyst warned that the television industry is in for "a big, big shock" this year as Apple and Netflix transition into game-changing "superpowers" and break down international entertainment barriers and other traditional ways of providing media and entertainment.
While Netflix's revenues in the fourth quarter of 2015 came in slightly under analyst estimates at $1.82 billion, the SVOD provider's subscribership jumped by 5.59 million during the period, bringing its total worldwide subscriber base to 74.76 million.
The FCC has removed Cuba from its exclusion list, opening up opportunities for U.S.-based communications service providers to offer traditional telephone and Internet services to the country without needing to get separate approval from the regulator.
Forget those earlier indications by Netflix that they don't mind VPN masking too much. The SVOD provider said it is planning to block proxy access to content that isn't available in the countries where it has launched so far.
Top SVOD competitors Amazon and Netflix both received multiple nominations by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for their original series, but it was Amazon that walked away with two Golden Globe awards this year while Netflix went home empty-handed.
International expansion is continuing apace for Netflix as it preps for launches into South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore. So it's not surprising to hear reports that the SVOD provider is also planning to launch service in Russia, albeit only on smart TVs for now.
For OTT, a disruptive year brought a few surprises but even more questions. There's a very good chance that the video industry is tiring of hearing the word "disruptive." But that's a factor we saw all year in over-the-top video as a number of trends that analysts predicted would happen, came to fruition.
Variable bitrate delivery has been a cornerstone of Netflix's streaming technology for several years now, making it possible for video streams to continue playing despite changes in bandwidth availability along the last mile of a network. However, the top subscription video on demand provider says it will soon roll out new technology that will maintain streaming quality while reducing its overall bandwidth usage by up to 20 percent.
Leading SVOD provider Netflix saw its shares dip slightly this week immediately following an appearance by Ted Sarandos, head of content, at an investor conference in which he said the company has faced some resistance from content owners as it negotiates for global content rights.