Netflix’s up and down day; PayPal expanding in Ireland; PlayBook gets email

Your tech news grab bag includes developments about Silicon Valley companies, with a side of BlackBerry:

• After rising earlier on news of an exclusive, multiyear streaming deal with Weinstein Co., Netflix shares are now down more than 2.5 percent to about $118.50. Netflix’s competition keeps streaming in: Comcast today announced Xfinity Streampix, to which existing customers of the cable giant can subscribe for $4.99 a month, or $3 a month cheaper than Netflix’s streaming offering. Earlier this month, Verizon and Coinstar, parent of Redbox, also announced they would create a new streaming service.

By the way, Netflix isn’t done with the about-faces. The Los Gatos company announced last week that it is bringing back DVD-only subscriptions, a curious move considering the company’s evangelizing of streaming as the future — you know, the push that led to the debacle that cost it a bunch of subscribers, not to mention market value, last year. CNet’s Greg Sandoval also points out that Netflix CEO Reed Hastings just last month told investors that he expects DVD subscribers to keep declining.

• PayPal is reportedly hiring 1,000 workers in Ireland over the next four years. The eBay mobile-payments unit, which already has a presence in Dublin, joins other tech companies including Google, Facebook, and Yelp looking to expand in “cost-competitive” Ireland, according to Bloomberg.

Speaking of PayPal, Businessweek takes a look at the so-called PayPal Mafia in light of Yelp’s announcement last week of the price range for its upcoming IPO. Jeremy Stoppelman and Max Levchin, respectively CEO and chairman of the San Francisco-based online reviews site, are former PayPal executives — like Reid Hoffman and Peter Thiel, who both stand to add to their riches once Facebook goes public.

• And finally, BlackBerry maker Research in Motion, a pioneer in popularizing email on the go, has finally released a software update that gives its PlayBook tablet a built-in email app. But might it be too little, too late? The Associated Press points out that RIM is delivering the update to its tablet OS about a year later than it said it would. The PlayBook, which was launched in April, has struggled to compete in the tablet-market game, and RIM has resorted to selling the tablets at a discount.


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  • RedRat

    Just wondering here, but wouldn’t streaming movies eat up your monthly internet provider limits on how much you can download? If you IP allows only so many gigs of downloadable stuff, just a few HD movies or even regular movies will get you close to that 2 or 5 Gb limit. If I have a big screen HD TV set, I would want HD movies and they do consume gigabytes of data. Just wonderin’.


    Verizon and Comcast are (for the most part, at least) the ISPs for their customers, so they could allow unlimited usage of their services. This is where the “network neutrality” issue will come into play — will the ISPs be allowed to discriminate against streaming video from other sources (such as Netflix)? We’ll have to see where that goes . . .

  • dermbuilder

    One little technical note to RedRat, a single feature film in regular MPEG2 DVD format, not HD or BluRay will eat up 2 to 5 gigs. So if that is all your ISP allows, then you can forget about movie streaming altogether.

    On a related subject, there are vast swaths of this country where dial-up is still the only kind of internet connection available. Until either Wi-Max internet service becomes widespread, or the baby bells are compelled to go to fiber for the “last mile”, many people in this country will have no alternative to DVD by snail mail. AFAIK satellite internet is still prohibitively expensive.