by Nicholas Matarazzo
Relativity Media Logo

[1] Relativity Media Logo


Relativity Studios, or simply Relativity, consists of the film and television divisions of Relativity Media LLC. Founded by Ryan Kavanaugh in 2004, the company has produced, distributed and structured financing for over 200 feature films garnering 60 Oscar® nominations. Led by President and Chairman Tucker Tooley and President of Production Robbie Brenner, Relativity has released No. 1 box office openers such as Immortals, which grossed $83 million domestically [2], and produced Academy Award Winning films such as the Internet biopic The Social Network (2010) and The Fighter (2010).

[2] "The Social Network" is one of Relativity's most critically acclaimed films, winning Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, Best Film Editing at the 2011 Academy Awards.

[3] “The Social Network” is one of Relativity’s most critically acclaimed productions, winning Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, Best Film Editing at the 2011 Academy Awards.

Relativity produces films for large audiences both foreign and domestic, which provide entertainment for a wide variety of target audiences and demographics. With genres ranging from heart-felt romantic dramas to action packed, adrenaline filled thrillers, Relativity strives to bring premium feature films to theaters all over the globe. Some of Relativity Studios’ most successful films include Limitless (2011), starring Bradley Cooper, and Mirror Mirror (2012), starring Julia Roberts.

In addition to film production Relativity also houses both financing and distribution divisions, equipping itself as a fully fledged vertically integrated company. The company has the resources to finance, produce and distribute a film from start to finish and has done so even more effectively since 2010 when the company absorbed the marketing and distribution holdings of Overture Films.



Ryan Kavanaugh, CEO of Relativity Media

[4] Ryan Kavanaugh, CEO of Relativity Media

Tucker Tooley, President and Chairman of Relativity Media

[5] Tucker Tooley, President and Chairman of Relativity Media

[6] Robbie Brenner, President of Production of Relativity Studios

[6] Robbie Brenner, President of Production of Relativity Studios










Relativity ranks 9th in overall film distributor companies, owning 2.5% of the total market share as of April 12, 2015. The company’s total gross is $73.6 million with 4 films released thus far in 2015 [7]. Relativity has improved in market share from the previous year, ranking 9th with 1.8% market share and grossing $186.5 million with its 8 films that were released in 2014 [8]. Relativity saw a 22.7% decrease in gross between 2013 and 2014 due in large part to the lack of success of the McG action flick Three Days to Kill [9].


“Desert Dancer” (2015)

"Desert Dancer" is biographical drama based on the cultural repression of Afshin Ghaffarian, an Iranian dancer.

[10] “Desert Dancer” is biographical drama based on the cultural repression of Afshin Ghaffarian, an Iranian dancer.

The biographical story depicts the life of Afshin Ghaffarian, a dancer who fled Iran in 2009 due to cultural repression. The film originally debuted at the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France in May of 2012. In 2013, the distribution rights were acquired by Relativity at the American Film Market and the film was slated for release in the spring of 2015. In limited release, the film opened on April 10, 2015, in 23 theaters in the US. The film has a current domestic gross of just under $60,000, as of April 16th, 2015 and will move to expanded release on the 17th [11].  Andy Webster of the New York Times says “The fictionalized biopic “Desert Dancer” explores fascinating aspects of present-day Iran but suffers mightily from simplistic and sentimental tendencies” [12].



“Black or White” (2015) 

Starring Academy Award Winners Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer, "Black or White" follows a young girl caught in a custody battle, mixed within racial qualms of two seemingly different families.

[13] Starring Academy Award Winners Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer, “Black or White” follows a young girl caught in a custody battle, mixed within racial qualms of two seemingly different families.

The heart felt drama was released on January 30, 2015, and saw a domestic gross of $21.5 million. In it’s opening weekend, Black or White ranked third among weekend releases, opening in 1,823 theaters, and averaged $3,408 per theater, attributed to 28.9% of the total domestic gross. Against a production budget of $9 million, the film failed to make budget in its first weekend with a $6.2 million weekend gross [14]. The film received mediocre acclaim for it’s simple and overly-stereotypical characters, and failed to live up to the promised look at the diverse world the audience is brought in to. With a 37% rating on the website Rotten Tomatoes (from 83 reviews) [15], and 45 out of 100 rating on Metacritic [16], it appears that the “inspired by true events” drama garnered average reviews at best. Says the critic consensus on Rotten Tomatoes “”Black or White” has more on its mind than your average family drama, but the film’s approach to its thought-provoking themes too often lives down to its title.” [17]

“The Lazarus Effect” (2015)

Released on February 27, 2015, this horror-thriller starring Olivia Wilde, opened at No. 5 on the weekend box office. The Lazarus Effect, opened in 2,666 theaters; the film averaged $3,827 per theater and grossed a weekend total of $10.2 million which made up 40.1% of the total gross [18]. Despite a strong weekend opening against a production budget of $3.3 million, the film’s success was short lived due to poor critic reviews. Critical consensus on the popular website Rotten Tomatoes said “”The Lazarus Effect” has a talented cast and the glimmer of an interesting idea, but wastes it all on insipid characters and dull, recycled plot points” which is no surprise given its 14% rating [19].


“Masterminds” (2015) 

Originally titled Loomis Fargo, and based on the true story of the 1997 Loomis Fargo robbery, in which a vault supervisor for the bank stole $17 million and fled to Mexico, Masterminds is the latest comedy from Napoleon Dynamite director Jared Hess. The film stars Zach GalifianakisOwen Wilson, Kristen Wiig, Jason Sudeikis, Ken Marino, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie JonesEastbound & Down producers Jody Hill and Danny McBride both worked on the script and executive-produced [20].


With few releases slated for in the first half of 2015 and even fewer in the coming months Relativity is looking at yet another decrease in total gross. Looking forward, it appears that the amount of pressure on such upcoming summer releases as Masterminds, Big Game, and Jane Got a Gun is becoming more apparent. It’ll be interesting to see how the rest of the year pans out for Relativity, heading into a shaky second quarter, after a not so strong first.


[1] Relativity Media Logo Relativity Media Retrieved April 10 2015

[2} Box Office by Studio: Relativity Box Office Mojo Retrieved April 10 2015

[3] The Social Network Movie Poster IMP Awards Retrieved April 10 2015

[4] Ryan Kavanaugh Relativity Media Retrieved April 10 2015

[5] Tucker Tooley Relativity Media Retrieved April 10 2015

[6] Robbie Brenner Relativity Media Retrieved April 11 2015

[7] Studio Market Share: Yearly Comparison Box Office Mojo Retrieved April 11 2015

[8] Studio Market Share: 2014 Box Office Mojo Retrieved April 11 2015

[9] Studio Market Share: 2013 Box Office Mojo Retrieved April 11 2015

[10] Desert Dancer Movie Poster Movie Insider Retrieved April 11 2015

[11] Gross Domestic Box Office Results: Desert Dancer Box Office Mojo Retrieved April 12 2015

[12] Review: Desert Dancer New York Times Retrieved April 12 2015

[13] Black or White Movie Poster Mixed Nation Retrieved April 12 2015

[14] Total Gross Box Office Results: Black or White Box Office Mojo Retrieved April 12 2015

[15] Review: Black or White Rotten Tomatoes Retrieved April 12 2015

[16] Review: Black or White Metacritic Retrieved April 13 2015

[17] Review: Black or White Rotten Tomatoes Retrieved April 13 2015

[18] Total Gross Box Office Results: The Lazarus Effect Box Office Mojo Retrieved April 13 2015

[19] Review: The Lazarus Effect Rotten Tomatoes Retrieved April 13 2015

[20] 2015 Preview: Masterminds Rolling Stones Retrieved April 13 2015


by Daniel Bayliss

Hulu Logo. Courtesy of [1]

Hulu Headquarters

12312 West Olympic Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90064 [2]

Phone: 1-(310) 571-4700 Website:

Twitter: @hulu

Key Executives [3]

Mike Hopkins, CEO

Mike Hopkins, CEO

Craig Erwich, Senior Vice President & Head of Content

Craig Erwich, Senior Vice President & Head of Content

Tian Lim, Chief Technology Officer

Tian Lim, Chief Technology Officer

Elaine Paul, Chief Financial Officer

Elaine Paul, Chief Financial Officer

What is Hulu?

Created in 2007, Hulu is a premium, over-the-top service that distributes content to millions of users that stream its  programming. The Hulu destination website was created in 2008.

Users can stream TV shows like Modern Family, Grey’s Anatomy, and Glee. That list is much more expansive, as Hulu offers programming from NBC, FOX, ABC, etc. In addition, Hulu offers numerous movies, documentaries [4], clips, its own original content, and more.

In addition to the free Hulu service, there’s also a paid subscription service called Hulu Plus. For $7.99 per month, subscribers can watch from a library of streamed shows, movies, clips, etc. that is significantly larger than the selection offered by the free service. There are also a number of electronic devices, like XBox, tablets, and phones that have the ability to stream Hulu Plus.

Photo courtesy of app This picture shows just several devices that you can use to access Hulu Plus.

Photo courtesy of app This picture shows just several devices that you can use to access Hulu Plus.

Hulu’s original programming also brings their own advertising and sponsorship opportunities into the mix [5]. Hulu also works with websites like Facebook, Yahoo!, MSN, and others to provide web syndication abilities.


Due to Hulu being a privately held company [6], the only public monetary updates come from within the company.

The year 2012 was significant for Hulu financially. According to former CEO Jason Kilar, the company brought in approximately $695 million in revenue [7], which was a 65% increase from 2011’s revenue totals.

Hulu Plus Graph

Photo courtesy of This graph shows a consistent increase between the fourth quarter of 2010 to the fourth quarter of 2012, a factual example of Hulu Plus’ increasing popularity.

The revenue increase also brought about an increase in Hulu Plus subscriber totals, bumping the total up from 1.5 million subscribers in 2011 to 3 million subscribers in 2012. These totals are the result of Hulu investing upwards of $500 million in content in 2012, in addition to the running total of $1 billion that has been paid to the content owners since Hulu’s launch back in 2007 [8]. Hulu also served over 1,000 advertisers in 2012, which was 28% more than in 2011 [7].

Hulu experienced more financial success in 2013 [9]. Their revenue and subscription totals rose to $1 billion and 5 million paying subscribers, respectively [10]. And under the assumption that it holds onto its subscribers for a year, Hulu is set to make $479 million just in subscription revenues.

In July 2013, the three companies that own Hulu — Fox Entertainment Group, NBCUniversal and Disney — invested $750 million in Hulu for its future endeavors and investments. As of September 28, 2013, Hulu had collected a total of $380 million of that number [11]. This investment came on the heels of the three companies deciding against a sale of Hulu.

Within the Company 

A huge part of Hulu’s success is due to all their advertising efforts, which includes branded content like the Fordsponsored show Escape My Life and Subway-sponsored The 4 to 9ers. While branded content is an increasingly popular trend, one that Hulu has taken advantage of in the past [12], November’s departure of Bryan Thoensen, the head of branded content at Hulu, from the company has caused Hulu to change its efforts. Hulu’s new plan will revolve around sponsorships sold for the their self-produced content [13]. This is different from the past when Hulu would also bring along shows and combine them with brands from the start.

Photo courtesy of This screenshot of Hulu's NewFronts portion of their website shows some of its brand content work for 2014.

Photo courtesy of This screenshot of Hulu’s NewFronts portion of their website shows some of its brand content work for 2014 [13].

 Back in October it was reported that CEO Mike Hopkins was considering reducing the amount of advertisements that pop up on Hulu Plus [14]. No definitive answer has been issued as to whether or not this will happen. Some executives within the company encouraged the idea due to statistical data suggesting the company’s heavy ad usage. In a study conducted by  Comscore in December 2013, Hulu showed users 82 ads per month, while YouTube monthly total for ads seen by users was about 32 [15].

Photo courtesy of app This picture shows the Hulu app on an iPhone. There's a "free" selection of videos as well as the possibility of upgrading to Hulu Plus, as seen in the upper-left hand corner.

Photo courtesy of app This picture shows the Hulu app on an iPhone. There’s a “free” selection of videos as well as the possibility of upgrading to Hulu Plus, as seen in the upper-left hand corner.

Apples decision back in 2011 to receive 30 percent of each Hulu Plus subscriber’s monthly bill was finally justified this year. In early October it was confirmed that Hulu’s most recent update made it compatible with iOS 8 and on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The Hulu in-app update also gives users the ability to subscribe to the Hulu Plus service as soon as they open the app [16]. which means that Apple takes over the billing relationship for those customers.

Hulu also confirmed in late October that it has renewed its distribution deal with Viacom. In the newest deal was the agreement to continue streaming shows like Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and “Workaholics,” MTV scripted shows “Awkward” and “Happyland,” and numerous Nickelodeon shows due to the desire for a more expansive selection for kids [17].

More Content Updates

After they were cancelled by ABC, comedy shows Selfie and Manhattan Love Story have been picked up by Hulu [18]. Selfie’s creator Emily Kapnek tweeted the news out on November 20. Kapnek also said that the show’s six remaining un-aired episodes would also immediately be made available on Hulu.

Photo courtesy of This photo shows the main cast of the show, which is now available on Hulu.

Photo courtesy of

Hulu will also now stream “HuffPost Live Conversations” as agreed upon between Hulu and the Huffington Post’s digital video branch last month [19]. The deal, which Hulu hopes will increase its informative news display, will span three years.

Original Content Updates

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Among the many items offered on Hulu are some shows created originally for Hulu. Hulu’s original content selection received a huge boost when the company issued a straight-to-series order for a show based on a Stephen King novel. J.J. AbramsBad Robot Productions will produce 11/22/63, which was originally written by King in 2011 [20]. The intense, thriller will revolve around a teacher that has to travel back to 1963 to stop Lee Harvey Oswald from assassinating then-president John F. Kennedy.

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Due to its increasing popularity, the company has decided to bring back Hulu Original “The Wrong Mans” for a second season [21]. A joint venture between Hulu and BBC Comedy, the show will return with four brand-new episodes that pick up with characters Phil Bourne (James Corden) and Sam Pinkett (Matthew Baynton), who were assumed to be dead, coming back and venturing off on some journey across the world. The season premieres on December 24.

Hulu has also started planning for 2015 with news of another original content piece [22]. The company ordered a new TV show called Difficult People to begin production early on next year. The show comes with executive producers Amy Poehler and Dave Becky, and Billy Eichner and Julie Klausner will star in Difficult People [23].


[1] Hulu Company, RT: 11/29/2014

[2] Hulu Company DescriptionBloomberg Businessweek, RT: 11/29/2014

[3] Hulu, RT: 11/29/2014

[4] Hulu, RT: 11/29/2014

[5] Hulu Original Programming,, RT: 11/29/2014

[6] Hulu: The IPO That Never HappenedInside Business 360, RT: 11/29/2014

[7] A Big Blogs, RT: 11/29/2014

[8] Hulu 2012 BreakdownGigaom, RT: 11/29/2014

[9] Hulu 2013, RT: 11/29/2014

[10] Hulu 2013 SalesBloomberg, RT: 11/29/2014

[11] Walt Disney’s 2013 Fiscal YearWalt Disney’s 2013 Annual Fiscal Report, RT: 11/29/2014

[12] Farmed and DangerousTubefilter, RT: 11/29/2014

[13] Hulu Restructures Branded Content Plan,, RT: 11/29/2014

[14] Hulu CEO Mulls Cutting Number of Ads, NYPost, RT: 11/29/2014

[15] Hulu Plus May Cut Back AdsCynopsis Media, RT: 11/29/2014

[16] Hulu Makes Peace With Apple’s 30 Percent CutGigaom, RT: 11/29/2014

[17] Hulu-ViacomVariety, RT: 11/29/2014

[18] Hulu Picks Up ABC-Cancelled ShowsDeadline, RT: 11/29/2014

[19] Hulu Adds HuffPost Live VideosHuffington Post, RT: 11/29/2014

[20] Hulu Orders New Show Based on King NovelHollywood Reporter, RT: 11/29/2014

[21] The Wrong Mans Back on HuluThe Futon Critic, RT: 11/29/2014

[22] Hulu Picks Up Difficult, RT: 11/29/2014

[23] Hulu Orders New ShowTV Series Finale, RT: 11/29/2014


by Jacob Pirogovsky


IAC began in 1986 and was originally called the Silver King Broadcasting Company and was owned by the Home Shopping Network. Later in 1992, it became its own publicly traded company. The company went through a series of name changes from USA Networks, Inc. to USA Interactive, before finally changing it to IAC/InterActiveCorp in July of 2004. Since that time IAC/InterActiveCrop has been acquiring a variety of companies in a very wide array of different fields. They divide their holdings into four main groups: Search and Applications, The Match Group, Media, and eCommerce. Each of these groups has a plethora of companies, as seen in the image below, all of which influence the decisions and finances of InterActiveCorp as a whole.

IAC Segment Flowchart

All 4 segments broken up, with revenue information. SOURCE: Berkeley Investment Group

This period* has seen a lot of changes for IAC, as well as its subsidiaries. One major one was that Bonnie Hammer, the chairman for NBCUniversal Cable was appointed to the board of IAC in September by IAC’s CEO Barry Diller, who says “She’s a superb businesswoman, programmer and brand builder.” With her expertise in the television industry, she will be able to give the company insight into growing audiences and as a very influential social activist she will be able to attract some positive press for IAC, especially in light of the drama surrounding Tinder’s executives.

In early September a court case was settled between one of Tinder’s co-founders, Justin Mateen, and an early employee, Whitney Wolfe, who accused Mateen of sexual harassment. IAC reached a settlement with Wolfe so that it wouldn’t go to trial, but

Rad and Mateen (IAC)

2 of Tinder’s Co-Founder’s – Sean Rad (left) and Justin Mateen (right). SOURCE: Forbes

everything was deemed confidential so much of what happened is unknown to the public. Mateen left the company after being suspended in July. Now, in November Tinder’s co-founder and CEO Sean Rad has been forced to step down by IAC. The news came to him while he was at the Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit in October, where he was about to announce that Tinder was going to monetize. Both of these things have big implications for Tinder and IAC. The app has grown 600% in the last year and has 30 million users who collectively check out 1.2 billion other users. With the new premium model, revenue predictions for 2015 are about $150 million. Rad, who will remain on the board of Tinder, is working with Matt Cohler, a partner at Benchmark and a newcomer to the Tinder board, to find a new CEO for the company.

Rad speaks about Summit

SOURCE: Forbes

In terms of other finances, IAC released a third quarter earnings report for 2014 at the end of October. According to Yahoo! Finance, the company earned about $30 million more than analysts had predicted for this quarter. Overall, it has had 3% growth in the last year. In The Match Group, revenue increased by 12% and in the eCommerce segment, HomeAdvisor’s revenue grew 20%, with an overall growth of 14% in the segment. In the third quarter Search & Applications decreased 3% in the last year. Meanwhile, in the Media segment of IAC, Vimeo revenue increased by 30% and now has more than 530,000 subscribers; however, overall the Media revenue went down 1% in the last year.

IAC Stock Chart (1 year)

IAC’s stock over the past year on the NASDAQ. SOURCE: Bloomberg Markets

Very recently in early November, Mindspark (an IAC subsidiary) acquired Apalon, a company that develops applications for Apple and Google Play, and whose apps have had more than 100 million downloads in the past year. “The combination of Apalon’s world-class mobile app development skills with Mindspark’s proven ability to distribute digital applications at scale is a huge differentiator and strategic advantage in the marketplace,” said Eric Esterlis, co-president of Mindspark. The two companies will complement each other and will help fight the decrease in revenue in the Search and Application segment of IAC. redesign


Another revenue booster for that segment is the redesign of’s website. The site hadn’t been redesigned since 2007, so the re-launch of the site in September has had some profound effects on users. On average they stayed on the site 24% longer and viewed 18% more articles than before the redesign. Additionally, the previous design was built to come up higher in Google searches to increase cost-per-click ad revenue; however, because Google’s algorithm is always changing and to decrease dependency on this type of ad, the site is now making more deals with advertisers to sponsor different sections of the site.

In the eCommerce segment, the EVP and CFO of, John Foristall was selected as an honoree “40 Under 40” award, which is given out annually by the Boston Business Journal to people who have made a major impact in their field. In addition, the company partnered with Rodgers and Hamerstein’s Cinderella to launch a limited collection of special occasion footwear inspired by the show. The cooperation helped increase the overall revenue of the segment.

In the media segment, Aereo, an online streaming service that offered live and recorded programs, filed for bankruptcy protection in November, after losing a major court case. The company was said to have violated programming copyright protections, according to a Supreme Court decision. The startup was beginning to revolutionize broadcast TV viewing, and even though it ended up failing, it will most likely lead to future attempts of a similar service.

Aereo news chat

SOURCE: Bloomberg WEST

Up until the past few years, Vimeo, another one of IAC’s media holdings, was having a hard time figuring out how to monetize, other than through subscription users. Now through Vimeo On Demand, their on demand platform, they have an additional revenue stream. In October, they made deals with two big YouTube producers, Phil DeFranco and the Orchard online network, which put their content onto Vimeo as well. Additionally, Vimeo just had their first original series, “High Maintenance,” premiere in November. According to Indiewire, the show is the future for web series and indie television. The series directors were in ongoing talks with FX to bring the show to cable, but ended up cancelling because they didn’t want to lose creative control. In light of that they made a deal with Vimeo for the financing. As Vimeo caters more towards industry professionals, the high production value show has found the perfect home and will bring more revenue to the site. Even though the show has always been on Vimeo, they are now promoting it; and they have given the series it’s own channel and have begun charging 1.99 per episode. This doesn’t seem to be a deterrent because according to Vimeo CEO Kerry Trainor, “High Maintenance” made more money in the first two days after it released and charged for episodes than it would have made with YouTube ad sales over the past two years.

Stevie - High Maintenance Video

High Maintenance // Stevie from Janky Clown Productions on Vimeo.

Overall, IAC/InterActiveCorp has had a very busy semester with lots of acquisitions and new deals being made to stay up to date in today’s ever changing fast-paced media driven world. As the year comes to an end, recently released the top searches of 2014, marking a comeback in the struggling site. Looking ahead, in all four sectors of the company, IAC plans to maintain and increase its status as the 13th largest network in the world.


*a period from August 25th – December 1st 2014

Barry Diller – Chairman & Senior Executive
Victor Kaufman – Vice Chairman
Jeff Kip – Executive VP & CFO
Greg Blatt – Chairman, The Match Group

555 West 18th Street
New York, NY 10011
Phone: 1-212-314-7300
Company URL:

Sources: Tinder harassment settlement, Tinder monetizing/new CEO Bonnie Hammer story
Tvbythenumbers: Hammer’s social activism information Q3 report, Brand homepages, executives, Press Releases
Yahoo! Finance: IAC financial information Aereo story, Vimeo’s new content High Maintenance information
The Hollywood Vimeo On Demand information redesign

Images/Video: Tinder Co-FoundersSean Rad Interview Aereo Interview, IAC Stock Chart
-Berkeley Investment Group: IAC breakdown chart Website redesign High Maintenance episode



by Steven Spohr



Source –

Founded in 1973, Cablevision Systems Corporation is a leading telecommunications company that primarily offers television, phone, and Internet services to millions in the NY metropolitan area. Initially serving a mere 1,500 customers on Long Island, Cablevision has since expanded to offer WiFi, a leading local newspaper, and business communications solutions to its over 3 million subscribers. Former properties include Madison Square Garden and Rainbow Media Holdings[1]


Source –

Cablevision’s television, phone, Internet, WiFi, and business solutions all operate under the Optimum’ brand name. These include (but are not limited to) –

  • Optimum TV – exclusive home of News 12 Networks, a series of local news channels
  • Optimum Voice
  • Optimum Online
  • Optimum WiFi
  • Optimum Lightpath – a “leading provider of integrated business communications solutions that meets the needs of larger companies” [1]

Source –

Cablevision also owns Newsday Media Group, which runs two local papers. Newsday is a Pulitzer Prize-winning daily newspaper that has been in circulation since 1940. Over 70% of Long Island adults read Newsday, and its articles and reporting have won numerous awards and made it the top paper on Long Island. To provide the most local news possible, Newsday works closely with MSG Varsity (part of the News 12 Networks) to provide detailed coverage of local high school and college sports. amNewYork offers a quick read of city news and events. In addition to the papers, NMG owns Star Community Publishing, which producers weekly shopper publications in Long Island and Queens. It is the largest publisher of its kind in the Northeastern United States. [2]


The Dolan family founded Cablevision and continues to lead the company today. Key personnel include [3]


Charles Dolan – Founder and Chairman / Source – Sean Smith, The Boston College Chronicle


James Dolan – Chief Executive Officer / Source – Al Iannazzone,


Kristin Dolan – Chief Operating Officer / Source –


Brian Sweeney – President / Source – POST Online Media


Gregg Seibert – Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer / Source – Business Wire



Hank Ratner – Vice Chairman / Source – The Madison Square Garden Company



CVC Stock 2014

A detailed map of Cablevision’s stock pricing in 2014. / Source – Yahoo! Finance

2014 has seen Cablevision’s stock (CVC) prices gradually increase throughout the year. Starting the year at $17.22/share, CVC stock stands at $20.32/share as of November 29th. February 3rd saw the year’s low of $15.85. Prices peaked in late July, mid-September, and late November. [4]

The following financial information is from Cablevision’s Third Quarter 2014 Results.

  • Net revenue increased 3.7% to $1.62 billion.
  • Cable advertising revenue grew 6.8%
  • Average Monthly Cable Revenue per Customer increased 5.7% to $154.50/customer/month. [5]

These figures represent a continued loss of subscribers for Cablevision across the board. Between satellite TV providers, rival phone companies, and the public’s shift to watching TV online, Cablevision’s audience is becoming fragmented. The company chose to increase its subscription rates in response to decreasing numbers, which is represented by the net revenue and AMCR/C increases. [6]

Recent News

The latter half of 2014 has been a busy one, with notable hirings, financial news, legal troubles, and more.

August 4th

August 4th saw Cablevision’s announcement that it has hired David Dibble as Chief Technology Officer, a newly-created role. Dibble is formerly of Yahoo!, and his hiring is part of Cablevision’s efforts to “become the premier connectivity provider in the market, delivering a peerless customer experience”. [7]

November 7th

A New York Times article revealed a major legal proceeding against Cablevision. The National Labor Relations Board has charged Cablevision CEO James Dolan with “illegally threatening to deny company technicians in Brooklyn a pay increase unless they voted to quit their union”. The NLRB also charged Cablevision itself with “illegally [undermining] the union’s representation of those workers by sponsoring a nonbinding poll to determine whether they wanted to leave their union”, while some workers reported they were being ‘spied on’ during the vote. Federal law states that such a vote can only be conducted by the labor board, not the company. CEO Dolan fired back, calling the NLRB “a tool of Big Labor” and questioning the validity of its findings. The case is ongoing, and Cablevision has stated it will appeal to federal courts, if necessary. [8]


CEO Dolan has plenty of reasons to be frustrated, especially with his ongoing legal troubles with the National Labor Relations Board. / Source –

November 11th

Cablevision teamed up with Time Warner Cable to release the first ever “New York Television Audience Insights Report”. The report sampled the 3.5 million subcribers of Cablevision and TWC in the New York area, which is half of the TV homes in the region. Its aim was to help advertising and marketing departments and companies get better value out of their advertising purchases. Some key findings include –

  • 74% of all TV programming watched was outside of traditional TV ‘prime time’ (8-11PM).
  • On average, a subscriber will only watch 25 channels in a month.
  • a whopping 90% of all viewing comes from a mere 100 channels. [9]

These new insights will help create better statistics for TV viewership and aid advertisers in spending money more efficiently.

November 18th

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city is planning an extensive new WiFi network across the five boroughs. The project, dubbed LinkNYC, would provide not only free WiFi, but also no-cost domestic calling and video chat. The 10,000 hotspot system would replace the city’s decaying network of archaic payphones and operate completely with money generated through advertising. Projected to cost around $200 million, LinkNYC would bring in over $500 million over the next twelve years, according to city officials.

This announcement led some to think Cablevision’s Optimum WiFi network would be threatened by this new, massive competition. Cablevision officials have not only dismissed these musings, but have actively worked with New York City on a number of initiatives, possibly including LinkNYC itself. [10]

Mayor-Elect De Blasio Makes Announcement

Mayor de Blasio’s ambitious project looks to dramatically improve WiFi services within the five boroughs. / Source – PIX 11

November 22nd

The Lewisboro Ledger revealed that Cablevision has a new deal with the town of Lewisboro (Westchester County). The deal, which primarily concerns franchising fees, has a number of key improvements –

  • Over $270,000 in new franchising fees are expected in 2015.
  • Free cable would be provided to 16 municipal and school buildings, including the public library.
  • New offers would include a senior discount for those aged sixty-five and older.
  • Town Board meetings would become available for live-streaming.
  • The town’s parks and baseball fields will become WiFi-equipped. [11]

November 25th

Kids video-on-demand network Kabillion announced a carriage deal with Cablevision. Kabillion, which is the only independently-owned VOD network ranked in the Top 10 Kids Free On Demand list, will now reach over 50 million homes nationwide. The deal is beneficiary to Cablevision too, as Kabillion reports views exceeding 65 million in 2014. [12]
















by Sarah Thaler

Hulu LLC
12312 West Olympic Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Phone: (310)-571-4700
Fax: (310)-571-4701

Company Overview
Both a website and over-the-top subscription service, Hulu provides online video streaming of a wide variety of video that range anywhere from current hit television series, movies, and webisodes to behind the scenes footage and movie trailers from an array of networks. In it’s current standing, Hulu is only offered to residents of the United States and Japan; regions outside of these countries are blocked by an IP address location. The Hulu platform allows users to access content through internet-receiving devices such as popular gaming consoles like the “Wii” and “Xbox”. Internet-viable televisions, set-top boxes, tablets, and of course, the PC are also used to transmit content instantly. Hulu’s display presents content in a flash video format to ensure speedy streaming and high-quality resolution; selected media can be streamed in HD depending on the network providing the syndicated content. Web syndication services are also provided by Hulu to companies like Facebook, AOL and Comcast to keep users within reach of supported affiliates. Hulu was created in 2008 initially by Beth Comstock as a joint venture of NBCUniversal Television Group (Comcast), Fox Broadcasting Company (21st Century Fox) and Disney–ABC Television Group (The Walt Disney Company), and was partially funded by Providence Equity Partners. However, in October of 2012, Providence Equity Partners sold it’s ten-percent share of Hulu LLC and is no longer a part of its holdings. [1] [2]

Key Executives: [2]

Mike Hopkins [a]


Chief Executive Officer

Chadwick Ho [b]

Senior Vice President and General Counsel

Senior Vice President and General Counsel

Elaine Paul [c]

Chief Financial Officer

Chief Financial Officer

Jean-Paul Colaco [d]

Senior Vice President and General Manager of Advertising

Senior Vice President and General Manager of Advertising


Hulu’s ad-supported business model is portion of it’s revenue along with customer purchases of subscriptions to Hulu plus. Because Hulu is a private holding, quarterly financials are not reported or disclosed to the general public. However, former CEO Jason Kilar revealed the 2012 figures, along with the numbers Hulu has achieved in the past five years in a blog post that wrapped up the fiscal year to perhaps illustrate the stark progression in the company’s net value. In 2012, Hulu broke records generating a 65% increase from their 2011 numbers and grossing $695 million in revenue, an all-time high for the company. [3] [4]

The Hollywood Insider briefed Hulu’s 2012 financials as well and reported that:

“The Hulu Plus subscription product, which launched in November 2010, boasts 3 million paying subscribers today, more than twice what they were at the end of 2011.The service increased title offerings by 40 percent in 2012 to 60,000 TV episodes, 2,300 TV series and 50,000 hours of video on Hulu and Hulu Plus. Kilar also said Hulu spent more than $500 million to acquire content this year.”

Viewership and Programming

Viewership numbers of Hulu users are measured through the same rating companies that track other media-viewing platforms such as Neilson, Quantcast, and ComScore. According to their findings, viewership numbers are steadily decreasing despite their impressive revenue for the 2012 fiscal year dropping from 19 million viewers in December 2011 to 12 million in August 2012.


Hulu’s current content partners (NBC, ABC, Fox, Current TV, ION Television, USA Network, Bravo, Fuel TV, FX, NFL Network, Speed, Big Ten Network, Syfy, Sundance, E!, G4, Versus, A&E, Oxygen and online comedy sources such as Onion News Network) allow the company to distribute their content on the Hulu website while Hulu reaps (on average) thirty to fifty percent of the advertising revenue generated by the shows it distributes.

Watch Battlefield trailer here 

Hulu does have a few of their own original content segments that air exclusively on their webisode-style platform. In 2011, the launch of their first series “The Morning After“, a satirical, comedic news show, on Hulu plus. This marked a moment in the company’s transition from a strictly content-distributing-only business model to one of both content distributing and producing. In January 2012, Hulu announced the release of their first scripted program “Battleground”, a political drama series shot in through a documentary style lens to air on the free Hulu platform to appeal to wider audience numbers. Also included in Hulu’s repertoire of original content are “The Fashion Fund”, a female-audience geared reality series where the winner of the show will receive $300,000 to start their career in the fashion industry, “Up To Speed” a historical travel series, and “A Day In the Life” a documentary series that follows a musician and producer. 

In April of 2012, Hulu added four more shows to their list that they have promised to air in the next few years if funds and viewing numbers permit; We Got NextThe AwesomesDon’t Quit Your Daydream, and Flow. Today, Hulu has joined forces with BBC to create a series that satisfies consumer craving for British humor and comedic thrill; “The Wrong Man” [5] [6]

Watch The Wrong Man trailer here

What’s Next? 

Hulu continues to grapple with possible methods of surpassing it’s big-name competitors such as Netflix, Youtube, iTunes, and Amazon. To separate themselves from the rest, Hulu aims to keep their content on the cutting-edge and easily streamable for its users.

pay-TV bundles: The Wall Street Journal on November 12th 2013 posted an article discussing Hulu’s interest in offering subscribers pay-TV bundles. Hulu has recognized that binge watching has become a shameless trend in viewership. According to the journal article companies willing to participate and partner with Hulu in the projected route to pay-TV are Comcast Corp., Time Warner Cable Inc., Cox Communications Inc., AT&T Inc.,and Verizon Communications Inc. Hulu has also discussed arrangements with AT&T to bundle its Hulu Plus subscription service with their wireless broadband offerings. [7]
HuluPlus integration with iOs and Chromecast: On October 21st, 2013 Hulu announced on it’s official blog that HuluPlus will be adding iOS support for Google’s popular Chromecast device, which plugs into any HDTV to let users watch online videos from tablets, smartphones or computers. HuluPlus first came to Chromecast on iPad and Android. The HuluPlus app also allows users to browse content, pause shows and add episodes to a queue, while simultaneously “casting” it to a TV. The Hulu Plus integration with Chromecast will convert the app into a custom remote letting users control video on their Chromecast connected TVs, while allowing them to browse the Hulu Plus app directly from their iPhones as well. [8] [9]


Sources (written content)










Image Sourcing 










By Sona Kim
Twitter Logo

Twitter Logo [1]

1355 Market Street
Suite 900
San Francisco, CA 94103



Dick Costolo – CEO [2]


Ali Rowghani – COO [3]


Mike Gupta – CFO [4]


Adam Bain – President of Global                     Revenue [5]


Company Profile

Twitter is a micro blogging and social networking platform where users can read and send tweets limited to 140 characters. It is currently the tenth most popular website worldwide and boasted 232 million users in this quarter alone. Over 500 million Tweets are sent everyday and 76% of active users are on mobile. [6] Looking at a US demographic, 16% of US adults use Twitter and one in ten adults get their news from Twitter. [7]

Twitter Demographics

Twitter Demographics [19]


Twitter was initially part of a podcasting firm called Odeo and became its own company in 2007. The company expanded its user base immensely during the 2007 SXSW Conference after successfully placing two plasma screens that streamed Twitter messages. [8] In 2010, Twitter announced that they would offer paid advertising, or “promoted tweets” which has become a major revenue stream for the company.

Sponsored Ad Example [20]

Financial Snapshot

According to newly filed financial documents, Twitter has a net loss $133.8 million this year compared to a $70.7 million loss in 2012. However, their advertising profits are quickly rising as the company collected $168.6 million in third quarter, for a total of $422 million in total revenue. [9] Twitter’s research and development costs are also growing immensely as the company believes these investments will turn into profit. R&D costs have increased a whopping 153% from last year alone.

Advertisements accounted for 85% of revenue in 2012 and this has increased to 89% in 2013. Another form of revenue for the company is data licensing, which allows clients to access user tweets and data. Twitter has made $47.3 million from selling user data in 2013, which is a 36.3% increase from last year. [10]

Nielsen TV Ratings

Twitter Social TV Stats [21]

In October 2013, Nielsen and Twitter announced a metrics system to gauge which television shows are popular. Initial research showed that for every 1,000 tweets, 50,000 people would see those tweets. There has also been a marked increase of live conversations about television on Twitter. Last quarter alone, 19 million people wrote over 260 million Tweets about live TV, which marked a 38% increase. According to an executive at Universal, “the potential value of Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings is that is provides a pathway for an advertiser to turn audience energy into brand momentum”. [11]


Vine is a video sharing mobile platform acquired by Twitter in 2012. The company launched the application in the first quarter of this year and Vine quickly became the top video sharing application. It is the fastest growing app in 2013 with a 403% growth rate. [12]

Vine Popularity [22]

Vine Popularity [22]

More notably, Dunkin Donuts aired the first Vine as a TV commercial in September during a preseason NFL game. This marks the first wave of integrative social media and television and will surely be a growth sector for Vine as other brands have begun to launch Vine campaigns, such as Nissan. [13]

Twitter and the News

One of the reasons for Twitter’s success is their ability to facilitate real time information, especially with breaking news. As a result, Twitter recently rolled out push notifications in November 2013 for breaking news. However, a random group of Twitter users received a push notification when they neither followed the @BreakingNews account or signed up for push notifications. [14]

Breaking News Push Notification [23]

Breaking News Push Notification [23]

Twitter has also expanded an account specifically for breaking news called @EventParrot, which is a new service that allows for personalized notifications. This is a very recent feature but it shows that Twitter is recognizing their strength as an immediate news outlet.

Spammers and Hackers

As an online platform, Twitter faces problems from spammers and hackers. The company estimates that over 11 million accounts are spam accounts. They announced in their initial filing that they were aware that a rise in users will also result in more spam accounts and that they will continue to terminate spam accounts as they find them. This year alone, there have been several prolific incidents of cyber hacking. Earlier this year, the company announced that over a quarter of a million users’ information may have been compromised. In another disturbing incident, the Syrian Electronic Army briefly gained control of one of Twitter’s domains. [15]


Twitter’s major competitors include other technology giants such as Facebook and LinkedIn. While Twitter may have millions of other users, Facebook has over times more. Twitter gains almost $3 in revenue per user but this pales in comparison to LinkedIn’s $8. However, the market value of each Twitter user is $134.47. [16]

Average Revenue from Each User (USD$) [24]

Average Revenue from Each User (USD$) [24]


Top 10 Internet IPOs [25]

The major story for Twitter this quarter is their initial public offering. Goldman Sachs was announced as the lead underwriter on the deal and the company raised $1.8 billion from the IPO. As a result of the 70 million shares that Twitter issued, the company’s market value grew to a little over $13 billion. Twitter stock opened at $26 and rose rapidly on its first trading day and has settled to a low $40 range currently. [17] Twitter’s IPO marks the second largest Internet IPO after Facebook. The company opted to file its IPO on the NYSE, as NASDAQ is heavier with technology companies and is trading under the ticker name TWTR. Currently, analysts anticipate that Twitter will become profitable by 2015 as advertising revenue streams increase. [18] There has been some worry that Twitter is not profitable as it has posted net losses for the past three years. However, investors believe that Twitter has opted to go public earlier in its growth curve and has more opportunity to become profitable in the coming years.

Twitter’s Future

Expect Twitter Revenues [26]

As Twitter begins its first foray as a public company, there are many doubts that Twitter is just a fad and that their IPO will be overhyped and overvalued just like Facebook’s. However, based on growth expectations and expansions into news, Nielsen ratings and popular applications such as Vine, Twitter will surely be profitable by 2015. As social media becomes more measurable, Twitter stands to bring in higher revenue streams as advertisers begin to recognize the power of this social media platform.


1. Twitter Logo Picture –

2-5. Executive Profiles and Pictures –

6. Twitter User Stats –

7. Twitter News User Stats –

8. Twitter History –

9. Twitter Financial Costs –

10. Twitter Spending Costs –

11. Nielsen and Twitter Ratings –

12.  Vine Growth –

13. Dunkin Vine Campaign –

14. Twitter Push Notifications –

15. Twitter Hacks –

16. Twitter Competitors –

17. Twitter IPO Factsheet –

18. Twitter IPO Info –

19. Twitter News Demographics-

20. Sponsored Ad Image –

21. Twitter Social TV Image-

22. Vine Popularity Image –

23. Breaking News Push Notification Push –

24. Competitor Revenue per Customer Graph –

25. Top Internet IPO Image –

26. Twitter Expected Revenue Graph –








By Jiayi Jiang



12312 West Olympic Boulevard

Los Angeles, CA 90064, United States



About the company

Hulu is an online free video service that offers a selection of hit shows, clips, and movies from over 260 content companies.  Hulu Venture was established in March 2007 and is operated independently by a team in the Los Angles office. Hulu videos currently only offer to users in USA,overseas territories and Japan  In April 2009, Hulu became a joint venture of NBCUniversal Television Group, Fox Broadcasting Company, and Disney ABC Television Group. In addition to offering free content, Hulu also has a paid version called Hulu Plus, which supports more video content. [1]

Hulu plus service



Hulu Plus is a paid online service that gives users access to unlimited instant streaming of TV shows, movies, trailers, and exclusive content. Hulu Plus complements the website Hulu by enabling paid users to watch episodes beyond the ones available for free.[2]





Key Person 

CEO: Mike Hopkins

Mike Hopkins—–CEO

CFO: Elaine Paul

     Elaine Paul——CFO 


In the online video market, Hulu’s competitors are the other online video service     companies— such as Amazon instant, Netflix, and iTunes, which offer their customes the ability to rent DVDs and to view or download streaming videos. Cable TV is another  Hulu’s competitor’s.[3]

Financial information:

The company earned $695 million for 2012, which was a 65% jump over 2011. Also, according the previous CEO, Jason Kilar, Hulu plus adding over 3 million users which is double the number of 2011.The main revenue Hulu earned is form the subscription fee and AD sales. Hulu offers different of ad formats to satisfy what company want to deliver to Hulu’s user.[4]

In the news

1. Change of the Executive

Hulu’s leader ship level is tumultuous in 2013. In January, the founder CEO Jason Kilar left the company. From March, the acting CEO Andy took control  of all the business in the company. Finally, on October 17th, the EX-head of distribution for FOX, Mile Hopkins, became the new parents of the Hulu. The first decision Mike did after he took the wheel of the position was nominate the new CFO, Elaine Paul, who was the previously head of strategy and business development at Disney.

The refresh of the whole executive team may bring the Hulu new energy to compete with Netflix and Amzon instant. Due to the background of the Mike Hopkins,  the Fox Networks distribution chief, the business model of Hulu may change.[5][6]


Free Video to Mobile devices

On October 23th, Hulu finally bring the free video to mobile. It is a big move for Hulu, after 6 years launched, they finally begin to open the market for mobile industry. However, for now,it just support clips but not full content. Also, the video are only available for mobile browser[7]


Hulu join PS4

On November 12th, Hulu Plus officially supported for the Sony Playstation 4. For PS4 version, Hulu is trying to increase user experience by adding specific types of content like Hulu Kids, Originals. For the function part, the search engine has been introduced. User can also register account on the console itself. [8]

 As mobile devices will take more important role in our life, Streaming video wbesite like Hulu has to get more ways for user to reach the information. Going to mibile is a rigth way for Hulu, but they have to work hard to increase the user experience.

3. Original Series

By far, Hulu has produced more than 25 Hulu original Series. Original Series is a way for Hulu to expand their TV Universe. Beside this, the exclusive shows also helps Hulu to earn large number of subscribers. Hulu is preparing 20 original series next year with the UK based on the splendid job of ‘The Wrong mans’ [9]


Fugget About It

Fugget About It (October 13)A animated comedy about the misadventure of a mob family that’s forced to move to Canada.

The strange calls




The strange calls (October 19)

This supernatural comedy about a police officer who has demoted to night watch in a town which strange calls happened every night.

Behind the mask

Behind the mask:

A story about sports mascots and their lives in and out of Costume.[10]




Mother up!

The Wrong mans

Mother up! ( November 6 )

An animated comedy Starring Eva Longoria, who plays a former music executive who moves to the suburbs to raise her children.[11]


The wrong mans (November 11)

A cooperated comedy series for the BBC and Hulu. British style comedy illustrated a pair of silly British work together to solve crime. This comedy was regard as the most successful comedy  debutin previous eight years.[12]

Through the distribution of different types of original series of Hulu, they are on the way to attracting variety group of audiences. Not only for the western drama, Hulu now working on bring in more international drama. More content Hulu have, more subscriber they will have.

4.New Business strategy

At the developing age of Hulu, their mission was the complementary to the cable. However, After the Mike Hopkins became the CEO, the strategy changed as well.From the Report of Los Angeles Times’ Company Town.They said “The newly installed Hulu executive team is believed to already be pursuing deals with cable operators to offer subscribers access to Hulu as a way to watch current shows online, according to several people with knowledge of the situation.” [13] It is a good news for Hulu if it can successful become the platform to deliver onlince content of cable company. However, the problem is some cable company already offer the online service, so the talk is still in their early age.[14] [15]





[1] About the company

[2]Hulu plus service   

[3] Hulu’s competitors

[4] Financial information

[5] New CEO-Mike Hopkins

[6]Elaine Paul as CFO

[7] mobile video

[8] Hulu in PS4

[9] Hulu’s new original series

[10] Behind the mask

[11] Mother up

[12] The Wrong mans

[[13] Hulu’s new strategy

[14] Hulu Corporate with cable

[15] Leadership changes







By Will Roth
Netflix logo - courtesy

Netflix logo – courtesy

Corporate Headquarters

100 Winchester Circle, Los Gatos, CA 95032

(408) 540-3700


Netflix was founded in 1997 by software executives Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph.  Two years later, the company offered its subscription service of unlimited DVD rentals for a monthly fee.  Since its inception, Netflix has grown exponentially in terms of consumer popularity and financial revenue.  Today, over 40 million subscribers consume roughly 1 billion hours of content per month through the company. [1]

Key Executive

Reed Hastings Courtesy of Netflix

Reed Hastings Courtesy of Netflix

Reed Hastings co-founded Netflix in 1997 and has served as its Chairman, CEO, and President since.  Prior to this, he founded Pure Software, which he then sold to Rational Software.  Following a stint in the Peace Corps during college wherein he taught high school math in Swaziland, he has served as the president of the California State Board of Education and remains a member of the California Teachers’ Association. [2] [3]


Netflix made its initial public offering on May 22, 2002 with 5,500,000 shares at $15.00 each. [4]  As of November 15, 2013 one share sat at $349.78.  The company’s all-time high was $389.16.  However, it hasn’t always been a steadily increasing stock market commodity.  On November 30, 2011 its price fell to $62.37.  This came after the company’s decision to separate its DVD rental and streaming services.  After watching the stock fall, company executives decided to abort the plan.  Its stock recovered quickly and has climbed even higher than it was before the proposed change. [5]


Netflix is a company that always seems to be ahead of the curve.  After amassing 6.3 million members as a strictly DVD rental service, it launched its online streaming service in 2007. [4]  After hovering around $20 per stock for years, this development started the company skyrocketing, topping out at roughly $290.  This promptly fell after the announcement of Qwikster, which was the proposed streaming-only branch of Netflix.  While this was a failure, it was innovative nonetheless.

Click here to watch a BloombergTV feature on Qwikster.

Netflix has rebuilt its popularity and image largely through original content.

House of Cards was the first heavily advertised piece of original content from Netflix.  “A Congressman works with his equally conniving wife to exact revenge on the people who betrayed him. [6]”  The entire 13 episode first season was released at once so that viewers could “binge watch” it.  Many analysts questioned whether this was a good business decision, theorizing that viewers wouldn’t remain hooked long enough for Netflix to prosper financially. [7]  The numbers proved those doubters wrong.  In the financial quarter following the show’s debut, Netflix gained 3 million new subscribers.  In that quarter alone, the company made back its money on the program in which it had invested $100 million. [8]  The show received 9 Emmy nominations and won for Outstanding Casting, Directing, and Cinematography in a Drama Series. [9]

Netflix also found success in its debut of the fourth season of the cult hit Arrested Development.  Executives attributed the bump of 630,000 new subscribers in the second quarter of 2013 to the show’s dedicated fan base. [10]  The season earned three Emmy nominations. [11]
In addition to original content, Netflix has been innovative in customizing the user experience.  In 2006, the company announced the “Netflix Prize,” which would award $1 million to the person or team who came up with the best algorithm to accurately give entertainment recommendations based on personal preference.  Three years later, they had received submissions from more than 40,000 teams from 186 countries. [4]  The prize was awarded in 2009, but the company never implemented the algorithm.  According to Netflix, the “additional accuracy gains that we measured did not seem to justify the engineering effort needed to bring them into a production environment. [12]
Also in the vein of user experience, Netflix recently added the option of multiple profiles to its streaming service.  Chief Product Officer Neil Hunt acknowledged that most accounts are shared, usually within one household.  In an effort to tailor recommendations to each user specifically, customers can now specify who is watching.  The service is free of charge and will also help Netflix in collected more accurate user data. [13]
One might assume that Netflix is a competitor with cable providers.  CEO Reed Hastings has a different view.  In a letter to investors, he outlined his company’s main areas of focus moving forward, breaking down its competition into two categories.  The first is “competitors-for-time,” meaning entertainment options that do not bid against Netflix.  While markets may not overlap between Netflix and video game providers, sports networks, and piracy, all of those options eat up consumer time that could be spent watching Netflix.  The other category is “competitors-for-content.”  The largest competitor here is HBO.  Hastings discloses that the companies have bid against each other for movie licensing and original content in the past, and that they seem to be pushing each other to be better consumer-oriented services.  Hastings also lists Amazon, Hulu and others as competitors-for-content.  At the same time, he believes that there will be enough room for everyone.  “Many consumers will subscribe to multiple services if they each have unique compelling content. [14]
On The Horizon
Netflix plans to build upon its success with original content.  It has renewed each of its original shows for second seasons, and has expressed desire to make another season of Arrested Development as well.  “[We would] be delighted to produce a fifth season of Arrested Development, if possible, given fan reaction.”  The company also plans to produce its own full-length documentaries and comedy specials and stream them exclusively. [15]
There is also speculation that Netflix is pushing for day-and-date movie releases, meaning that it could begin streaming a film the same day it premieres in theaters.  Though Netflix has not confirmed this, theater owners are wary that the development could put them out of business.  Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s Chief Content Officer, accused theaters of refusing to adapt, saying “not only are they going to kill theaters — they might kill movies.”  Currently, theaters have a 90 day exclusivity deal, wherein films cannot be shown anywhere else for three months.  But recent studies state that theaters make 96% of total revenue from a film’s first six weeks.  At the very least, we can expect Netflix to cut the amount of time between theatrical releases to streaming down to between 30-45 days.  This would spell greater profits for both Netflix and movie studios while only trimming 4% of theaters’ revenue. [16]  At the very least, we can expect an innovator like Netflix to be on the forefront of the entertainment business in the years to come.


[1] About Netflix

[2] About Reed Hastings

[3] Reed Hastings Profile – Bloomberg Businessweek

[4] Netflix Company Timeline

[5] Nasdaq

[6] House of Cards imdb

[7] Variety Binge Watching

[8] The Atlantic Wire

[9] Emmys – House of Cards

[10] Huffington Post Tech

[11] Emmys – Arrested Development

[12] Forbes

[13] The Verge

[14] Letter to Investors

[15] Tech Crunch

[16] Variety




By Jamie Zaslav
Netflix Logo

-Netflix Corporate Logo- [18]

Netflix Corporate Headquarters
100 Winchester Circle
Los Gatos, CA 95032
Tel: (418) 540-3700
Fax: (418) 540-3737


Brief History:


Netflix Headquarters. Photo Courtesy of Business Cloud News [23]

Netflix, co-founded in 1997 by Reed Hastings, began as a pay-per-rental service of TV programs and movies on DVDs delivered by mail. Netflix, based in San Francisco, California, was a mail-order competitor to Blockbuster and other local video rental stores that were operating in the US. In 2000, Netflix changed its payments model from each rental to a monthly flat-fee for unlimited rentals of programs delivered by mail. Since the companies inception 13 years ago, Netflix has transformed into one of the most successful media streaming services, by not only having newer content available, but also by creating their own content. Today Netflix reaches of 37 million monthly subscribers around the world via broadband and it still has subscribers that receive programming on DVDs through the mail service. [1]

Key Executives:

Reed Hastings, Co-Founder & CEO

Co-founder & CEO Reed Hastings, Courtesy of Netflix

Co-founder & CEO Reed Hastings, Courtesy of Netflix

David Wells, CFO

CFO David Wells, Courtesy of Netflix

CFO David Wells, Courtesy of Netflix

Neil Hunt, CPO

CTO Neil Hunt, Courtesy of Netflix

CPO Neil Hunt, Courtesy of Netflix

Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer

Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos, Courtesy of Netflix

Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos, Courtesy of Netflix

Kelly Bennett, Chief Marketing Officer

Chief Marketing Officer Kelly Bennett, Courtesy of Netflix

Chief Marketing Officer Kelly Bennett, Courtesy of Netflix



Photo courtesy of Netflix [19]

Netflix is a video on-demand monthly subscription service delivered through broadband on the internet or delivered through DVDs in the mail to subscribers. By subscribing to Netflix for a monthly fee of $7.99, subscribers gain unlimited access to Netflix’s video library of TV shows and movies. Netflix is primarily in North America, but they’ve also expanded into South America, the UK, and several other countries. Unique to Netflix, they developed a recommendation algorithm that suggests TV shows and movies to subscribers based on what they rented to help their subscribers find programs they might like [2]. This is innovative because Netflix was using each individual’s viewing data to recommend programs they might like. Netflix creates a direct connection to the consumer business model and therefore it knows all of its subscribers, has a relationship with them, and can access all the data on how users use Netflix.

Netflix App, Available on almost all video platforms

Netflix App, Available on almost all video platforms. Photo courtesy of Netflix [20]

This is very different from other premium series like HBO or Showtime, which have a relationship with the cable distributor who sells t the consumer. As broadband developed in the US, Netflix started to offer access to all of its TV and movie programs over broadband in addition to the mail service for the same monthly fee. Netflix worked hard to make content available on most video platforms including: Playstation, Xbox, Wii, Mac, PC, iPad, Tablet, Mobile and more [3].

They have recently started producing their own content, they have three web series and each earned Emmy nominations. Netflix has launched numerous original series in the last two years (House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Russell Peters Vs. The World, Arrested Development Season 4, Lilyhammer and Bad Samaritans). House of Cards was their first series to earn a primetime Emmy Award nomination for outstanding series. All of Netflix’ content is delivered without commercials [4].

Netflix Original Series, House of Cards

Netflix Original Series, House of Cards. Photo courtesy of Netflix [21]

In addition, Netflix makes full seasons of all of its TV programs available to Netflix users. In watching how users consume content, Netflix noticed that users began to watch full seasons of TV programs all at once. Netflix calls this “binge viewing” of TV content [5].  Netflix has been innovative by having all episodes of its original programming available on Netflix at once. When Netflix launched its first original series, House of Cards, it launched all 13 episodes on February 1, 2013 at once. Critics and viewers watched all the episodes over a short period of time giving the consumer full choice of how to watch the series rather than making it available once a week which has been the traditional TV model. House of Cards was a big success with Netflix subscribers and Netflix has launched and announced a number of additional original programs all of which will be made available in full seasons at the same time [6].


Netflix generated approximately $3.2 billion in revenue for the first nine months of this year, up 20% versus the same period in 2012.  However, this translated into only $146 million of operating income due to high marketing costs spent to attract new customers.  Marketing costs this year are up 18% versus the first 9 months of 2012 and while that is a big increase, the level of increase is slowing.  In 2012 marketing expense for the year was up nearly 30% with revenue growth only 13%. The marketing spend speaks to their focus on increasing new customers, which is working. They have increased their total domestic subscribers to nearly 30 million (more than HBO), up from 24 million a year ago and international subscribers to 8 million from only 4 million a year ago.  The result has been rapid share price appreciation [17].


Netflix has stated that it would like to grow to 50 or 60 million subscribers [7]. One of the biggest questions is whether Netflix has become more of a competitor with cable and satellite providers. Another big question is whether Netflix will reach its limit on customers like HBO and Showtime. Central to those questions is whether Netflix users feel they get enough content from the site and don’t need a cable subscription with all the cable channels [8]. Netflix primary business is in the US where it has over 30 million broadband subscribers and Netflix has expanded into South America, Canada and Europe bringing their total subscribers to 37 million worldwide.

Netflix Just for Kids Homepage. Photo courtesy of Netflix [22]


Netflix has a strong children’s programming library which includes such popular shows as Curious George, Sesame Street, Bob the Builder and Super Why. Kids have become some of the biggest users and fans of Netflix. As a result, Netflix has done a number of deals to add original children’s series to the Netflix platform. Netflix announced it will do 4 original children series with Disney [9], as well as several original series produced by DreamWorks Animation [10]. Netflix also has deals for content with Cartoon Network [11] and HUB Network [12]. The HUB shows are available on Netflix exclusively. These deals for original children’s shows will be available on Netflix, not any of its competitors.

Netflix has also struck a deal with CBS to show the Showtime series Dexter on Netflix [13].


Netflix has many competitors. Amazon and Hulu compete with Netflix for monthly broadband subscribers. Amazon’s subscription service is called Prime and is available at a yearly rate of $79 [14]. Hulu has a monthly fee of $7.99 a month with limited advertising [15], which is similar to how Netflix is offered. Also, HBO Go and Showtime Anytime offer monthly subscription services but they are offered through the cable operator or satellite providers as an add on to the users’ HBO or Showtime monthly fee [16]. HBO has been in business for 30 years and reached about 30 million homes and Showtime reaches about 20 million homes. Netflix is offered directly to consumers and has the advantage of having a direct relationship with its subscribers. Netflix can communicate directly with its subscribers and gets all the data on how its subscribers are using Netflix.



[1] How Netflix Started (11/10/13)

[2] Netflix Recommendation Algorithm  (11/10/13)

[3] Netflix Sign-Up (11/11/13)

[4] Netflix Vs. Hulu Video Streaming (11/9/13)

[5] “Binge Watching” (11/13/13)

[6] 5 New Original Series in the works for 2014 (11/19/13)

[7] Netflix Closes on HBO Boasting an Estimated 30 Million Paying Subscribers (11/3/13)

[8] Netflix Rivals Cable (11/12/13)

[9] Disney and Netflix are Powerful friends (11/12/13)

[10] DreamWorks Animation and Netflix make deal for new shows (11/15/13)

[11] Cartoon Network and Adult Swim shows now on Netflix (11/17/13)

[12] Hasbro Grants Netflix Streaming Rights To The Hub’s ‘Littlest Pet Shop’ And ‘Kaijudo’ (11/6/13)

[13] Netflix CBS deal for Dexter (11/16/13)

[14] Costs and Benefits of Amazon Prime (11/17/13)

[15] Hulu (11/11/13)

[16] Is Showtime Anytime the next HBOGo (11/17/13)

[17] Netflix Financials (11/1/13)

[18] Netflix Logo (11/18/13)

[19] Netflix Envelopes (11/18/13)

[20] Netflix App (11/18/13)

[21] House of Cards Promo (11/18/13)

[22] Netflix Kids Snapshot (11/18/13)

[23] Netflix Headquarters (11/20/13)