Sony Pictures Content Disappears from Netflix

June 21, 2011 -

While it is probably only a short-term problem, Sony Pictures and Netflix are in negotiations to continue their relationship related to various movies and television shows. Unfortunately, while they sort out their "temporary contract issue" Netflix subscribers won't be able to stream any of the company's content. Subscribers that have Sony Pictures DVD-based content in their queues will not be affected. The content was pulled last Friday and affects much of the Starz content on Netflix.

Netflix said the situation is a "temporary contract issue" between Sony and Liberty Media Corp.'s pay-TV distributor Starz. Starz has been negotiating with Netflix over a renewal of its digital distribution deal with Sony, which runs through early 2012. Starz said in a statement that "all parties are working diligently to resolve the issue."

Sources familiar with the situation say that Netflix's accelerated subscriber growth triggered a clause in Sony's agreement with Starz that resulted in the hold on streaming content.

While no timeline was available on when negotiations would wrap up, it is expected that all involved want to resolve the situation as soon as possible.

Source: Total Tele


Comments

Re: Sony Pictures Content Disappears from Netflix

I think stuff like this is probably one of the biggest remaining hurdles for subscription services.  When people pay to have access to an archive, they kinda want to watch what they want, when they want.  Discovering that you can no longer view some series that you were in the mood is annoying to say the least.. and annoyance that makes torrents, rips, or DVDs look attractive.

Re: Sony Pictures Content Disappears from Netflix

It is also one of the biggest problems with streaming media. Media that includes music, movies, heck maybe even games. (Games can be streamed, right?)) You get into a song, or a movie, or if correct, a game, and the owners can remove them at any time and without warning.

Right now I'm watching the X-Files on Netflix. The pros of this is that it is a lot cheaper to stream it from there than to go out and buy the box sets. I could get through one season on Netflix in a few days. I'm near in the middle of Season 3 now. Buying the box sets of Seasons 1,2, and 3 is pricy. That is the advantage of Netflix. The Disadvantage is that if Netflix or the owners of the X-Files decide to pull the content? They pull it and it's gone. No more X-Files. While box sets are more expensive, they are physcally yours to keep. If I had the physical DVD sets of the X-Files, they are mine to watch, without fear of the content suddenly vanishing because it's what the service/content holders want.

Music is the same because I have a playlist on Napster, and there have been times when I have clicked on a song, and I ended up removing it because, I got the error message 'Song has been removed due to copyright holder' or something like that. They can't do that with Audio CDs, and as far as I know, they can't do that with mp3 files, I guess unless the mp3 file has some sort of DRM protection.

Speaking slightly off topic, I have a DVD filled with music files that I downloaded from Napster back when their music was in wma format. Between then and now, I had cancelled the subscription, for reasons that I cannot remember. Not long after the music quit working. I rejoined Napster some months back in hope that I could get my music collection working again, but they are now using mp3 format and my old music is no longer compatable. They are now a bunch of useless files that can never be used. However I can upload them into Napster and purchase them..again. And they'll download them again in mp3 format. That is if the content holders want that particular song or artist's music downloaded through them. I could do that, but the question remains: I bought the music already. Why buy it again? Plus I have well over 500 songs. 500 songs at either $0.99 or $1.25. Do the math, that's a lot of bleeping money. I put them on a DVD so they will be safe until something can be done with them. I guess it also ties in on how the CD is a better way to get music than from a place that streams it online..unless you want to talk about the DRM that Sony had put on their CDs some time ago.

As for games? I can't really comment because I don't know if games can be streamed. At least I don't play them, and I don't believe flash games count as they are generally free.

I guess this is a rant for streaming as well as against streaming. Streaming makes watching movies, tv shows, listening to music, and maybe if able, play games a lot easier. But, at what cost? With streaming media, the content holders are firmly in control. Here today, gone tomorrow.

 - W

Consumer responsibility is just as important as Corporate responsibility. So, be responsible consumers.

Re: Sony Pictures Content Disappears from Netflix

Re: Sony Pictures Content Disappears from Netflix

Ah, okay. I had a feeling that they could be, but wasn't sure. Thanks.

 - W

Consumer responsibility is just as important as Corporate responsibility. So, be responsible consumers.

Re: Sony Pictures Content Disappears from Netflix

Why would Sony want to resolve this quickly? It seems like they would prefer to put pressure on Netflix by outwaiting them.

 

Re: Sony Pictures Content Disappears from Netflix

It's an option, but Sony is also not making money from that streaming for every day that it is down. It is a gamble that holding out will be made up for w/increased future revenue from a better contract. With the big amount of costs Sony has incurred due to the security breach, they may not be feeling much like doing w/o the Netflix revenue stream for long.

Re: Sony Pictures Content Disappears from Netflix

But how much are they making from the streaming? It cannibalizes their DVD sales, and given the number of other publishers on Netflix, how much are they actually making from it? 

Re: Sony Pictures Content Disappears from Netflix

This is Sony. 

Showing how far they can piss is far more important then actually making money.

 
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