And the Oscar Goes to�Netflix

By Cindy Waxer September 23, 2010

It’s not often that Netflix stumbles. The subscription-based movie and TV rental service has a market capitalization of $6.4 billion, has grown its revenue from around $996.66 million in 2006 to $1.68 billion in 2009, and analysts are anticipating the company will record $2.17 billion this year. What’s more, in 2011, this number is expected to grow to $2.77 billion. 

Quite an impressive profile especially considering Netflix was once called “a worthless piece of crap with really nice people running it,” by Michael Pachter, a Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst, back in 2005. Boy, did Netflix prove Pachter – and many other naysayers, wrong.

But this morning, the talk around Netflix wasn’t about a soaring stock price but a botched publicity stunt. This week, Netflix announced that, the U.S. company’s first website outside the United States, would go live, delivering its online streaming service to Canada.

However, a street celebration turned into a marketing disaster after reporters discovered that actors hired by Netflix had been instructed to hype the arrival of the company’s video streaming service at the event. In fact, according to The Financial Post’s website, it was during a scheduled press event in Toronto that reporters from Canadian media apparently noticed that some of the responses from people in attendance sounded like “canned responses.” The actors also were urged to fill a variety of stereotypical roles, including “mothers, film buffs, tech geeks, couch potatoes,” according to the one-page handout given to them.

According to Netflix spokesman Steve Swasey, while some of the people who attended the launch event were actors paid by Netflix, they were not paid to attend the press event. What’s more, said Swasey, Netflix never intended to mislead reporters, pointing the finger at the lengths Netflix had to go to obtain a permit to close an entire street for the celebration. To qualify for the permit, Swasey said Netflix decided to film a fake documentary which resulted in hiring a handful of actors to attract an audience for the event.

Edited by Erin Harrison

TechZone360 Contributing Editor

Related Articles

Bloomberg BETA: Models Are Key to Machine Intelligence

By: Paula Bernier    4/19/2018

James Cham, partner at seed fund Bloomberg BETA, was at Cisco Collaboration Summit today talking about the importance of models to the future of machi…

Read More

Get Smart About Influencer Attribution in a Blockchain World

By: Maurice Nagle    4/16/2018

The retail value chain is in for a blockchain-enabled overhaul, with smarter relationships, delivering enhanced transparency across an environment of …

Read More

Facebook Flip-Flopping on GDPR

By: Maurice Nagle    4/12/2018

With GDPR on the horizon, Zuckerberg in Congress testifying and Facebook users questioning loyalty, change is coming. What that change will look like,…

Read More

The Next Phase of Flash Storage and the Mid-Sized Business

By: Joanna Fanuko    4/11/2018

Organizations amass profuse amounts of data these days, ranging from website traffic metrics to online customer surveys. Collectively, AI, IoT and eve…

Read More

Satellite Imaging - Petabytes of Developer, Business Opportunities

By: Doug Mohney    4/11/2018

Hollywood has programmed society into believing satellite imaging as a magic, all-seeing tool, but the real trick is in analysis. Numerous firms are f…

Read More