Netflixed by Gina Keating
The Epic Battle for America's Eyeballs

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Synopsis

Netflix has come a long way since 1997, when two Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, Marc Ran­dolph and Reed Hastings, decided to start an online DVD store before most people owned a DVD player. They were surprised and elated when launch-day traffic in April 1998 crashed their server and resulted in 150 sales. Today, Netflix has more than 25 million subscribers and annual revenues above $3 billion. Yet long- term success-or even survival-is still far from guaranteed. Journalist Gina Keating recounts the absorbing, fast-paced drama of the company's turbulent rise to the top and its attempt to invent two new kinds of business. First it engaged in a grueling war against video-store behemoth Blockbuster, transforming movie rental forever. Then it jumped into an even bigger battle for online video streaming against Google, Hulu, Amazon, and the big cable companies. Netflix ushered in such innovations as DVD rental by mail, a patented online queue of upcom­ing rentals, and a recommendation algorithm called Cinematch that proved crucial in its struggle against bigger rivals. Yet for all its success, Netflix is still a polariz­ing company. Hastings is often heralded as a visionary-he was named Business Person of the Year in 2010 by Fortune-even as he has been called the nation's worst CEO. Netflix also faces disgruntled customers after price increases and other stumbles that could tarnish the brand forever. The quest to become the world's portal for pre­mium video on demand will determine nothing less than the future of entertainment and the Internet. Drawing on extensive new interviews and her years covering Netflix as a financial and entertainment reporter, Keating makes this tale as absorbing as it is important.
 

About Gina Keating

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GINA KEATING covered media companies, law, and government as a staff writer for Reuters and United Press International for more than a decade. Her articles have been reprinted in newspapers around the world and her freelance work has appeared in Variety, Texas Monthly, Food and Wine, Southern Living, and Forbes magazines.
 
Published October 11, 2012 by Portfolio. 316 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Computers & Technology, Professional & Technical, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Netflixed

Kirkus Reviews

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The major players in the game—Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and Blockbuster’s John Antioco—are both complicated characters, and Keating does a commendable job painting a portrait of these very different business leaders, each with his own unique approach to vying for the same brass ring: domination o...

Sep 02 2012 | Read Full Review of Netflixed: The Epic Battle fo...

Publishers Weekly

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Freelance journalist Keating tries to style the saga of online movie-rental behemoth Netflix as a Silicon Valley romance wherein subversive geeks conjure "a shared dream of a consumer-oriented company that reflected their ideals," one where "marketing and technology waltz in a harmony."

Aug 20 2012 | Read Full Review of Netflixed: The Epic Battle fo...

Slate

Cocktail party fodder: An earthquake would cost New York City between $85 billion and $200 billion, according to the New York City Area Consortium for Earthquake Loss Mitigation’s estimates.

Nov 07 2012 | Read Full Review of Netflixed: The Epic Battle fo...

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