The popular streaming TV service is hiking the cost of its standard plan from $8.99 a month to $9.99.
Customers might complain, but investors cheered the news. Netflix(NFLX, Tech30) stock, which was down earlier in the day, ticked up more than 5% after the announcement.
The one-dollar raise affects new subscribers in the United States, Canada and Latin America right away. But it won’t affect most existing subscribers for a year.
“To continue adding more TV shows and movies including many Netflix original titles, we are modestly raising the price for some new members in the U.S., Canada and Latin America,” Netflix said in a statement. “As a thank you to existing Netflix members — who aren’t already benefiting from a previous price guarantee — we will maintain their current price for a year.”
The standard plan is Netflix’s most popular option. It lets households watch programming on two devices at the same time.
Back then Netflix pledged not to raise the monthly price for their accounts for two years. So it is likely that those customers will start paying the new $9.99 price sometime after May 2016.
Meanwhile, Netflix’s two other options aren’t changing. The premium plan, meant for families who want to watch on up to four devices simultaneously, will continue to cost $11.99 a month. And the basic plan, with access on just one screen, will continue to cost $7.99.
Netflix adjusted its pricing in Europe in a similar way over the summer.
The price hike news was first reported by Bloomberg.
Netflix both complements and competes with streaming services like Hulu and Amazon Prime, though it is the biggest one by far.
Hulu costs $8 a month with commercials and $12 a month without commercials. Amazon Prime, which includes other features like free two-day shipping, costs $99 a year, or $8.25 a month.
Here are a few of the Twitter reactions to the announcement:
Donald Trump, the relentless Twitter critic of the 2016 presidential campaign, has set his sights on conservative pundits Erick Erickson and Glenn Beck.
On Thursday, Trump tweeted that Erickson had been “fired like a dog” from RedState, the right-wing commentary website he founded over a decade ago. Erickson, a radio host and Fox News contributor, announced earlier this week that he would be leaving RedState, but attributed his departure to the site’s acquisition by Salem Communications, which competes with Erickson’s current radio broadcaster, Cox Media Group.
Trump didn’t buy that explanation: “If you read his tweets, you’ll understand why [he was fired],” Trump wrote. “[He] just doesn’t have IT!”
Erickson shot back by making light of the attack: “Wow. Donald Trump lives in a universe where even dogs are fired,” he wrote, later adding that Trump had his facts wrong.
Moments before attacking Erickson, Trump went after Glenn Beck, the media entrepreneur and tea party hero who has been one of Trump’s most frequent critics. In a New York Times article published Wednesday, Beck called Trump a “schoolyard bully who does not reflect any of the values and principles that I see from Americans on both sides.”
“Wacky Glenn Beck who always seems to be crying (worse than Boehner) speaks badly of me only because I refuse to do his show–a real nut job!” Trump tweeted. “I hear Glenn Beck is in big trouble. Unlike me, his viewers & ratings are way down & he has become irrelevant—glad I didn’t do his show.” (Representatives for Beck did not comment.)
Erickson and Beck weren’t Trump’s only media targets this week. On Wednesday, Trump went after the “dishonest” “clowns” at Politico.
“I wonder why somebody doesn’t do something about the clowns at Politico and their totally dishonest reporting,” Trump tweeted. “Politico has no power, but so dishonest!” Politico responded by sending Trump a link to it story on “The 199 Most Donald Trump Things Donald Trump Has Ever Said,” and asked if that’s what had made him so upset.
But true to his bruise ‘em and lose ‘em style, Trump had already moved on to other targets just minutes after blasting Erickson and Beck. When Rep. Kevin McCarthy announced early Thursday afternoon that he was dropping out of the running for House Speaker, Trump weighed in gleefully: “Great, Kevin McCarthy drops out of SPEAKER race. We need a really smart and really tough person to take over this very important job!” he wrote.
If you’re still clinging to your Verizon unlimited cell phone plan, your monthly bill is about to jump by $20.
Verizon(VZ, Tech30) is planning to raise the price of unlimited data plans from $29.99 to $49.99 per month. The company confirmed the move to CNNMoney on Thursday morning.
It’s yet another sign the company’s trying to force people to let go of their highly-prized plans that remain only because they were grandfathered in.
The unlimited data is only part of a cell phone bill. Talking and texting are extra. Right now if you’re on Verizon’s 450 plan, that costs $59.99 per month. Add the new higher rate for unlimited data, the total monthly cost will look more like $109.99, plus fees.
Verizon customers will see the increase starting on monthly bills that arrive on Nov. 15 or later.
Phones now gobble data as they stream social media, videos, music. In recent years, smart and frugal people have resisted upgrading to limited data plans. Any data cap is easily surpassed, and extra expensive fees kick in.
That’s why major carriers have done away with unlimited data. It hogs their network. Instituting limits lets them better manage the network’s bandwidth.
Verizon has already exerted some force on this band of unlimited data resistance fighters. It stopped offering unlimited data plans in 2011, so it wouldn’t renew two-year contracts. These people continued on Verizon on a month-to-month basis, and they also had to pay full price for new phones.
With this more expensive plan, unlimited Verizon customers will once again be allowed to buy new phones at an upfront discount that customers pay over time.
AT&T(T, Tech30) is similarly aggressively trying to coax people off unlimited plans. Try to upgrade to a new iPhone a month before your two-year contract is up, and AT&T will say no way — but it would gladly let you upgrade now if you just get off your grandfathered unlimited data plan.
But Verizon is the first to push off the last remaining stragglers by raising the rent. The company said it only applies to less than 1% of its customers.
Verizon spokesman Chuck Hamby said the company will take the extra revenue to reinvest in strengthening its cell phone network — widely regarded as the move reliable in the United States.
He justified the price increase, saying: “You’re getting access to the Verizon network, and that’s where the real value lies.”
This is the kind of thing that smaller competitors like T-Mobile will jump on and criticize. T-Mobile’s unlimited plan costs $80 per month. But keep in mind that customers still complain about the quality of cell phone connections on other networks.
“How do you put a cost on reliability?” Hamby said. “If you charge a little more, but you’re providing an excellent service, customers don’t mind that. They know you get what you pay for.”
Outgoing House Speaker John Boehner has canceled his appearance on NBC’s “Tonight Show” in the wake of Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s decision to drop out of the House Speaker race, a network spokesperson told CNN.
Boehner’s office had announced Wednesday that he would appear on Thursday’s edition of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” a highly anticipated booking given Boehner’s decision to step-down as speaker at the end of this month.
Then came today’s shocking news from Capitol Hill: McCarthy, the majority leader and favorite to replace Boehner, announced that he would no longer be seeking the speaker’s seat, leaving the House without a clear successor.
Boehner had still been scheduled to appear on the “Tonight Show” up until 1:20 pm, nearly an hour after news broke of McCarthy’s decision to pull out. Sometime between 1:20 pm and 1:40 pm, Boehner’s office informed NBC that the speaker would have to miss the 5 pm taping because of today’s events.
The “Tonight Show” will proceed with its other scheduled guests — Michael Fassbender, Brie Larson and musical guest Cee Lo Green — and will not seek a replacement for Boehner, the NBC spokesperson told CNN.
As of now, Boehner is still set to resign at the end of the month, though there is no clear successor in place.
Back in 2010, Auernheimer discovered that AT&T was inadvertently exposing iPad users’ personal information online. He went public with that information. As a result, he got arrested and was sentenced to three and a half years in a federal prison for violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
Angry and bitter — and trying to stay as far away from American law enforcement as possible — Auernheimer has roamed the Middle East and Eastern Europe since then, getting by on supporters’ donations in the digital currency Bitcoin.
On Thursday, Auernheimer wrote an email to two federal prosecutors in New Jersey whose office put him behind bars. CNNMoney was copied on that message.
“I have a message for you and federal prosecutors around the country: We are going to leak information to expose you all in the next days for the lying cheaters that you are,” Auernheimer wrote.
To find the names, Auernheimer looked through the exposed Ashley Madison database, which is now public.
Auernheimer said he plans to expose two federal prosecutors in New Jersey — and one in every other office around the country in the coming weeks.
Auernheimer said the information will be posted Thursday on an alternative, anti-establishment news website, GotNews.com.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey declined to comment, but officials said they were aware of the situation.
It’s unclear if his actions violate any laws. He’s not trying to extort them, the information is public and having an Ashley Madison account is legal.
CNNMoney spoke to Auernheimer and asked why he’s still angry. Here’s how he described his life.
“I used to make six figures,” he said. “Then I was kidnapped from my childhood home of Fayetteville, Arkansas, at gunpoint. My home was bulldozed. Three years of my life was stolen under false pretense. I was subject to beatings, false imprisonment, and extensive periods in solitary confinement, the latter of which is proven extensively in medical literature to cause permanent neurological damage. And now I am a destitute refugee with no home.”
And why seek revenge?
“It will lessen their lives,” he responded. “Federal prosecutors and their homes should be targets in every sense of the word. They are criminal slime, and they should receive every bit of damage back to them that they do to society.”
Rupert Murdoch, one of the world’s most powerful media moguls, posted a tweet Wednesday night that seemingly questioned whether President Obama is a “real black president.”
The tweet ricocheted around the web and was widely denounced.
Murdoch’s tweet was championing Ben Carson, a Republican who is the only African-American candidate in the presidential race.
“Ben and Candy Carson terrific,” he wrote. “What about a real black President who can properly address the racial divide? And much else.”
Murdoch’s use of the word “real” flabbergasted many online onlookers, some of whom concluded that the media mogul was questioning Obama’s race and identity.
Obama, the first black president of the United States, has also been dogged by false accusations that he isn’t a U.S. citizen.
What did Murdoch mean? “We don’t comment on his tweets,” a 21st Century Fox spokeswoman said.
Murdoch, 84, is the owner of Fox News Channel and a huge portfolio of other media brands, from the Fox broadcast network to the FX cable channel. He is the co-executive chairman of 21st Century Fox. He recently handed over the CEO reins to his son James.
Murdoch is an unusual user of Twitter, occasionally dashing off his thoughts about politics and world affairs without ever quite mastering the medium.
Murdoch has been boosting Carson in tweets for months. On Tuesday he plugged Carson’s appearance on the Fox News program “The Kelly File.”
Last week he wrote, “Everywhere pundits keep underestimating Ben Carson. But public understand humility as admirable, listen to the multi-faceted strong message.”
Before entering the presidential race, Carson was a paid contributor to the Fox News Channel.
Way back in March, after Carson left the network, but before he announced his presidential bid, Murdoch tweeted about Carson: “Wonderful character, up from Detroit ghetto, sadly seems political naif.”
As the months have progressed, Murdoch has turned more positive.
Back in August he celebrated Carson’s rise in the polls, and said “his life story should make every American optimistic.”
A week later he wrote that Carson’s standing in the polls is “improving every week,” and said Carson is “maybe the one to beat.” He added, “Irreproachable on background, achievements, character, vision.”
After an early September interview on “The Kelly File,” Murdoch said Carson was “impressive, humble but tough.”
Carson was back on Fox News on Wednesday night, but his interview, on Sean Hannity’s 10 p.m. show, was taped before Murdoch’s controversial tweet. Carson didn’t have any immediate response about Murdoch.
Don’t let his preppy looks,executive title and Harvard pedigree fool you, Zevia CEO Paddy Spence was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Far from it.
Along with his two brothers, Spence was raised by his single mother in a poor neighborhood in Cambridge, Massachusetts.Her selfless devotion and dogged fight to give her sons thebest education possible were instrumental in helping Spence land a full scholarship to a prestigious private elementary school and theninto the boarding school it fed into during his high school years.
But he also remembers watching his mother struggle to get by and being chided by the headmaster of his school for wearing secondhand jeans with knee patches — the only type of jeans he’d ever worn.
Spenceput himself through Harvard and Harvard Business School with scholarships and a job sorting packages at UPS. After graduating from Harvard Business School with his MBA in 1991, he became vice president of sales for Kashiat age 25. Four years later he left to start SPINS, which tracks and analyzes retail sales and other consumer marketing data for the health and wellness industry. He sold the company in 2004 and became president of Levlad, a personal care manufacturer known for natural shampoo and soap brand Nature’s Gate.
Five years ago, Spence and two executives from Levlad, bought Zevia, a company that makes naturally sweetened sodas using Stevia. Spence is now 48 and Zevia is now one of the fastest growing brands of diet soda in America, according to SPINS.
This is Spence’s American Success Story:
1) What was life like growing up?
I grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with a single mom who worked in office jobs and cleaned houses for a living. My mom was incredibly devoted, and spent most of her energy working to provide opportunities for me and for my brothers.
Two memories that stand out, and illustrate the depth of her commitment: 1) when I was 8 years old and a huge Boston Red Sox fan, she camped out and slept on the sidewalk to get tickets for us to attend the 1975 World Series; and 2) even though we were on a tight budget, my mom made every effort to serve us organic and healthy foods.
Things like this made me feel that, regardless of what we didn’t have, we could define for ourselves what was important and go after it. This was also an early inspiration for my later career in the natural food and beverage industry.
2) Please describe how your family fit into the neighborhood where you grew up.
Cambridge has some of the wealthiest zip codes in the state of Massachusetts, as well as some of the poorest. So I was exposed to extremes growing up. And Boston in the 1970′s was a largely segregated city, so in addition to significant socioeconomic divisions, there was intense racial tension. We lived halfway between the two worlds, and I was exposed to those differences on a daily basis.
At an early age, I was fortunate to receive a scholarship to a local private school, and while the economic differences between me and my classmates were apparent, I did my best to ignore them.
However, I distinctly remember being in fourth grade, when the principal pulled me aside and asked me not to wear pants with patches to school. My mom had bought all of my pants secondhand, with patches, and I recall looking at him blankly, confused as to how I’d possibly obtain brand new jeans.
That was hurtful, and made me realize how unfair it was to single people out based on what they had or didn’t have. At the same time, I was aware even then that what I experienced as a young white male was nothing like what people of color dealt with on a daily basis.
3) What was the biggest hurdle you ever encountered?
From a young age, it was clear that I was going to have to earn my own money, or go without it. That was just my reality, so I didn’t view it as a hurdle.
At age 9, I began delivering newspapers, and when I was 12, I started a landscaping business with my best friend that we operated through high school. Those were pivotal experiences, because I quickly learned how to deal with rejection. In life, as well as in business, getting doors slammed in your face is just part of the process, and it’s all about moving on and finding the next opportunity.
4) Do you think you were given fewer opportunities to get ahead than other successful people?
I personally believe that many times, “opportunities” are offered to a young person with strings attached. Sometimes, that can be as subtle as an expectation that you will pursue a specific path, or go to a certain school.
In my case, the limitations of our family’s resources were accompanied by a lack of expectations: my mom was always clear that she’d be proud of me no matter what I did, or what I became. That was freeing, and allowed me to forge my own path without anyone telling me what to do. The cliché is that adversity builds character, but I found that adversity can create freedom.
5) Do you think you had to work harder than most of your peers?
Early on, I learned that I performed best when struggling to keep up with other, more talented kids, and started seeking out the toughest competition I could find, whether at school, in sports, or whatever.
As a result, I was always forced to work extra hard to keep up, and in retrospect I think that was helpful. One of my best friends in sixth grade was an academic prodigy, and wrote a 50-page term paper; I remember wondering to myself how I could ever live up to that, and that desire to keep up drove me to work harder.
6) What was your “big break”?
Academics was my path to success growing up. I fell into studying Latin and ancient Greek, both because I had a knack for those languages and also because they were unusual and thus, interesting to colleges. This allowed me to get a scholarship at Harvard and complete my undergraduate studies in three years.
What I hadn’t thought about was what I would do with my degree in Classical Languages after I graduated. Trying to get job interviews with no corporate work experience and that esoteric degree was challenging to say the least.
I had worked nights at UPS for three years to put myself through school. And while being a Teamster didn’t seem like an interesting background for potential employers, I fortunately connected with a professor at Harvard Business School who had just taken a year off to study UPS. We hit it off right away, as he understood the unique value of that ground level experience, and I worked with him for two years.
That experience, and his willingness to take a chance on a kid who had sorted packages, but never used a spreadsheet, led to me getting my MBA at Harvard Business School. It also taught me that whatever your circumstance, you can find people who have shared experiences and find ways to collaborate with them.
7) Who is the one person that helped you get where you are today?
For me, it was really two people. My mother Claire was instrumental in getting me where I am today, and my wife Jerra has kept me on track during the past 15 years, through the ups and downs of an entrepreneurial career. What these two amazing women share is a supportive, accepting approach, as well as an appreciation for the everyday moments that make life so special. They both embrace unconventional ways of doing things, and encourage me to bend the rules.
8) What’s the one thing you do every day that helps you achieve your goals?
Throughout the day, I try to remain grateful for what I have, and what I’m fortunate to experience, and that keeps me focused. In 1995, my brother Colin, with whom I was very close, died unexpectedly in an on-the-job automobile accident. He was only 26, and that loss forever changed me, and my outlook on life.
When everything can be taken away in the blink of an eye, things like going bankrupt or losing a job seem trivial. Similarly, so much of what we all do is in pursuit of things that don’t ultimately matter, whether it’s money, houses, cars or simply the approval of others. By remaining focused on the things that matter the most to me — my family, my friends, and my health — I am able to keep my priorities in check and enjoy the brief time I have here on Earth.
9) How do you define success? And do you think you have achieved it?
Growing up in an environment of economic uncertainty, I have come to view stability as synonymous with success. If I can have some control over my schedule, enough money to live healthily, and most importantly, the ability to spend time every day with my wife and kids, I’ve achieved success.
10) What’s the riskiest thing you’ve ever done to get ahead and would you do it again?
Starting a company and fighting for smarter food options for consumers against large, established competitors is the riskiest career move I have made because there was no clear path to success.
I had to make it up as I went along, and fortunately it turned out well. It was exhilarating because of how challenging it was, and I quickly came to love being the scrappy underdog. It makes me excited to start every day.
Bill Simmons accused ESPN Wednesday of going soft on its coverage of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to protect its lucrative bid to air NFL football games.
“The way you’ve seen ESPN cover the NFL recently has been really shaky,” Simmons said during a panel session at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit in San Francisco.
Simmons, who recently joined HBO, went on to suggest that ESPN had gone soft on Goodell and his handling of recent controversies that have dogged the league. The reason, he said, was because the network wanted to hold onto its coveted rights to live game broadcasts.
ESPN “absolutely” held back from covering Goodell, Simmons said, and other networks — such as CBS — did too.
Simmons, a provocative sports writer and commentator who created the Grantland website and “30 for 30″ documentary series, was fired from ESPN in May. Part of the reason for his dismissal was because of controversial statements he had made about Goodell.
Simmons earned headlines this month after he said that ESPN was “in the tank” for the NFL. At Wednesday’s panel, Simmons singled out the Ray Rice controversy and the New England Patriots “Deflategate” controversy as examples of times the network pulled punches.
In a separate appearance on Wednesday, HBO CEO Richard Plepler stood by Simmons, saying he would never stand in the way of individual voices so long as they had integrity.
Former Reuters social media editor Matthew Keys was found guilty of helping hackers break into the Los Angeles Times website and deface one of its headlines, according to court documents filed Wednesday.
Keys, 28, faces up to 25 years in prison when he is sentenced on January 20, 2016.
He was found criminally responsible for giving hackers with the group Anonymous log-in credentials for a computer at the Tribune Co., which owns the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Baltimore Sun and other media outlets.
Keys had been fired from Tribune-Co. owned KTXL FOX 40 in October 2010. Two months later, he handed over the information Anonymous needed to hack its network.
He later went to work for Reuters, which dismissed him after he was charged with the crime.
Keys, who was indicted in 2013 by a grand jury in California, was found guilty on all three hacking-related charges.
In addition to possible prison time, he could also be sentenced to nine years of supervised release and a fine of $750,000.
Court documents include the log of an alleged online chat between Keys and an Anonymous member nicknamed “Sharpie,” who detailed accessing the Tribune server to change the LA Times story. “Sharpie” turned out to be “Sabu,” a former Anonymous member who notoriously became an FBI informant after his arrest.
The conviction was noted by Edward Snowden, a former CIA employe who is living in exile after leaking a massive cache of NSA documents.
Blacks who purchased their first homes between 2000 and 2010 would have been wise to hold on to their money instead.
According to new research from Johns Hopkins University, blacks were much more likely than whites to experience major declines in their overall net worth — regardless of whether they bought their homes before or during the Great Recession.
“We expected that both whites and blacks would lose if they purchased right around the recession and they did,” said Sandra Newman, a professor of policy studies at Johns Hopkins who co-authored the report.
But what the researchers didn’t expect were such stark racial differences.
For example, blacks who purchased their first home between 2003 and 2005 suffered a 23% loss in net worth. In the same period, the net worth of white first-time homebuyers jumped as much as 50%.
The disparity persisted after the housing market crashed.
Between 2007 and 2009 — the peak of the subprime mortgage crisis — net worth for black first-time homebuyers decreased 43%, compared to 33% for whites.
Net worth, or wealth, is defined as the value of assets including a home, retirement savings and earnings — minus the debt owed against those assets.
The racial wealth gap in the United States has been consistently wide for decades. Median wealth for white families hovers at about $134,000, compared to blacks at approximately $11,000 and Hispanics at around $13,900. Blacks also tend to earn less than whites.
As a result, the majority of wealth that people of color tend to accumulate is connected to the value of their home.
“It’s of great concern, because for many of these families that was their wealth, that’s what they have,” Newman said.
Part of the reason why blacks lost wealth is because their homes did not appreciate in value as much as those owned by whites, particularly if those homes are in majority black communities that experienced high rates of foreclosure and declining rates of homeownership.
In fact, the loss in net worth was so significant for blacks, some families may have been better served had they not bought homes at all.
“If they were renting they would not have lost all this equity in the home,” Newman said. “They could have invested that money or put it under the mattress.”