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Netflix Launches Netflix First(TM) and Unveils Docurama Partnership


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#1 of 1 OFFLINE   Jeff Gross

Jeff Gross

    Second Unit



  • 250 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 22 2002

Posted June 16 2003 - 09:35 AM

Saw this on Yahoo Finance and thought some people might find it interesting.


Monday June 16, 6:00 am ET
One Million Netflix Members to Receive Exclusive Access to Debut Films

LOS GATOS, Calif., June 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX - News), the world's largest online movie rental service, and Docurama, the only label dedicated to documentary films on DVD, today announced an exclusive distribution partnership. Under the agreement, Docurama will release and Netflix will promote to its more than one million members several critically acclaimed documentary titles that were unreleased previously in the DVD format. Docurama will distribute the titles widely through all channels once the exclusive window expires.
The agreement marks the launch of Netflix First™, an initiative significant for both movie fans and the film industry. Netflix First will provide Netflix members access to films they might not otherwise see. And, by efficiently aggregating and stimulating demand for these titles, Netflix First will help encourage filmmakers and studios to support more creative film projects.

"As home entertainment options grow and evolve," said Ted Sarandos, vice president of content acquisition at Netflix, "Netflix will continue to provide a simple way for movie fans to find just the right film and filmmakers an effective way to reach a broader and more diverse audience."

"Netflix First creates a platform similar to the practice of opening a film in major cities before building to national distribution," said Steve Savage, president and cofounder of New Video, parent company of the Docurama label. "Netflix First allows audiences to fully appreciate the promise of DVD, which not only allows you to enjoy box office hits, but also to find hidden film gems, no matter where you live."

Fueling Consumer Demand

Netflix will promote the Docurama titles on the Netflix website. Proprietary software allows the company to match more than one million members' ratings and rental histories to the largest selection of DVDs available anywhere. Netflix customers who rate movies receive unique and personal movie recommendations every time they visit the Netflix website. In an average month, members rent more than 97 percent of Netflix's 15,000 titles. More than 60 percent of member selections come from Netflix's recommendations.

Netflix First and Docurama
The first four Docurama titles featured as part of this agreement are:

-- William Gibson: No Maps For These Territories (2001). Profile of the
influential writer who coined the term "cyberspace" and wrote seven
science fiction novels including Neuromancer and the short story and
screenplay for Johnny Mnemonic. The film features original music by
Bono and The Edge from U2. Netflix First release date: July 15,
2003.

-- See How They Run (2002). An insider's look at the 2000 San Francisco
Mayoral election and highly publicized run-off between incumbent
Willie Brown and openly gay write-in candidate Tom Ammiano. Finalist
at the USA Film Festival/Dallas and Silver Plaque recipient at the
Chicago International Film Festival. Netflix First release date:
Aug. 15, 2003.

-- True Meaning of Pictures: Shelby Lee Adam's Appalachia (2002).
Director Jennifer Baichwal tells the story behind some of the
"hillbillies" photographed by Shelby Lee Adams over the past 30 years.
Her film debuted at Sundance last year. Netflix First release date:
Sept. 15, 2003.

-- Jupiter's Wife (1994). The true story of Maggie, a beguiling homeless
woman in her forties living in New York's Central Park. Claiming to
be the daughter of actor Robert Ryan and married to the Roman god
Jupiter, her story is both a complex enigma and a riveting tale.
Winner of the Special Jury Prize at Sundance. Netflix First release
date: Nov. 15, 2003.


The films are further described on the Netflix website, www.netflix.com , and on the Docurama website, www.docurama.com .