Netflix to Add Social Features and 4 Media Titans to Watch

Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX): After Congress finally updated a restrictive law from the era of the VHS tape, Netflix Inc. will bring new social features to United States users next year. The “Video Privacy Protection Amendments Act of 2012” updated the old video-privacy act which had prohibited companies from disclosing their VHS and laser-disc rental history without a court order. It also prevented companies like Netflix and Hulu from sharing that history as well as likes, dislikes and more on social media sites.

Coinstar, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSTR) management has confirmed that demand for the company’s movies has recovered during the current quarter. The stock’s valuation is attractive and they maintain a Buy rating on the shares. In early trading, Coinstar rose 96c, or 1.89%, to $51.75.

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Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE:TWC): According to the New York Post, Time Warner Cable is telling some of their least popular channels, including IFC and WE TV that are part of AMC Networks (AMCX), they can either go dark or get no fee at all in return for continued distribution of their service.

Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA): After a new long-term incentive plan, Comcast-owned Hulu employees are no longer considered owners. Due to this change, there is speculation that not only Chief Executive Officer Jason Kilar may leave, but also members of their senior team, such as Andy Forssell and Jean-Paul Colaco, may join him.

DIRECTV, Inc. (NASDAQ:DTV) will ring in 2013 with a price hike that will increase customer bills by an average of 4.5% as the satellite operator claimed the fees that they pay broadcasters and cable networks will rise by about 8% next year. The new prices take effect Feb. 7, 2013. In a message sent to DirecTV customers, SVP Ellen Filipiak said, “Almost all programmers who provide channels to the DirecTV platform are increasing their rates at a level we’ve never seen before.”

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