Netflix, online film & TV subscription service, added 3m new subscribers in the first quarter of 2013, beating forecasts its shares rose almost 25% in after-market trading.
The company launched House of Cards, the first of several original series to be released this year, and starring Kevin Spacey, now rivals HBO (part of Time Warner), for the number of subscribers in the US. Netflix’s move into originating content has placed it as a valid competitor to pay TV channels in the US, such as Showtime network, (CBS), and HBO.
Just this weekend it launched, a horror series from Eli Roth, Hemlock Grove, which it claimed more viewers in its first weekend than House of Cards. Next month it will release Arrested Development, a cult comedy much coveted by fans since it was taken off the air by the Fox network in 2006.
Viewing / subscriptions stats:
4bn hours of programming were viewed on Netflix across its service in the first quarter by 36m subscribers – although no viewing numbers for House of Cards or any other product were revealed, pretty impressive results.
US subscribers: 29.17m subscribers in the US, (up from 27.15m previous quarter – an amazing increase of just under 7.5%).
International subscribers: 7.14m, (up from 6.12m – and equally impressive nearly 17% increase for the same period).
Revenue for the quarter ending on March 31 rose to $1.02bn from $869.8m in the comparable period last year. The shares were trading at about $217 in after-hours trading.
Vince Cable was today due to pledge £300m for small and medium-sized enterprises struggling to access finance in the first phase of the government’s new business bank, according to this morning’s edition of the FT. But I can find no mention of this online, no fanfare heralding the birth of a new era of lending options for small businesses…
The cash was rumoured to be invested alongside at least the same amount from the private sector, and expected to be the first deployment of the £1bn of capital allocated to the bank.
The aim being for transactions to start taking place by the autumn. We’re only just starting to get the first buds of spring, so it feels premature to be keen to see the end of summer, but I’m sure there are plenty of businesses feeling that way, if allowed to finally start attracting additional funding.
It is hoped by the government to promote more financing options for SMEs by encouraging the growth of smaller lenders and new entrants. Investments will be made via new and existing lending channels on a commercial basis.
The article went on to explain the business secretary will invite proposals from lenders for “co-investment ” options through channels such as smaller lenders, debt funds, asset-backed lenders, supply chain finance, peer-to-peer lending and other platforms.
Apparently, Mr Cable was going to say: “Small and medium-sized businesses are still telling me that access to finance is their number one problem, preventing them from investing and growing.”
“Establishing a lasting business bank institution is a long-term project, but getting this money [to] SMEs as soon as possible is the first step.”
Due to make the announcement on a visit to Casemir Chocolates in Enfield, a chocolate maker that secured investment from Funding Circle, a peer-to-peer lender, after it had been refused finance by its bank.
Funding Circle has featured in this blog before, so great to see them putting their funding where their chocolate-covered mouth is! Wonder what this will mean for other small lending organisations, like Capexpand, EZBOB, IWOCA, Kabbage, (no relation!) and United Kapital?
So, apart from a beguiling image on the BBC news site, there doesn’t seem to be any other mention – however, surely if the business secretary was going to dip his digits into company chocolate, he must have been there for a very good reason?! I expect the morning will bring news of the announcement in all it’s appetising glory.
Comparisons abound between the current Man Utd striking force and their predecessors from the 1999 treble-winning side. But, in this film by Mob Films for bwin we see whether Wayne and co are really a match for them.
It’s almost impossible to compare different eras… or is it? Because Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole – who had a seemingly telepathic understanding in the 1998/99 team – wanted to see if Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez could match their magic in a series of telepathic challenges.
Take a look at the film above and draw your own conclusion.
Want to buy a home in the UK – how will the government help you with the proposed Help to Buy scheme?
In an immediate market response to the proposed scheme to help more people in the UK onto the much fabled property ladder, predictions of a new property boom have helped lift the fortunes of house-builders to five-year highs.
JPMorgan forecast national house price inflation of 5 per cent in 2015 and 2016, with London speeding into the distancefrom the current 10 per cent.
Mortgage subsidies, the centrepiece of last week’s spring Budget, would trigger a jump in activity and prices, particularly for the lower end of the London market, with JP Morgan forecasting national house price inflation of 5% in 2015/16 – with London speeding off into the distance, (from the current 10%), the lower end of its property market inevitably becoming a clear winner.
“We estimate that there are 1m first-time buyers who have failed to buy since 2008, because of constrained mortgage market conditions,” the broker told clients. “Of those if even half find funding and attempt to buy over the next three years, we would see a 27 per cent increase in housing demand.”
BUT WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR ME?
OPTION ONE: EQUITY LOAN
Example: £200k property
Buyer: 5% deposit, £10k
Government equity: 20%, £40k
Mortgage lender: 75%, £150k
Applies to new build only. A deposit of 5% full property value will be required by buyer, (expands First Buy scheme and is now available to all, not just first-time buyers). Government will lend 20% of the value through an equity loan, which can be repaid at any time, or upon the sale of the home – remaining 75% mortgage will need to be secured from a bank or building society. Expanded scheme is available from 1st April ’13 and will run for 3 years, providing an additional £3.5b investment. Maximum home purchase £600k.
OPTION TWO: MORTGAGE GUARANTEE
Example: £200k property
Buyer: 5% deposit, £10k
Mortgage lender: 95%, £190k
(Government guarantee to mortgage lender 15%, £40k)
Applies to new build & existing homes. A deposit of 5% full property value will be required by buyer, and it will be available to existing homeowners as well as first-time buyers. A mortgage will need to be secured for your purchase, with the government encouraging lenders to offer better access to low-deposit mortgages. Available from January 2014 scheme will run for 3 years. Maximum home purchase of £600k.
What is Help to Buy?
Help to Buy is made up of two schemes – “equity loan” where the Government will loan you up to 20% of the value of your new build home and “mortgage guarantee” where lenders will be incentivised to make more mortgages available for people with small deposits.
Why has the Government set up these schemes?
The Government wants to help more people across the country make the aspiration of home ownership a reality. Help to Buy is aimed at increasing the supply of low-deposit mortgages as well as new housing.
Can I buy a house using Help to Buy?
If you have a 5% deposit and want to buy a new build home, you’ll be able to access the Help to Buy: equity loan scheme from 1 April 2013. If you want to buy a property which is either new build or an existing property, the Help to Buy: mortgage guarantee will be available from January 2014.
What if I don’t have a deposit – can I still get a mortgage?
To access a Help to Buy product, buyers will need a minimum 5% deposit.
Am I guaranteed to get a mortgage? Are there any criteria I need to meet?
For both schemes, borrowers will need to meet appropriate tests to ensure they can pay back the mortgage, as well passing their chosen lender’s credit and affordability checks.
How much can I borrow?
Subject to meeting the eligibility criteria and affordability checks, you’ll be able to use either Help to Buy scheme to purchase a property with a value up to £600,000.
Can existing homeowners access the scheme?
Yes. Both schemes are available to home movers as well as first-time-buyers, subject to meeting the relevant eligibility criteria.
Can I get an interest only mortgage using Help to Buy?
Help to Buy is only available on capital repayment mortgages.
Can I buy a property using Help to Buy and rent it out?
Help to Buy will only be available on properties which are occupied by the individual or individuals taking out the mortgage.
How do I go about accessing these schemes?
Help to Buy: equity loan will be available from 1 April 2013. Buyers will be able to access this through participating housebuilders and HomeBuy agents.
Help to Buy: mortgage guarantee will be available from January 2014. The Government will provide further details about the scheme later in the year.
Can I get a mortgage through an incorporated company?
Help to Buy mortgages are only available to an individual or individuals rather than incorporated companies.
Can I still get a NewBuy mortgage?
Yes. This scheme is still in place and remains open to buyers.
QUESTIONS ON HELP TO BUY: EQUITY LOAN
What is the Help to Buy: equity loan scheme?
The Government will provide buyers with an equity loan of up to 20% of the value of a new build property. The loan is interest free for the first five years. From year six a fee of 1.75% is payable on the equity loan, which rises annually by RPI inflation plus 1 %.
When will I be able to get a Help to Buy: equity loan?
Help to Buy: equity loan will be available from 1 April 2013.
When will I have to pay back my equity loan?
The equity loan can be repaid at any time within 25 years (or the terms of the mortgage), or on sale of the property.
Why can’t I get an equity loan on a property that’s not new build?
Help to Buy: equity loan is focused on new build properties only. Buyers wanting to purchase an existing property may be interested in the Help to Buy: mortgage guarantee.
QUESTIONS ON HELP TO BUY: MORTGAGE GUARANTEE
What is the Help to Buy: mortgage guarantee?
Subject to the final scheme design, the Government will make available £12bn of guarantees to lenders which will be sufficient to support £130 billion of high loan to value mortgages. The purpose of the scheme is to increase the availability of mortgages for buyers with small deposits.
How does the scheme work?
The Government will provide lenders with the option to purchase a guarantee on the high loan-to-value portion of the mortgage. This guarantee will incentivise lenders to offer a greater number of mortgages to buyers with small deposits.
When will I be able to get a Help to Buy: mortgage guarantee?
Help to Buy: mortgage guarantee will be available from January 2014.
Will the Government be guaranteeing my mortgage payments for me?
No. Under Help to Buy: mortgage guarantee, the Government will provide guarantees to lenders on a proportion of the mortgage. If a borrower’s property is repossessed, the Government will cover a proportion of the losses suffered by lenders.
What type of property can I buy?
Help to Buy: mortgage guarantee will be available on all residential properties in the UK, up to a value of £600,000.
I have a deposit which is larger than 20% – will I still be able to get a Help to Buy: guarantee mortgage?
Help to Buy: mortgage guarantee will only be available to buyers with deposits between 5% and 20%. Mortgages are already widely available for those with a deposit of 20% or more.
Will I be able to get a Help to Buy: mortgage guarantee on a property that’s not new build?
Help to Buy: mortgage guarantee will be available on both new build homes and existing properties.
Who should I contact about getting a Help to Buy: mortgage guarantee?
The Government will provide further details on how to get a Help to Buy: mortgage guarantee later this year. Help to Buy: guarantee mortgages will not be available until January 2014.
Will lenders have to offer me a guaranteed mortgage?
No. Lenders may choose whether to use the guarantee or not.
What will the interest rate be on Help to Buy: mortgage guarantee?
Interest rates on products supported by Help to Buy: mortgage guarantee will be set by lenders. The Government will not be involved in setting the price, which is a commercial decision for individual lenders.
What unites the Manchester United Legends and the work of the Manchester United Foundation is the shared belief that commitment, dedication and hard work gets your results, earns you respect and brings you rewards.
This match is a serious business. With Old Trafford and the Real Madrid Legends waiting, the Manchester United Legends have to train hard to get fit.
Like retired fighters, they do this in secret, undetected and away from the public gaze. The Legends run many early morning miles and toil away for many weeks, right through the winder. They do this not in glamorous locations, but in dark, sweaty places of pain and the backstreets of Manchester.
In this film we see Bryan Robson, the Legends coach, put his hand-picked United team through a rigorous training regime, until he is satisfied they are ready to pull on the famous red shirt once more!
Dennis Irwin, Lee Sharpe, Dion Dublin, Quinton Fortune, Dwight Yorke, Andy Cole, Mikael Sylvestre and, of course, Bryan Robson – the Legends are back!
Albert Woodfox: after 40 years of ‘inhuman’ punishment, conviction overturned for 3rd time – please help make it permanent
Kabbage absolutely LOVES this!!! Amazing second single from David Bowie’s new album. Recorded on the down-low, he shows everyone how to do release “magic”. Kabbage hasn’t been this excited about new creative since Modern Love – haha, well, maybe…
Take a look at this film highlighting a few of the features on the upcoming Google Glass product – prepare to be amazed!!
Posted on YouTube this morning, you can witness for yourself how incredible these are going to be when they’re (hopefully) released, sometime in 2014 – record video/pictures, search for images, receive SMS, use geo-location tech, search for images, details of flights , local weather info, (any internet-based info), using voice-activation features!
A competition to use the device has been launched, inviting people to tweet or use Google+ to highlight what they would use Google Glass for, given the opportunity to try a set. The hashtag for the competition is #ifihadglass, with a word limit of 50 words, and pictures are also accepted.