Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) announced Thursday that it would offer prize money of $100,000 to innovators who suggest improvements for the streaming video industry giant.
The Netflix Cloud Prize "challenges developers around the world to do their very best to improve the features, usability, quality, reliability and security of computing resources delivered as a service over the Internet," the company said in a press release.
Netflix is choosing a pivotal time to invest money into research about cloud computing, a burgeoning industry segment for companies which conduct some or all of their business online. Recent startup online streaming service Boxee, which might one day become a Netflix competitor, offers its customers unlimited cloud DVR storage space for the over-the-air content they stream and record.
Neil Hunt, chief product officer at Netflix, emphasized the importance of the cloud in a prepared statement about the Netflix Cloud Prize.
"We're laying railroad tracks for cloud adoption and usage," Hunt said, adding that the prize is "designed to improve understanding of what it takes to build native applications for the cloud."
The prize will be divided evenly into 10 categories and will be judged by a panel of experts including Amazon.com CTO Werner Vogels, Thoughtworks Chief Scientist Martin Fowler, Strategist Simon Wardley, Telx SVP Joe Weinman, University of Aarhus Developer Training Expert Aino Corry and Netflix Cloud VP Yury Izrailevsky. The contest runs from March 13 through Sept. 15, 2013.
- see the Netflix release
- check out the contest rules
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