Backstory: Netflix

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Last month, Netflix delivered its 1 billionth DVD to a subscriber in Texas. On today’s Backstory, Andreas Kluth, the Bay Area technology correspondent for the Economist, explores the inner workings of the film rental giant.

Comments [6]

Chris from Brooklyn, NY

I love Netflix too and don't know yet what we'll do once we have moved to Belgium. Hopefully there is something similar!

Streaming is certainly the future, or 'pay-per-view' I guess. While I have no (or very few) problems with the mail (even in Brooklyn), shipping digital information (i.e. DVD's) by mail seems doomed in the age of broadband internet. And that's fine with me.

Mar. 20 2007 02:03 PM
Amy from Brooklyn

Yes, I have had the same problems: broken disks, missing disks... cardboard sleeves would be really great for us but cost more for them.

Mar. 20 2007 01:35 PM
fiamma from nyc

I've never had that problem, probably because I'm a "slow user"

Mar. 20 2007 01:32 PM
Margaret from Brooklyn

I LOVE Netflix! The only problem I have is actually with the US Postal Service. I live in Brooklyn, which has (I've heard) one of the worst reliability records in the country. The mailboxes in my apartment building are narrow, and I've had Netflix discs broken in half, folded, then slipped inside. The USPS has also lost approx 7 discs on their way to me (which caused Netflix to freeze my account for a brief time). My favorite 'flix delivery was just the front of the envelope, with my name on it. No disc. Luckily, the disc made it's own intrepid way back to Netflix.

Has anyone else had this problem in NYC? Do you think we could convince Netflix to use cardboard sleeves? Or offer them as an upgrade? Is anyone else dying for a Netflix settop box for downloads? I am! Gizmodo blog showed a picture of this dream.

Mar. 20 2007 01:30 PM
Oswald Boole

Netflix was sued for throttling high volume users. They lost & now explicitly state in their policy that they'll limit to heavy users:

under "Allocation, Delivery and Return
of Rented DVDs" is:

>In determining priority for shipping and inventory allocation, we
>may utilize many different factors, including without limitation,
>the number and type of DVDs you rent through our service, the
>subscription plan you select, as well as other uses of our service
>by you. For example, if all other factors are the same, we give
>priority to those members who receive the fewest DVDs through our

That means that for someone like me, who returns my dvds the next day that bestsellers (eg. The Departed, Babel, Hollywoodland) are in my queue as being available within 30 days.

Mar. 20 2007 01:22 PM
Amy from Brooklyn

Has anyone tried the "watch now" feature? I watched "Andromeda Strain" last night, streaming it from Netflix. It doesn't cost extra, it's part of my current subscription. It worked great! I give it two thumbs up.

Mar. 20 2007 10:35 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.