Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A New Search Experience for the Website

At Netflix we’re always thinking about ways to improve the user experience. Starting today, we are rolling out a new search experience on the website. With the new instant search tool, you’ll get faster and easier access to your favorite movies, TV shows and actors.


For the new search experience, we use lush cover art that delivers a more visual presentation across the page. As you start typing your query, potential matches of TV shows and movies appear in the grid of cover art. The new style makes it easier for the user to scan the results and, combined with the infinite scroll functionality,  gives the user an intuitive way to explore the Netflix catalog.

A list of actors, directors and creators matching the query is shown on the left hand side. When clicking on any of those results, a new gallery will open with all the titles related to that person. The left rail is also used for suggestions related to genres, topical searches and searches for titles that are unavailable to stream.  In each case, users see recommendations based on that suggestion, as shown in the screenshot below.


One last feature supports our growing list of Netflix Originals. Simply type in “netflix” and the page displays all the shows and movies under the Netflix banner.

We’ll continue to work on improving the search experience across all devices that our members use to watch content on Netflix. For now, we hope you’ll enjoy the new search experience on the website,

-Roelof

Roelof van Zwol is director of product innovation for search and personalization algorithms at Netflix

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Post-Play on Google Chromecast

As we mentioned back in June, we have been working on bringing the "Post-Play" feature to Chromecast. We are pleased to announce that it is now ready and will be available over the next few days to all members using Chromecast with compatible mobile phones or tablets. PC support will follow soon.


We increased the countdown slightly to allow for more time to grab your phone or tablet, but otherwise it works just like the other devices that already support “Post-Play”.





Make sure you have the latest Netflix Android and iOS applications from Google Play and the Apple iTunes App Store to start using "Post-Play" on Chromecast!

Carenina and Kevin

Carenina Motion is a Partner Engagement Manager at Netflix
Kevin Morris is a Senior Software Engineer at Netflix

Monday, September 8, 2014

Netflix ISP Speed Index for August

We have added August data to the Netflix ISP Speed Index, our monthly update on which Internet Service Providers (ISPs) provide the best prime time Netflix streaming experience.

In the U.S., interconnection agreements with AT&T, Time Warner Cable and Verizon resulted in significant increases in Internet speeds for all three providers in August. AT&T U-Verse led the way, with its speed jumping more than one Megabit per second (Mbps) to 2.61 from 1.44 over last month and rising seven spots in the U.S. speed index to No. 7. Verizon FiOS speeds increased to 2.41 Mbps from 1.61, and Time Warner Cable rose to 2.59 this month from 2.16 in July. These dramatic increases pushed the U.S. average speed to 2.57 in August, now ranking 11th among the countries we track -- ahead of Brazil and Chile.

In Brazil, Oi Velox emerged from last place, increasing its speed to 1.55 Mbps in August from 1.22 last month.

In Norway, UNINETT dropped to last place as Eidsiva and Broadnet both increased their speeds to 2.98 Mbps and 2.95 Mbps respectively.

The Netflix ISP Speed Index is based on data from the more than 50 million Netflix members worldwide who view over 1 billion hours of TV shows and movies streaming from Netflix each month. The listed speeds reflect the average performance during prime time of all Netflix streams on each ISP's network and are an indicator of the performance typically experienced across all users on an ISP network. A faster network generally means a better picture quality, quicker start times and fewer interruptions. 

Note: The average performance is below the peak performance due to many factors including the variety of encodes Netflix uses to deliver the TV shows and movies as well as the variety of devices members use and home network conditions. These factors cancel out when comparing across ISPs.


The latest regional rankings are below.


Anne Marie


Anne Marie Squeo is a member of the Netflix communications team.








Thursday, September 4, 2014

Netflix Supports FCC Chairman's Call for Increased Broadband Competition

Nearly everything we do today requires an Internet connection. Its persistent, increasing presence in our lives makes today's comments by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler all the more important.  If the future of broadband competition is 'inexorably tied' to America's economic opportunity, how can we settle for a situation where nearly three-quarters of Americans lack a competitive choice for fast Internet service? 

Given today's broad array of Internet uses, 25 Mbps is 'table stakes' for consumers. These fast connections enable consumers to enjoy movies, games, online classes and more. Open Internet connections enable innovators to build the next-generation of Internet companies with the assurance their content or application can reach consumers without interference. Efficient businesses such as these make the U.S. more competitive with other countries that enjoy faster Internet speeds at lower costs. 

As is the case in most industries, improvements such as faster speeds or lower prices generally result from real competition. Without it, there are no market pressures to set appropriate pricing and no alternatives for consumers and businesses alike. As Chairman Wheeler rightly points out, “last-mile power cannot be a lever for gaining an unfair advantage.” 

In his speech and Agenda for Broadband Competition, the Chairman forcefully stated a hard truth - there simply is not enough competition to protect consumers and businesses who rely on the Internet. It takes real leadership for our country to chart a positive agenda for bigger, faster, cheaper broadband and all the innovation it brings. 

-Christopher 

Christopher Libertelli is Netflix's vice president of global public policy

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Got Any Good Recommendations?

At Netflix, we believe that great stories have the power to connect us with the people we care about.

You know that feeling when you've watched something really great, something that moves you or makes you laugh, and you immediately think of someone else who would love it too? It’s the feeling of wanting your friends and family to enjoy the show just as much as you did.

Starting today, we’re launching our new social recommendation feature that allows you to easily, and privately, recommend the shows you love to the people you care about.


When you finish watching something you’ll be asked if you know anyone else who’d like that show, and prompted to find your friends by connecting to Facebook.  


Connecting will not post to Facebook or share what you watch to your friends’ News Feed.

After selecting friends from a row of their pictures, and adding an optional message, click Send. Your friends will receive the recommendation the next time they log into Netflix. They can thank you for the recommendation, and if they watch it or add it to their list, we’ll let you know.



For friends who have not yet connected Netflix and Facebook, we’ll send your recommendation as a private message to Facebook Messenger.

The feature is available on the website, iPad, iPhone, PS3, Xbox, and many set-top boxes and smart TVs. We’ll be adding additional platforms in the coming months.

The next time you watch a great story on Netflix, passing it along to someone you care about will be just a click away. We hope you enjoy.

Cameron

Cameron Johnson is director of product innovation at Netflix

Monday, August 11, 2014

Netflix ISP Speed Index for July


We have added July data to the Netflix ISP Speed Index, our monthly update on which Internet Service Providers (ISPs) provide the best prime time Netflix streaming experience.
Among the countries tracked in the Netflix ISP Speed Index, the U.S. continues to lag behind many in Europe and the Americas. Of the 20 countries we assess, the U.S. ranked 13th with average speed of 2.23 Mbps. The Netherlands leads in performance, averaging 3.61 Mbps in July, with Norway, Denmark and Sweden all posting speeds better than 3 Mbps. On the other end of the scale, Costa Rica averaged speeds of 1.48 Mbps last month, though it has steadily improved its performance since we began tracking this year.   
This month we also are rolling out technology icons for 12 other countries including Canada and Mexico in our continuing effort to make it easier to compare Netflix performance on different types of networks.

The Netflix ISP Speed Index is based on data from the more than 50 million Netflix members worldwide who view over 1 billion hours of TV shows and movies streaming from Netflix each month. The listed speeds reflect the average performance during prime time of all Netflix streams on each ISP's network and are an indicator of the performance typically experienced across all users on an ISP network. A faster network generally means a better picture quality, quicker start times and fewer interruptions.

Note: The average performance is below the peak performance due to many factors including the variety of encodes Netflix uses to deliver the TV shows and movies as well as the variety of devices members use and home network conditions. These factors cancel out when comparing across ISPs.

The latest regional rankings are below.

Anne Marie

Anne Marie Squeo is a member of the Netflix communications team.






Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Netflix Submits FCC Comments on Proposed Net Neutrality Rules

We submitted our comments to the Federal Communications Commission in the Net Neutrality proceeding (which the FCC calls “In the matter of protecting and promoting an open Internet.”) We believe the way the FCC handles this issue will have a huge impact on the Internet innovation that has increased consumer choice in so many ways.   


Here are a few highlights from our filing:

  • Netflix believes that achieving strong net neutrality is critical to maintaining a vibrant, open Internet to promote free expression, diversity of content, and continued innovation. ISPs should not impede, favor, or charge Internet services that consumers choose to use.  To prevent this, the Commission should adopt clear enforceable anti-discrimination and no-blocking rules for the last mile.  The Commission also must require ISPs to provide sufficient interconnection to cover the capacity demanded and paid for by their customers, without charging access tolls to online content providers. (Comments Page 25)


  • The Commission’s proposal does little to protect the open Internet.  In fact, by endorsing the concept of paid prioritization, as well as ambiguous enforcement standards and processes, the Commission’s proposed rules arguably turn the objective of Internet openness on its head—allowing the Internet to look more like a closed platform, such as a cable television service, rather than an open and innovative platform driven by the virtuous circle. (Comments Page 4)


  • Allowing ISPs to monetize congestion will likely create more congestion, threatening the current model that has made the Internet so successful, and likely raising barriers for innovative services.  (Comments Page 6)


  • Title II provides a solid basis to adopt prohibitions on blocking and unreasonable discrimination by ISPs. …The D.C. Circuit in Verizon pointed to the Commission’s failure to reclassify broadband Internet access as a telecommunications service under Title II as the chief impediment to a solid jurisdictional basis for meaningful open Internet rules. (Comments Page 21)


Anne Marie


Anne Marie Squeo is a member of the Netflix communications team.