Monday, June 9, 2014

Netflix ISP Speed Index for May

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

The Netflix ISP Speed Index aims to provide transparency and help consumers understand the Internet access they’re actually getting from their ISP. The average Netflix stream is about 2 Mbps (with most streams ranging from 256Kbps to 5.8Mbps), a fraction of the bandwidth most consumers purchase from their broadband provider. Still, in some cases, people are unable to enjoy a high quality Netflix experience.

As part of this transparency campaign, we started a small scale test in early May that lets consumers know, while they’re watching Netflix, that their experience is degraded due to a lack of capacity into their broadband provider’s network. We are testing this across the U.S. wherever there is significant and persistent network congestion This test is scheduled to end on June 16. We will evaluate rolling it out more broadly.

Some broadband providers argue that our actions, and not theirs, are causing a degraded Netflix experience. Netflix does not purposely select congested routes. We pay some of the world’s largest transit networks to deliver Netflix video right to the front door of an ISP. Where the problem occurs is at that door -- the interconnection point -- when the broadband provider hasn’t provided enough capacity to accommodate the traffic their customer requested.

Some large US ISPs are erecting toll booths, providing sufficient capacity for services requested by their subscribers to flow through only when those services pay the toll. In this way, ISPs are double-dipping by getting both their subscribers and Internet content providers to pay for access to each other. We believe these ISP tolls are wrong because they raise costs, stifle innovation and harm consumers. ISPs should provide sufficient capacity into their network to provide consumers the broadband experience for which they pay.

Here are some data points from the May update of the Netflix ISP Speed Index:

The Netflix ISP Speed Index is based on data from the more than 48 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 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.


Joris Evers is part of the communications team at Netflix

Friday, June 6, 2014

Continue Watching on Android Phones and Tablets

At Netflix we’re very focused on making it easier to enjoy more TV shows and movies. If you use Netflix on Playstation 3, our website or a number of other devices, you may already be familiar with the “Post-Play” feature. Today we added this feature to our Android app making it even easier to watch more on additional devices.

“Post-Play” works for both TV shows (phones and tablets) and movies (tablets only). At the end of an episode, we will automatically queue up the next one and start playback unless you choose to pause or stop. For movies, we will offer three recommendations to try next. You can dismiss “Post-Play” by simply tapping on the video.

“Post-Play” is now available to all Android phones, tablets and the Amazon Kindle Fire running Android 4.0 and greater. Download today from Google Play.

And check back in a few months...we are working on “Post-Play” for Chromecast.

Rob and Francois

Rob Caruso is director, engagement management at Netflix
Francois Goldfain is engineering manager at Netflix

Monday, June 2, 2014

This Month's Picks for Families: Just for Mom and Dad

As a working mom of two little kids I couldn't imagine living without Netflix. Honestly. It was true even before I started working here. To help show other families out there how Netflix fits into your life, we've created, “This Month’s Picks for Families.’ Every month we’ll make recommendations and give you some ideas that could fit into your family’s routine that month. And we’ll also include some craft or recipe ideas, but don’t worry we’ll keep them realistic and practical.

I did the two under two thing; my kids are 21 months apart.  That means I spent about 4 straight years giving baths, getting little people to bed and then crashing myself.  During this time, I did manage to watch a little TV, of course always on my DVR. During my bath and snuggle giving years, my tv repertoire consisted of a few Law & Order franchises, Brothers & Sisters, Desperate Housewives and American Idol.  That’s about all I could keep up with.  

Then as the fog of motherhood started to lift, we got an Apple TV.  The first time I turned on the shiny black box, I found another shiny red button – Netflix – right there on my screen.  I used to love the DVD by mail service, so I clicked another shiny new button on my tiny new remote and I found Cauiou.  And SuperWhy.  And Tinkerbell.  And Jake.  I couldn’t believe these shows were just waiting for me.  So of course I called the kids into my bedroom and we snuggled in front of our newfound best friends.  That night after I put my kids to bed, I found The Killing (my mom, an avid TV lover, had been telling me to watch it, but who had time?).  One week later I binged my first TV show and had a few more circles under my eyes to show for it. Devastated that the season was over (and if you’ve watched Season 1 you know what I mean), I thought what now?  I looked around and I found all these shows that I had been hearing about, but never watched.   GLEE.  If you try to pop into that show having never watched it, it’s ridiculous!  But start from the beginning and I FINALLY got what everyone was talking about.  Then I found Revenge and Scandal.  And that filled up about a month of my TV watching time. My husband didn’t get it…what was I watching all this time?  I explained to him how all the seasons of Mad Men were on Netflix (we still had one of the Season 1 DVDs at home because I kept them so long, Blockbuster kindly sold them to me), he didn’t believe me and clearly thought I had joined a TV cult of some sort.  I finally convinced him to give it a try and before we knew it we watched all of Season 3 and he was hooked.  Then we found Breaking Bad...WE WATCHED ALL FOUR SEASONS.  Then he wanted something lighter so we tried Sons Of Anarchy. :)  I went on a business trip and he watched two whole seasons without me!  You get the idea.

We watch something on Netflix almost every day and we have fallen into a rhythm that I hear other couples talk about.  We have shows we watch together (The Killing, Damages, House of Cards), we have shows one of us stopped watching because the other one watched ahead (Sons of Anarchy).   Shows that I LOVE but still fall asleep to every Friday night (Sherlock, The West Wing).  Shows we pile up in the My List feature (House, Lost, Friday Night Lights, Bates Motel, Rectify)...but never actually start watching.  And I have shows that I watch all by myself (GLEE, Revenge, Scandal, Orange is the New Black).  And while I like being in the know about current shows, watching all these great shows on Netflix is really just for me.  I grew up in a TV watching family and yet I missed out on some fantastic shows while I was busy keeping two little people alive (by the way, my kids are still alive, but at 4 and 6 they are much easier to take care of!).  In fact, I started Nip/Tuck last night, I thought it was a reality TV show when it was on…boy was I wrong.

So this month, we pulled together a list of primetime shows that you too may have missed out on...and some gems that might not have hit your newsfeed, but you might just fall in love with.  

Titles you've heard about, but haven't had time to watch:
1. Orange Is the New Black
2. Scandal
3. Pretty Little Liars
4. Sherlock
5. Breaking Bad

Wait, what was that show? Sleeper hits you may have missed:

2. Call the Midwife
3. Freaks and Geeks
4. Shameless
5. Top of the Lake

Watching a TV show is inevitably an excuse for a snack. And if you’ve started watching Scandal, It doesn't take many episodes to realize main gladiator, Olivia Pope, has a big glass of red wine and bowl of popcorn after a long day. Like Olivia, I know many of us parents feel like the "fixer" in the family too -- so click here to learn how to make your own Scandal-worthy snack for the ultimate indulgence.

Moms and dads, what are you enjoying on Netflix? I’ll be sure to add it to My List.

- Jenny

Jenny McCabe is director of the Consumer PR team at Netflix (and a mom of two)