How Netflix Plans To Convert The Whole World To Binge-Watching

How Netflix Plans to Convert the Whole World to Binge-Watching

With an expansion early this year, Netflix now reaches basically anyone with an internet connection. Keeping its service running smoothly and efficiently with that many customers is a tall order, so Wired took a look and the hardware and software keeping our binge watching ticking. Among a wide-ranging behind-the-scenes dive into Netflix's global expansion are some interesting tidbits. On testing out different top images:

The moment Daredevil premiered, Netflix greeted its users with eight header image variations of Matt Murdoch [sic] and friends, shown to customers in eight identically sized chunks. Netflix immediately began tracking which top shots inspired the most streaming.

By now, those eight images will have given way to the best-performing two or three. After 35 days, one of those will become the default. The rest will vanish.

The infrastructure Netflix has to install to support its streaming needs is arguably even more impressive. The Netflix-in-a-box is not new, but the scale of the operation (and how important it is to not breaking the entire internet) is daunting:

"The total capacity of the Internet's country-to-country backbone is 35TB per second, says Ken Florance, Netflix's VP of content delivery. "Our peak traffic is more than that … . Our scale is actually larger than the international capacity of the Internet." Netflix doesn't literally break the Internet because the vast majority of its traffic is delivered locally, via Open Connect, rather than across the transoceanic cables that connect the Internet between continents."

The full article is a worthwhile insight into the technical and legal hoops Netflix has to jump through to operate all around the world, especially given the tangle of licensing agreements the company has to work with.

But it also provides a moment for pause: with Netflix's global growth, and its obvious push to buy more and more original content, a future definitely exists where Netflix becomes the only big buyer of TV shows around. Sure, for now, Netflix is the cheap, friendly alternative to mean pay-TV companies, but that might not last forever.


WATCH MORE: Entertainment News


    Bring it on. I do not watch TV on someone else's schedule in front of a box.

    The problem with binge watching? It means I'm late to the party and have totally missed the conversation around whatever it is. Add to this the fact that AU Netflix doesn't have crap, and Netflix everywhere doesn't mean much to me. At least US has the most recent season of pretty much everything I want to watch.

      I realise you have written 'pretty much everything I want to watch', but for the most part, Netflix doesn't have the most recent season of ANYTHING other than its original content (which is available ubiquitously to all Netflix subscribers).

      And while there certainly is a smaller library in Australia, the gap has vastly narrowed since its Australian launch, when our library really sucked monkey balls.

      My DNS spoofer is still working for me, but to be completely honest, I'm finding less and less reason to use it.

        Wow really? I'm finding Netflix AU so pathetic I'm pretty much about to cancel my membership and go back to torrenting. Paying for what I wanted to watch was great while it lasted.

          Lol, we must have different taste in shows!

          But yeah, Netflix in general doesn't have anything up to date other than their own shows. Hulu has up to date episodes (for the shows it carries), but a much smaller back catalog. Netflix is great for binge watching once a season is complete, Hulu more so for watching things week to week ala torrenting (except legal).

            Did Netflix AU get the new season of Archer yesterday? Gutted I don't have US access right now, might turn off my DNS for a bit if it did. My wife loves AU Netflix though, but she loves family friendly movies and drama induced reality TV shows.

            Last edited 30/03/16 3:12 pm

              I assume by 'the new season' you mean season six which actually aired 12 months ago, and US Netflix has apparently just added to their lineup while Australia just has up to season 5. However, season 7 airs tomorrow US time, so they are both at least 12 months behind.

              That's what I mean by Netflix not having up to date seasons ANYWHERE. Which is ok, they don't claim to.

              Interesting that she loves the AU Netflix for family friendly stuff. That's what I seem to find most lacking. The main reason I use US Netflix and Hulu is for the Nickelodeon/Disney content (no, I don't have kids, I just have never bothered to grow up).

                Well archer unfortunately is only available on pay per view services until just before the new seasons arrive. I did sail the seven seas for a little bit on season 6, but then my fileserver crapped itself and I was too busy to fix/replace it for a few months.

                Worst for me, wifes cc was skimmed this week so she had to cancel it. It was connected to Hulu who now block AU credit cards for new signups, so that'll be gone for us next month too :(

                Last edited 30/03/16 5:36 pm

        Hold on a second, your DNS spoofer still works?

          Yes, you just need a router that supports static routes (which most do).

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