Netflix’s Sporadic Outage “Fixed,” Streamer Says, As U.S. & Europe Subscribers See Disruptions

By Dominic Patten, Jill Goldsmith


In a near media nightmare scenario for millions of Americans and Europeans isolated at home due to the spreading coronavirus pandemic, Netflix went down for a time Wednesday.

But, after spots of subscribers across parts of the NATO alliance were unable to log on to the home of Stranger Things, Love is Blind and Tiger Kings, everything is up and running again, the Reed Hastings-run company said.

“Some of our members in the U.S. and Europe were unable to use Netflix via our website for around an hour this morning,” a Netflix spokesperson told Deadline. “The issue is now fixed and we’re sorry for the inconvenience.”

The inconvenience, as Netflix terms it, was first detected mid-morning with a short spike in complaints:

An almost essential service for a globe of shut-ins right now, the inconvenience was oddly scattered, literally street by street in some areas. For instance, as some parts of Los Angeles were affected, others were just fine to catch another episode of the third season of Babylon Berlin or re-watch docuseries Pandemic for the 10th time.

Netflix had just over 61 million U.S. subscribers at the end of 2019 out of a total of 167 million subs worldwide. Across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, which the company reports together, the streamer had 51.7 million subs.

As markets crash and bounce on COVID-19 news, Netflix stock has rallied and the service has been buoyed by the sudden stay-at-home mandates around the world that have people searching for things to watch.

Demand has been so high that the company has been cutting traffic on networks across Europe as Internet providers see surging usage. It first reduced traffic on networks in Italy and Spain by 25% and said Sunday it was expanding that to the rest of Europe. It’s basically removing the highest bandwidth streams within each resolution category that could result in slightly worse video quality.

No such move has happened in the U.S. yet, but as today’s glitch may indicate that could only be a matter of time as more Americans hunker down and more and more jurisdictions issue stay-at-home orders.

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