How many DVDs does Netflix lose?

20 Oct

HackingNetflix recently asked its readers how often they received cracked DVDs/Blu-ray discs. CNN also ran a story about a postal worker who got arrested for stealing DVDs. From that CNN article: “Netflix says that it ships 2 million DVDs a day. It was probably inevitable that some of them would not make it to their intended subscribers.” Just what percentage of these get back safe and sound to Netflix and how many are ‘lost’?

Over at FeedFliks, we use the Netflix API to pull users’ data over so we can help them maximize their Netflix membership.  It is possible via the API to find shipments that don’t have a corresponding return. Now these one-way-only titles can be so for a variety of reasons: you never got the DVD Netflix mailed out, or you got it and it was scratched/cracked so you sent it back, or you got it, it was ok and you watched it and sent it back to Netflix but they either never got it or got it very late.

Across millions of shipments for tens of thousands of Netflix subscribers, we found that only 0.3% did not make it back.  The remaining 99.7% are either safely back with Netflix or being enjoyed by subscribers at any time.

Just thought folks would be interested in that.


Posted by on October 20, 2009 in blu-ray, feedfliks, feedflix, insant watch, netflix, shipping


3 responses to “How many DVDs does Netflix lose?

  1. anon

    October 21, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    Hmm, I wonder what percentage of movies in queues move from “queue” to “saved” because netflix lost them?


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