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knwick84

I think you also have to factor in how many copies per shipping center there are. That would also determine how quick you get a new movie. I live in Eastern Washington. There are probably less people per DVD in Eastern Washington than - say - in Western Washington or the Northeastern Seaboard area.

So, people in those less populated areas would get movies faster. I received 2 movies in the last month that had just been released practically on the release date.

rambaldi47

That might now be true. Because Netflix might have more copies of a movie in a distribution center in a highly populated area then they might have in a distribution center in a less populated area.

Hunter McDaniel

I have to believe NF seeds the stock of new releases in proportion to the number of subscribers served. And even if they didn't, the natural pattern of requests and returns would quickly match the stock to demand anyway.

As for how many copies they obtain, I'm sure they use box-office revenue as one guideline. Beyond that they have to estimate what the long-term appeal of the title is, which is really a crapshoot. All other things being equal, I suspect they give some weight to the terms on which they are able to obtain the DVDs - what price if it's a purchase, what per-rental cost if it's a revenue sharing deal.

Hunter McDaniel

I have to believe NF seeds the stock of new releases in proportion to the number of subscribers served. And even if they didn't, the natural pattern of requests and returns would quickly match the stock to demand anyway.

As for how many copies they obtain, I'm sure they use box-office revenue as one guideline. Beyond that they have to estimate what the long-term appeal of the title is, which is really a crapshoot. All other things being equal, I suspect they give some weight to the terms on which they are able to obtain the DVDs - what price if it's a purchase, what per-rental cost if it's a revenue sharing deal.

lindybill

If Kraig wants to get a new movie faster, the secret is to eliminate all other movies from his Queue, and expect to wait a day or two extra. That forces their system to ship it. Works consistantly for me.

hawk5391

"Do you know by chance how many copies of each title Netflix gets...?"

After waiting unsuccessfully for the better part of a month for Blood Diamond (still Long Wait in my queue), I can say with near certainty that the answer to Kraig's question is 2.

geo

hey hawke5391, i understand your frustration! i usually try to return everything on friday or saturday, so that i have as many possible available queue positions open on monday when netflix ships out the new releases. usually i get mostly the news releases in the top positions in my queue, but it seems they also very often skip at least one of the top listings and send something further down the list.

as for the number of copies they have available... i have to wonder. i now have a very lengthy list of "saved" titles that for a long time were in my queue as "very long wait". so i guess that means that in fact that title is no longer available. i'm guessing because they never had enough copies to meet demand and now whatever copies they did have have been damaged or lost or whatever. "wait a year, then we'll remove it from being available." now that's what i call service!

Edward R Murrow

"so i guess that means that in fact that title is no longer available"

You might want to check with their Customer Service organization to see if those titles are still available. If not, they're just taking up a slot in your queue.

type-cast

Nobody can answer this. It's too specific. I think the best you could do is take the "42 million discs" figure, and divide by 75,000. Which gives an average of 560 copies per DVD. Some, they may only have 10 copies of (discs that rent less than once a year), and others they may have 25-30k copies (cult hits like Blade Runner, Fight Club, and Donnie Darko).

hawk5391

"I think the best you could do is take the "42 million discs" figure, and divide by 75,000."

Yeah, but then again a lot of the discs are series discs and "bonus discs" so I would say they have less copies than that. I could believe 25K copies of new releases, but I'm pretty sure there are some titles out there that have only 1-2 copies (low demand documentaries, etc), thus the Very Long Wait for catalog films and the shipping from three time zones away.

type-cast

They don't seem to buy new releases heavily, for two reasons. First, demand quickly falls off. Second, they can't guess the demand any better than Hollywood. Even if there is very little demand, I think they would carry more than 1-2 copies. They need extras to replace lost/broken discs. Bonus discs and TV series are tricky. Most don't rent bonus discs. The first disc of a series gets more demand than later ones. Can they buy individual discs or do they have to replace the whole set?

corey3rd

NF probably have a good idea how to distribute a new title to the various DCs based on how many people already have the title in their queue. it's not just random guessing. They can do a little bit more grasping for demand than a hollywood studio or even a normal Blockbuster store.

odds are that when it comes to a DVD set, they are forced to buy the entire set since that's the way they're shipped from the factory. Remember that the distributor wants to make money out of this deal.

Donuts

The last time that Netflix broke out these numbers (to my knowledge) was in their 2003 annual report.

(To read the annual reports go to Netflix.com, click 'investor relations' at the bottom of the page, click 'download library' at the right of the page, and then select a year from the drop-down menu)

According to page12 of that document:
1.5 million subscribers
10 million DVDs shipped per month
18,000 titles available
85,000 copies of a 'recent hit movie'
6 - number of DVDs viewed per month per member on average

I suspect that with 8 million members today they have about 450,000 copies of some movies.

type-cast

"odds are that when it comes to a DVD set, they are forced to buy the entire set since that's the way they're shipped from the factory. Remember that the distributor wants to make money out of this deal."

They could make less money, if they required Netflix to buy whole sets to replace one bad disc. The first disc always has more demand. Bonus discs are rented less often than movie discs. It would be wasteful if they couldn't replace discs based on usage.

"I suspect that with 8 million members today they have about 450,000 copies of some movies."

Netflix only has 6.8 million subs currently.
http://www.netflix.com/MediaCenter?id=5379
Their most seen movie (Crash 2005) has been rated by 1.8 million users (26%). They have an average of 560 copies per disc, based on the link above. Unless we knew the standard deviation, or high and low values, it would be pointless to speculate on distributions.

corey3rd

"odds are that when it comes to a DVD set, they are forced to buy the entire set since that's the way they're shipped from the factory. Remember that the distributor wants to make money out of this deal."

They could make less money, if they required Netflix to buy whole sets to replace one bad disc. The first disc always has more demand. Bonus discs are rented less often than movie discs. It would be wasteful if they couldn't replace discs based on usage.
_________________________

Nobody wants to make less money in a business venture. You're already cutting into your action by letting NF take out a percentage of your consumer base that would have bought the season set a few years back.

But when you have the DVD sets pressed, you try to get equal numbers from the factory. So you sell Netflix 100 extra copies of the 1st DVD. What are you going to do with the other 100 copies of the rest of the DVDs in the set? This isn't a case of just pressing out a couple DVD-Rs on a home computer.

jetpyro

2 years ago current big movies would be about 200,000 copies. I would not doubt they have them in range now from 300,000 - 400,000. When running reports on the total dvds coming in for the week it would average from 250,000 to over 600,000 dvds a week. Close to 350 new titles a week.

Kentucky Greg

In 2003 I did a paper on them in grad school and at that time, NetFlix had some sort of arrangement with certain studios where they could even create DVDs if demand warranted (if memory serves me). I would think that there's no way they'd need to pay very much to replace a scratched DVD and I'd be shocked if they were buying extra disks 2-8 in a big set.

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