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I suspect series disks make up most of the difference. I've rated 475 titles (I rate everything I rent), but I've rented far more than 475 DVDs.

Counting disks that aren't available yet though - that's misleading. Sure, it's a title so it's technically correct, but they really shouldn't count it if they don't have the disk in hand - otherwise series disks shouldn't count as separate titles.

Hunter McDaniel

I always figured that the title included separate series discs and bonus discs. But unavailable discs? That's pretty cheesy, when all they really have is a blurb in the catalog.

Even at 55,000 they have reached a doesn't-really-matter level; at 150 per year I'm not going to run out of choices in my lifetime. But I wonder how their catalog compares with the number of titles available for sale on Amazon.


Is the e-mailer stating that he has seen every title that Netflix has on DVD? Is he the Wilt Chamberlain of movie watchers?

Which begs another question - how many total movie total are available on DVD?


Netflix management is sleazy.

Download. Netflix the leader? Please.

From Video Business:
DVD Forum approves new recordable disc with CSS copy-protection
By Paul Sweeting -- Video Business, 12/7/2006

"Shortly after the DVD Forum voted, Time Warner chairman/CEO Richard Parsons told the Reuters Media Summit in New York that Warner Bros. is planning to launch a download-and-burn business in 2007.
Warner Home Video officials declined to elaborate on Parsons’ comments. But according to Taylor, the studio is well-along in preparing thousands of unreleased titles from its vast catalog for release via download-and-burn.
“They have something like 6,500 movies and 65,000 TV episodes in their library, and they’re actively working on preparing those for download-and-burn,” Taylor said.
Packaging for the new discs will include a special logo and description to help consumers distinguish them from ordinary DVD-Rs. The new logo also was approved by the DVD Forum."

[Read the rest of the story here: http://videobusiness.com/article/CA6398175.html

Please don't post full text of a story here, just post the important paragraph and link to the rest of the story (I've left HTML links on). Thanks - Mike]

Study the details of the recent Disney-Comcast deal, especially aspects regarding pay per view going day and date with the DVD window.

Blockbuster has over 30,000,000 customers and their finances are now strong enough for them to sit on Netflix's head.

Jay Hoag and his VC company, Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV), acquired 12.1 million shares of Netflix this past summer. That’s almost 18% of shares outstanding at 9/30/06. Partners of TCV are on the Board at Netflix, including Jay Hoag.

At the moment, with Netflix at about $29.00/share, Hoag/TCV is sitting on a paper profit of over $250,000,000. What are they likely to do? Sit on it and possibly watch it fade away? Twice before, they sold significant shares in the late January timeframe (in 2004 and in 2006).

Hoag/TCV had invested in Netflix early and helped Hastings take Netflix public and Hoag/TCV received shares and/or options and/or warrants for their investment in Netflix. Hoag/TCV took some part of their gains off the table in 2004 and 2006.

• Hoag/TCV sold 1,498,600 shares (pre-split) on 1/26/04 for $113,219,230.
• Hoag/TCV sold 2,000,000 shares on 1/27/06 for $54,560,000.

Anyway, this past summer Hoag/TCV decided to re-up their investment in Netflix. They acquired 8.3 million shares through the exercise of warrants (kind of like options) at a cost of $1.50/share. Then they bought 3.8 million shares in the open market at an average cost of about $19.50/share. The cost basis of the 12.1 million shares is therefore about $7.21/share.

My guess is that, one way or another, they will sell a good portion of those shares within 3 to 6 months.


There's a bit more fudging there, depending on how you look at it. Universal and Warner Bros used to put a lot of their tv show releases on a double sided disc (I believe they have since stopped). But they also made single sided discs for rental outlets. Netflix carried a lot of these rental versions, Blockbuster not so much.

As an example, Law & Order: SVU Season 2 is listed as 3 discs as Blockbuster but 6 discs at Netflix. So Netflix counts it as 6 movies but Blockbuster as only 3.

ER Season 6 comes out on dvd next week and Season 13 is currently airing on tv. Netflix has Seasons 7-13 available to save to your queue. They've been releasing two seasons on dvd a year and keeping to that schedule it will be 2010 when Season 13 comes to dvd. Can someone save one of the unreleased seasons to their queue and tel us how many discs it counts as?

Hunter McDaniel

jmrosenth, I don't think the emailer is claiming to have SEEN 55,000 discs but rather to have FOUND 55,000 discs on the website. And I have to guess he used a robot script of some kind to perform the search.

Hunter McDaniel

Howard, I remember reading somewhere that double-sided discs are not very durable and are especially prone to breakage in the mail. I suspect that is a stronger motivation for NF to carry single-sided discs than just to inflate their title count.


Hunter "Xavier" McDaniel,

The e-mailer writes:

"I called when I could no longer find a movie on their site that I hadn't rated"

If he's rated every movie, doesn't that imply he has watch them all?


ricklogic should try using some logic and post about something that has to do with what everyone is talking about....


That's Ricklogic, with a silent P (old Young Ones joke).


I think they should use a reasonable method of calculating the number of titles...namely how many titles you can ACTUALLY RENT!

So they are including out of print and stuff in theatres???

And now it says they have 70,000 on their site. BB says they have 60,000...anyone want to ask them how they calculate their number of titles?

This practice is nearly as shady as their throttling without telling their customers, just not as impacting.

Edward R Murrow

Yeah, it seems like it's false advertising. If I request one of their advertised 70,000 titles and they can't ship it because they don't even have physical possession of the media, then that should be illegal.

Rusty Ramrod

Of course, the other question how to browse throught all xx,xxx of them.

If someone can show me how to look at more than 300 movies from a category drilldown, I would be grateful.

I called BBO and they sure can't.

Old Timer Too

In my mind, there is a very large difference between titles and discs. I have a disc with six titles on it? How is that counted? There are a number of discs with two titles on them. The Lon Chaney collection is a good example - there are two discs, but five titles (if you count the film reconstructed from stills). Some of these "titles" are listed separately. BB lists titles that are not available, but part of a performers "filmography." Are they counting those?

BB often has the same film available in mulitple formats - i.e., as part of a collection, widescreen, fullscreen, etc. Are those all counted separately or as a single title?

Are tv episodes (often titled) counted as individual titles - for instance, the Star Trek series all had titled episodes. Is each episode, therefore, its own title? Searchs on BB often turn up series because of episode title matches (but more often because of matching a keyword with a performer name).

Oh where is truth in advertising? Does anyone really know how these numbers are compiled? Or better yet, would it be possible for both NF and BB to make available a total list of ALL AVAILABLE (not future or now out of stock) titles for download?

Or would that simply be too revealing?


They should let you see a full list of every title they have. I don't know of a way to do that with either service. It would take days to browse through their genres and even that probably wouldn't show you everything.


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Great, more spam. Just what we need, thanks. I'll remember not to buy from there.



"Hey guys you really have a nice site.If you get a chance please check out mine at www.acheapseat.com "

Simply because you posted about tickets on a site about Netflix and rentals in general I WILL DEFINITELY NOT BE VISITING YOUR SITE!

I will agree with anyone who says this is spam.

Why hasn't Mike removed this?


"I suspect series disks make up most of the difference. I've rated 475 titles (I rate everything I rent), but I've rented far more than 475 DVDs."

Another way to add it up is that they don't seem to say that they have 65,000 "different" titles. They may be counting each copy as a separate title so if they have 250 copies of Cars they count it as 250 titles.

BBO probably does the same thing.


Respectfully, I don't think they can counting each copy (i.e. counting individual disks).

NetFlix processes ~1.5 million disks a day, so they must have at least that many disks. Their strategy for counting titles may be screwy, but it can't be that screwy.


You know, no matter how much time I spend proof reading, I always seem to miss something.

That should be 'can *be* counting each copy'.



"Their strategy for counting titles may be screwy, but it can't be that screwy."

It wouldn't be any more screwy then the way our governments (local state and Federal) balance their budgets.

I honestly believe that both Netflix and BBO factor into their numbers at least some of the multiple copies they have.

"NetFlix processes ~1.5 million disks a day, so they must have at least that many disks."

The processing number, I believe includes incoming and outgoing discs. If I am correct then no more than half the number is the total of discs shipped to members. If you factor in the fact that they don't ship all of your movies on the same day they receive the returns then the outgoing number is even smaller.

Mike Jenkins

I wonder how they count double-sided DVDs, like ones that contain both widescreen on one side and fullscreen on the other, or some TV shows like House that have 4 episodes on one side and 4 on the other.

Tim Kinnaird

Today NF claims they have over 90,000 titles. Bull. No matter how you cut the math (and NF is using some creative 'math' here) they have a little over half of their claim. I have rated exactly 43000 titles. There are 769 pages of movies across 18 categories that I have not rated. There are 24 movies on each of those pages. That's 18,459 titles unrated by me. Add that to my 43,000 rated titles and the maximum library is 61,459. However... many of those unrated titles are listed in multiple categories. Also the last page of each category could have anywhere from 1 to 24 titles on it so you can also subtract a small amount (414 max) for that. A rough estimate based on this info puts them around approx 55,000 titles or a bit more than half of the 90,000 that they are touting. All together now...BOOOOOOO!!!

Tim Kinnaird

Netflix is using some very creative math to claim a huge selection of titles. My short answer is they offer 50-55 thousand titles. The long answer follows using some fairly hard math from a customer:

To date (24 April, 2011), I have rated 48468 titles on Netflix. RATED not seen! I have actually only SEEN approx 4000 titles. The remainder I have rated as "not intersted" because I don't care about the subject. Also, since I'm now 47 years old I can only hope to see approximately another 3-4 thousand titles before I go the way of all flesh. Knowing this, I am reducing what remains to avoid slogging through tens of thousands of titles to get to what I like.

In 18 categories, there are 16412 titles that I have not rated. I do not count the blue ray category as I'm certain there are very few (possibly zero) films available in blue ray that are not also available in standard dvd format.

Of the 16412 unrated titles remaining, you must subtract a healthy percentage due to titles being listed in multiple categories. Luckily for me, I posted numbers in october of last year (2010) concerning this same question. At that time, I had rated exactly 43000 titles (seriously, I was watching my milestones) and at that time, I had not rated 18,459 titles. So...I have actually rated 5468 titles since october. But the number of unrated titles only decreased by 2047 due to multiple categorization (is that even a word?). 2047 is roughly 37% of 5468. So we can assume that only 37% of my current 16412 unrated movies are countable as individual titles. That means that there are 6072 titles remaining to be rated by me (37% of 16412). Add that to the 48468 that I have already rated and netflix's library size is 54540 titles.

Now for all the qualifiers:

Many, many of the titles that I have rated are IN the NF database but are NOT available. There is no way for me to easily find this number so I'll approximate one later.

Many titles that I have rated have since become unavailable. Again, no easy number to come by without a painstaking grind of a count.

I would not put the total of the above two qualifiers any higher than 3500-4000 titles. If you subtract that from the 54540 library size computed earlier you can approximate that NF offers 50-55 thousand titles.

There is no easy way to get a count of titles that are offered solely as streaming and not on dvd. So there is a variance of a few thousand max (I'd approximate much lower). Add it in or take it out as you see fit.

According to posts eslewhere about this issue, NF counts all discs in a multiple disc title. This means they count 'making of' discs and 'extras' discs. Ridiculous to do so? A customer says 'yes' but a marketing exec says 'no'. NF also counts multiple seasons of the same television show. Again this looks great on paper but to a customer it means nothing. If I hate season one, disc one of Scrubs then I'm sure as hell gonna hate season 9, disc three of scrubs. 'Scrubs' is a 'title'. 'Scrubs, Season 2, Disc 4' is NOT an individual 'title'. Also, I'm sure NF is counting their blue ray library as individual titles. Nothing pumps up a number like double counting. Sleepy Hollow on blue ray is still Sleepy Hollow on DVD.

To be fair, let me write that NF is clearly the leader in Movie media rentals. In addition to a sizeable disc library, they also offer streaming. In my experience their turn-around times on mailed discs is outstanding. Their streaming libarary, while not presently up to snuff, is increasing daily. The quality of the streams is very good and watchable. Personally, I have a few issues with their recent decision to terminate some of the best interactive features of their site. I also feel that they've turned away from their current customers a bit in favor of streaming to mobile devices. This is something that will NEVER make sense to a cinephile like me. Sure, if you're traveling, you might like to stream a movie to a 3 inch screen. But other than that, who wants to try to experience cinema on a tiny screen out in the world? Makes no sense to me. It is now easier to contact their customer service by phone. However, you can't shake the feeling that all you're getting is lip service once you get through.

My love/hate relationship rages on with them. What they ARE doing, they do very, very well. However, they seem disinterested in seeking true customer satisfaction and are instead steaming on in what direction they choose. Typical of a monster company.

In short, there's good and there's bad. I'm not saying that NF is a bad company. But I AM saying that they're fabricating their library size as a marketing ploy.

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