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According to Instant Watcher there are 14,147 instant netflix titles available.

According to Instant Watcher there are 1,372 instant netflix titles available with captions.

Also, under the subtitles tab at Netflix in October 2011 there was 90 pages of subtitled material and now there are 72 pages of subtitled material. There is about 40 subtitled items per page.

Soooo... you do the math.

How do they get to this 80% number?

Scott Baker

David, I think they mean 80 percent of hours streamed, which is quite different from 80 percent of hours available for streaming.


You have to use "Netflix math." Note the semantics games they play, using the words "hours streamed" rather than titles. Instead than reporting the percentage of all titles that contain subtitles, they are instead focusing on the total of titles actually streamed during some unstated period of time that have subtitles available. This is far more difficult to independently verify and means little to those with a need for subtitles.

Basically, subtitles have been added to the most popular titles, which naturally will have the most views. While it makes sense to focus on the hottest titles first, trumpeting this disingenuous statistic as a win is pathetic.

By reporting it this way, Netflix is able to make their minimal progress look greatly inflated, as the percentage of their total catalog with subtitles is still woefully low.


David: i think the reason your seeing 72 pages instead of 90 now is because all of the starz content was subtitled and now that the 800+ titles have expired those wont be showing in the subtitle section anymore

and yeah its 80% of hours watched which also include different epis of tv shows ect instant watcher only shows by season not by each episode

and really them trying to get subs on the most watched content first is a smart move and then working on the not as popular stuff i don't know about you but if they did it the opposite then no one would be using the subtitles and they would be useless.


"and really them trying to get subs on the most watched content first is a smart move and then working on the not as popular stuff i don't know about you but if they did it the opposite then no one would be using the subtitles and they would be useless."



I agree they should concentrate on popular content first, but having to twist statistics so it seems they're making good progress is pathetic. NetFlix committed to real progress. They shouldn't be allowed to BS their way out of that commitment. They should be well beyond 80% of all titles by this point.


I don't know about you, but I have no interest in old TV shows.

I went down my cue and clicked the first 10 movies that had streaming as an option. Only 2 of them had subtitles.

I also went back and read the original commitment they made and they mentioned nothing about 80 "hours" in the commitment.

If the FCC law passes, they will be required to provide subtitles on all content that has ever been shown on television including any movie shown on television... which would be most movies.

And sadly, a lot of Starz content did not have subtitles. Some of it did, but I'm not even sure it was a majority.

Here is the original headline from February 24th 2011:


That implies 80% of streaming content. Not 80% of hours streamed at some point in December when they decided to take a poll and had just added some popular TV shows with subtitles.

As a deaf viewer, I have waited a year for this and am more than a little disappointed.

Hopefully the FCC ruling will be finalized sooner rather than later. :(


Just curious to know how many people (me included), who hear perfectly well, turn on the English subtitles for Netflix Streaming, and notice how poor the subtitling really is. I find key dialog is sometimes missing, subs sometimes appear/disappear before you can read them, and frequently the subs are totally out of sync with the dialog.

I find the DVD subs far superior to the Streaming subs (I always turn on English subs out of habit). On the other hand, however, if you are hard of hearing, and do really need English subs, the streaming subs sure beat no subs. So I believe Netflix should be applauded for their efforts to date.


Even if the FCC makes a rule, how do you think it will affect NF? Netflix is not a broadcaster. Are YouTube videos going to be forcibly subtitled too? Netflix is providing subtitles as a nicety. They can take as long as they want to.

Scott Baker

I use subtitles even though I'm not hard of hearing. Sometimes dialog will use an uncommon word or an odd turn of phrase or the actor will have an accent hard to understand. An independent film from the UK or Australia will have actors speaking a different form of English from midwestern American dialect. A hip comedy will have idioms on the cutting edge of youth slang that I may not be current with. A smartly written show may use language very creatively to make literary allusions that I won't understand unless I can see them on screen and then Google them. Also, I have a lot on my mind in life and my attention will often wander for a second, and the subtitle will let me "catch up" with what was just said. I turn on subtitles whenever they are available.

Art Artistry

I couldn't not comment on this. You people saying that NF is using underhanded or tricky language to deceive people are a joke. 80% of all streamed content being subtitled probably means that more of what is watched has subtitles on it then if just 80% of all content had subtitles. Wrap your brain around that, if you have one.

And as far as deaf users go, get off your high horses, this service is a luxury. Youtube is more essential to society then Netflix. Stop bringing lawsuits against them, and stop using their service if it doesn't work for you. I can't believe the things people are allowed to sue over.

I'm not going to sue Mcdonalds for putting someone on the drive through microphone that I can't understand, I'm just not going to go back there.


I just got clarification. Netflix is counting VIEWED minutes, not
minutes of content. So if a 3 hour movie is never watched during the
time period they do not count it. If a 2 hour movie is watched 10,000
times and it is captioned, they count it as 20,000 hours of VIEWED
captioned content.

Another example: if a 2 hour movie is watched 10,000 times and it is
captioned, they count it as 20,000 hours of VIEWED captioned content.
Likewise, if a 2 hour movie is watched 2 times and it is NOT
captioned, they count it as 4 hours of VIEWED NON-captioned content.
My method would say 50% of the 2 movies are captioned, their method
would say 99.98% of the VIEWED MINUTES of the 2 movies are captioned.

This is VERY misleading.

Also it is very convenient that this method of counting, unlike my
method, is NOT available with their API so there is no hard data to
PROVE that they are not just "making it up."



InstantWatcher.com does NOT keep accurate Captioning Stats. Phlixie.com has a much more accurate method (click on the "About Phlixie" link at the bottom of their home page).


1: Netflix does not create the subtitle tracks for the content they liscence. If that were the case you'd be lucky to ever get subtitles as it would not be worth it for Netflix to transcribe every movie they liscence for a few people who need them. Reminder: Netflix has 25+ million customers, 90% of which likely can hear just fine you old cranky bastards. Those of you who are deaf, I feel for you, but atleast you don't have to listen to justin bieber.

2: Netflix WILL have subtitles for everything that content owners provide subtitle tracks for eventually. It's an extremely arduous process, and with everyone bitching about everything else constantly, it's just another speed bump in their road to success.

3: It never occurs to anyone to think of practical solutions or offer up assistance. Atleast not on these troll forums.


I just re-crunched my Netflix Captioning Stats page and as of today,
if you count Number of Movies + Number of TV Episodes, the count is
only 51.73% of titles with added captions. If you count MINUTES of
programming (and not "Viewed Minutes" as they do), that number DROPS to 46.37%. BOTH stats are no where near
the 80% number.

Stats are based on numbers from Phlixie.com who gets their data from
Netflix's own API data. (see my link below or go there here:
http://bit.ly/nf-cc-xls )


@anon-e-mouse: Not true. Netflix tried to get content providers to include captions intheir licesning agreements, but when they could NOT do so, they paid for the content to be captioned at their own expense. They are also being very timely at captioning their own Netflix-only (made by Netflix) content.


We continue to require captions or subtitles from our providers for all new content where it is available, and we continue to author captions or subtitles for significant new content where it is missing.

I find this part of the artical interesting not only are they now requiring it but for content that doesn't have it they are authoring there own subtitles so for those out there say they don't care i believe is wrong authoring subtitles can not be a fast or easy process.

and people harping on the numbers and the wording again why would they focus on movies that maybe only a handful of people watch instead of moves thousands if not millions of people have watched and there's only 20 percent of it left and they are still continuing to work on it.


In regards to the FCC ruling, it isn't my ruling nor the result of a lawsuit (though there is one going on.)

The FCC put forward a proposal that would require all media originally shown on television (since it IS currently REQUIRED to have closed captioning on television) to have closed captioning if then shown on a service such as netflix, hulu, or youtube.

The ruling would give these sites, if they wish to be based on American soil, a set number of years to implement these changes.

There is ALSO a lawsuit. The suit was put on hold by the courts in reaction to the FCC's decision.

As for me being a cankerous old man. I am in my 20's and was born deaf. I have just enough hearing to be able to read lips, something that is difficult in film.

I majored in film at two arts conservatories. It is easy to laugh off something as luxury when you are a part of the 98% that has it.

Closed Captions have been the LAW for years on television, so get off YOUR high horse. The law already applies to every channel form ABC to SyFy, and will simply be extended to services that show any program that is shown on television to keep with the LAW.



Thanks for the update in the OP clarifying the 80% stat


I believe the new law puts the burden on content owners (studios, etc.) to provide the captioning data from any previously broadcast title along with the title when licensing that title for internet viewing. This will actually make it MUCH easier for Netflix (and the others) to make their content accessible. Also it was very wise on FCC's part since the Internet is not really under their jurisdiction.


Thank you for the update, and I really appreciate what hacking netflix does for us.

While many people can partially understand...

...I don't think anyone who isn't deaf could FULLY understand what it is like to love films SO MUCH and have to struggle so hard to enjoy them.


I love bacon, but the government doesn't require corporations to provide it to me. Trade my ears for unlimited bacon.

Art Artistry

@David-I get this feeling alot when discussing netflix with others. I don't think you actually understand how small the profit margin for them it a lot of time. They aren't raking in billions of dollars. They could be...They could increase the price and use the surplus to then bring the massive improvements to the website or the quality that we all sit on our computers and bitch about. But the service is 8 dollars. I browsed through Hulu and they do a decent job of putting subtitles out on the website, but I don't have Hulu plus so I can't check it out on my playstation.

People comment on here all the time about impending price hikes and issues with content costs and even lawsuits come up in that discussion. I've seen the comment a few lawsuits won't cause netflix to raise prices. Not from the cost of losing the lawsuit, but the resulting change to the service will.

I have to say the service would be working better for me if you all would have allowed them to split, I could get video games, having 2 websites doesn't really bother me cause there is a little thing called bookmarks, or even multiple tabs in a browser. Most the time I spend on the website anyway is accompanied by IMDB or Wikipedia so I can find more info on a show.

I'm going to sue vocal advertisers on the internet for not putting subtitles on the "CONGRATULATIONS, You're a winner!" message that 98% of us hear when we end up on a site we didn't mean to.

Another possibly unforeseen side effect of this is regulating the internet, and the more regulations we force on it, the more easily more are going to be added. Anyone who has studied or even loosely paid attention to law making knows that this is EXACTLY how it works.

some guy

^ I like this guy


^ Me too

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