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View Full Version : Amazon & Netflix - Inflating the Numbers


TheBigDave
04-18-12, 01:33 AM
It's no secret that both Amazon and Netflix inflate their catalog numbers. But this is the first time I've seen some figures to back it up.

Amazon Prime - claims 17,000 titles
Actual movies - 1,745 films
Actual TV - roughly 150 series

Netflix - claims 60,000 titles
Actual titles - 13,000 total (about 9,500 films)

Amazon boasts that it has "more than 17,000 movies and television shows" on Amazon Prime Instant Video, its streaming service that competes with Netflix and Hulu Plus. The "17,000" figure has been widely parroted in the media, but where does the number come from?

Upon closer examination, the total number of movies and TV shows available to Amazon Prime members, who pay $79 a year, is actually far lower. Only 1,745 movies are available to stream on the company's Prime service, and just roughly 150 TV series. The "17,000" figure is not only misleading to consumers, but a faulty indicator of Amazon's streaming library's strength versus competitors and traditional entertainment offerings.

Amazon reached that number by counting each episode of a TV series as an individual TV show. For example, Amazon does not count 24 as one TV show; rather, it counts every episode in all eight seasons toward its library of 17,000 movies and television shows. So, according to Amazon's logic, Kiefer Sutherland stars in 192 TV shows. Amazon counts The X-Files more than 200 times and Grey's Anatomy 170 times. Sure, there's an arguable distinction between all the offshoots of Power Rangers (Mighty Morphin, Dino Thunder, Space Patrol Delta). But by Amazon's figures, Power Rangers-related episodes are counted as about 715 shows in its streaming library--that is, 4.2% of the 17,000 movies and television shows Amazon says it offers.

Netflix, too, is said to have tens of thousands of movies and TV shows in its library. An Associated Press article earlier this week on the company's online library reported that "Netflix offers more than 60,000 [streaming] titles." To be clear, Netflix does not promote its library's specific size (beyond saying "thousands" of titles are available, which is true), but the actual number of movies and TV shows available online is actually far lower than 60,000.

Netflix declined to provide the specific tally. "We do not disclose the number of viewables on Netflix," a spokesperson said.

Daniel Choi, the creator of InstantWatcher.com, a website that uses Netflix's API to track streaming movies and TV shows, says the number of movies and TV shows available on Netflix's streaming service is significantly less than 60,000. "According to our count, it's about 13,000," Choi explains, indicating that about 9,500 of those titles are movies. "But there are two different ways of counting. We count all television series as one title each. If you split up the TV series into individual episodes, that count will go up."

FULL ARTICLE - http://www.fastcompany.com/1830524/the-juiced-misleading-sizes-of-netflix-and-amazon-streaming-libraries

davidh777
04-18-12, 02:21 AM
Eh, I don't think I've felt deceived by how many "TV shows" Amazon claims to offer. Yes, "movies and television episodes" would be more accurate (I've never liked the smooshy term "TV shows" for this reason), but is it really that outrageous to compare a 42-minute episode to a 90-minute movie? Is it more accurate to say 192 episodes of 24 are equal to a 90-minute movie?

The Bus
04-18-12, 04:46 AM
Why not just say <i>x</i> movies and <i>y</i> episodes?

TGM
04-18-12, 06:52 AM
I don't really care about the number. If I start to consistently find a lack of material I want to watch/stream on Netflix I will cancel with them.

As for Amazon VOD, I buy it for the prime shipping. Anything else they choose to throw in on top of it, is pure gravy baby.