- Millions of Americans are quarantined at home right now as a result of the novel coronavirus outbreak that’s disrupted so much of daily life in the US.
- Traffic to services like Netflix has surged during this period — but, unfortunately, Netflix seems to have suffered a major disruption that started around mid-day or so on Wednesday.
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Netflix is apparently suffering an outage right now, according to reports on social media as well as third-party services like DownDetector.com.
With the novel coronavirus outbreak still spreading across the US and leaving millions of Americans stuck at home, the streamer is one of the main ways people are entertaining themselves right now. Netflix usage has been way up during the coronavirus-related quarantines, so, of course, this is the worst time for the service to experience a disruption like this.
DownDetector showed the following spike in outage reports for Netflix on Wednesday:
Netflix itself responded to a user on Twitter, acknowledging the problems: “We are currently looking into this situation and working towards a fix.”
In the last week and a half, Netflix has reportedly garnered a nearly 50% jump in traffic, which is almost certainly attributable to the larger than ever number of people staying in who may also be bored out of their minds (or perhaps the spike is due to all of you who’ve been bingeing the heck out of Tiger King?) The problem doesn’t appear to be universal, at least. I tried the Netflix app on my phone just now, and it seems to work fine. Other people have noted the problem may be confined to the streamer’s web app, should you try to watch on your laptop — something none of us should be doing at the moment, since we’re all supposed to be working from home right now, right?
At any rate, Twitter users learning about the outage of the world’s dominant streaming service, naturally, have some reactions:
According to analysts at LightShed Partners, Netflix is in a “unique position” right now due to the state of the world and the service’s unparalleled ability “to offer fresh content to a global audience that is hungry for in-home entertainment.” The analysts also raised their estimates for the subscriber additions Netflix is forecast to show for the first quarter of 2020, with LightShed estimating Netflix’s global net additions for the quarter to reach 10 million — more than 40% better than the 7 million Netflix has previously estimated it would add.
Meanwhile, Netflix’s stock has gone on a bit of a run in recent days, due in part to news like the update AT&T gave on Monday related to its COVID-19 coronavirus response. The carrier said that its data shows Netflix traffic across its US networks “reached record levels” last weekend, per a Variety report.
(UPDATE: Netflix seems to have fixed the issues. According to a statement from the company: “Some of our members in the US and Europe were unable to use Netflix via our website for around an hour this morning. The issue is now fixed and we’re sorry for the inconvenience.”)