John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski


Netflix’s March 2008 outage is back, this time in wide theatrical release. A serious disruption to the company’s distribution systems has prevented it from mailing DVDs to many of its customers for the better part of this week. “Our engineers continue to work around the clock to restore normal operations,” Netflix said in a post to the company blog today. “In the meantime, we’re notifying affected customers via personal email and we’ve posted a notice on the Netflix Web site. We’re as frustrated about this as you are.”

I’d imagine so, if not more. The outage is an ugly blow to the Netflix (NFLX) brand and to its bottom line as well. Citi analyst Tony Wible estimates that the company is losing roughly $1.8 million to $3.6 million in revenue a day. And the reimbursement credits it’s promised to affected subscribers are certain to prove costly as well. Said Wible, “Assuming only one-third [of the company’s subscriber base] is affected for one-to-two days, [Netflix] stands to forfeit nearly $1.8 million to $3.6 million in revenues (using a $13.36 average revenue per user), or roughly $0.007 to $0.015 in earnings per share.”

A costly misstep given Netflix’s Thursday afternoon shipping update:

We hope to bring the rest of our facilities back online overnight and be shipping from all of our distribution centers on Friday. But the issues we’ve faced over the last several days have been significant and there’s no guarantee at this point that our shipping operations will be fully restored by tomorrow.”