The day I bought my Apple TV I became addicted to Netflix, and now that the company is offering a streaming only plan to it’s customers, my wallet likes it even more. Admittedly, I have had to learn the Netflix culture, as newbies are often surprised that some titles are not available in high definition, all titles are not available via streaming, and apparently streaming titles expire at a certain point in time.
What do I mean by expire? Shows that are available to stream directly to your device are not available indefinitely, they are streamable for a limited time then are only offered via DVD. I found this out the hard way as a couple of the shows I was watching mysteriously disappeared from my queue, and after discussing the issue with friends I finally figured out why, expiration. What’s worse is that while logged into your Netflix account there is no indication or warning that a show or series may be coming to an end via streaming content.
The image below shows the information page for the show The Strip, which so happens to have thirteen episodes in the season. Netflix apparently sends out emails informing viewers when a streaming show is about to expire, but my experience with these email notifications has been hit and miss. Sometimes I get the emails, other times I don not. Let’s put aside for a moment how I know the streaming feed is expiring as we speak, we will explore that in a moment. For the record I didn’t receive an email with this information.
This title is coming to an end, but there is no information informing me to this and, in fact, if you look at the DVD availability it is “unknown”. So even if I wanted to get the DVD to finish watching the series it seems I am out of luck. If I started watching this season last night, then tomorrow saw it is no longer available I would not be a happy camper. Netflix should have some larger starburst or some similar icon warning viewers of imminent expiration, yet for the life of me I have yet to find any indication. If you know where to look for this please let me know as many of us are just plain stumped.
Now, getting back to how I know this series is about to expire. A friend of mine informed me about a site called Feedfliks, which gives a plethora of information about Netflix statistics. The portion of the site that will help with expiring streaming selections is the Streaming Central page that displays what shows are “Coming Soon to Streaming”, “Just Arrived”, titles that are “Expiring Soon” as well as titles you’re “Too Late” for. You can sort by category, alphabetically, rating, genre or release year.
This site is the ultimate compliment to my Netflix viewing and has really helped enhance my families viewing. If this site can put together this information in an easy to read format I wonder why Netflix hasn’t done this themselves, maybe they should hire the developers from Feedfliks.
How do you manage streaming titles that are expiring soon? I am curious to see if I can implement one of your solutions.