Ending the year on a sour note, Netflix left millions of U.S. users without service on Christmas Eve.
By Christmas Day, the streaming service was back to normal, according to a company tweet. “Special thanks to our awesome members for being patient. We're back to normal streaming levels. We hope everyone has a great holiday.”
Yet, the outage couldn’t have come at a worse time for Netflix, as subscribers were no doubt relying on the service to entertain visiting in-laws and children restlessly waiting for Santa’s arrival.
“Terrible timing!” Netflix admitted in a separate tweet.
The company has about 30 million streaming subscribers worldwide, 27 million are in the Americas region, which was subject to the outage.
Netflix is also currently engaged in a fierce battle with Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime, and a host of other streaming media services. Service failures don’t help companies gain market share.
The company is still repairing its image among many consumers following a botched service change in 2011. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings notoriously introduced a new subscription plan that would have made it more expensive for users to receive movies via the mail and online, which was reportedly enough to scare away some 800,000 subscribers.
Working in Netflix’s favor, consumers continue to embrace over-the-top -- or OTT -- video services.
In fact, half of U.S. consumers now view OTT video through broadband connections on their TVs, in addition to the content they traditionally watch via cable or satellite, according to recent findings from Accenture.
The Netflix outage was attributed to the Amazon Web Services’ Elastic Compute Cloud, which has a history of taking down Internet service when its servers give out.