With more and more people having to stay at home for the foreseeable future, online content has become the savior for bored and anxious audiences wanting an escape. In such a climate, the news of Netflix becoming non-operational for just about an hour sent subscribers into shock. The issue occurred on Wednesday when the company confirmed that some users were unable to access their site for an hour:
“Some of our members in the U.S. 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.”
According to online reports, Netflix’s streaming options showed an error across the US in the Northeast, Southern California, the Pacific Northwest, and Texas, as well as parts of Northern Europe. Almost half the issues stemmed from having a poor connection to the site, while a smaller percentage of the problem was related to video streaming.
Users took to social media to share the error messages they were receiving, including Error NSES-500, which is described on the site’s help section as “typically points to a network connectivity issue that is preventing your device from reaching the Netflix service.” Netflix’s customer support team was quick to respond to the tweets by assuring users they were working to resolve the problem as soon as possible.
The main issue behind the site going down is unknown at this point, but it could be a sign that the platform is struggling to accommodate the record-high levels of traffic it has been experiencing due to the quarantine. With the digital world rapidly becoming the only safe place to view movies, audiences have been signing up for streaming sites like Netflix and Amazon prime in droves.
Despite stiff competition from its rivals, and the recent entry of pop culture juggernaut Disney into the digital space with its own platform Disney+, who have recently saw their membership triple, Netflix continues to be the leader in the cyber-content space. A big part the credit for this lead goes to the fact that Netflix was the first significant arrival in the field, spending massive amounts to build up a digital library of original content and establishing a reputation for being the go-to destination for streaming at a time when major Hollywood studios were still wary of investing too many resources into digital platforms.
The onset of the quarantine has only boosted the profile of streaming sites like Netflix, while also dealing a dire blow to the theaters, so much so that studios are seriously mulling the possibility of releasing their biggest films online while bypassing a theatrical release entirely. But for this dominance to be sustained, Netflix needs to ramp up its infrastructure to make sure its site can handle the rise in traffic which is sure to continue for some time. How the company handles this tipping point will likely determine whether or not it remains top dog in its field of operation.
Writer with a keen interest in technology and pop culture.