Netflix usage soars as Hurricane Sandy-shuttered viewers hunker down
By Adrienne LaFrance
Digital First Media
NEW YORK — East Coasters who are still lucky enough to have power Monday night are turning to Netflix as they hunker down. The online movie-streaming service said it saw a 20 percent uptick in viewership compared with last Monday.
“A lot of it is coming from the East Coast with New York City, Washington, D.C., Boston, Philadelphia and Baltimore showing a lot of activity on Netflix,” said Netflix spokesman Joris Evers in an email. “Initially we saw a lot of kids titles being watched, a sign that the kids are staying home from school.”
Evers wouldn’t get more specific about what movies and TV shows were most popular, saying only that there’s a “broad amount of viewing happening,” and that Netflix doesn’t usually share what its most popular titles are.
But there is a way to gauge what at least one slice of the Netflix audience is watching. Instantwatcher.com, a site that sends people directly to the Netflix titles that can be streamed from the web, tracks the most popular titles from its site over the course of the day. The idea is to help viewers find instantly watchable Netflix movies, without having to sift through titles that are only available on DVD. The site also tracks popular titles over the past hour.
According to the site, viewers are escaping Hurricane Sandy with tales of epic adventures, bank heists and silent romance. The 2012 remake of “Treasure Island” was listed as the top title Monday night. Some of the most popular titles in the past 24 hours were “Battleground,” “The Artist” and “Alexandria.”