Many customers in the Americas weren't able to access content online yesterday from around 12:30 p.m. Pacific time until late Christmas Eve, according to Joris Evers, a spokesman for Netflix. The blockage was caused by issues with Amazon Web Services, a business hosted on the Internet that's separate from the online retail store, he said.
Subscription and on-demand services are becoming an important source of revenue for Netflix, which first offered DVD rentals via mail. Streaming services made up 70 percent of sales in the third quarter. Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings has led a push to make Los Gatos-based Netflix available around the world, arguing people will pay for near-instant access to content online.
"We are happy that people opening gifts of Netflix subscriptions or Netflix-capable devices this Christmas morning can watch TV shows and movies and apologize for any inconvenience caused last night," Evers wrote in email. "We are investigating the cause and will do what we can to prevent re-occurrence."
The world's biggest online retailer, Amazon also rents data storage and computing resources to other businesses and organizations. Issues that affected its services were resolved, according to Tera Randall, a spokeswoman for Seattle-based Amazon.
"The service is now functioning correctly, and we're heads down making sure customers are operating smoothly," Randall wrote in an e-mail.
Streaming services in Europe weren't affected, Netflix said.