When nearly 1,800 Netflix titles vanished from their streaming library on May 1, the media had a field day. Headlines like “Streampocalypse,” “Streamageddon,” and possibly even “Taking 1(thousand-eight-hundred) for the Stream” littered blogs everywhere. It was just another batch of bad press that Netflix certainly didn’t need. That list was published at InstantWatcher, a very handy site for mapping out your viewing gameplan, but it was viewable by anyone who took a look at Netflix’ “expiring soon” titles on the company’s API (application programming interface) developer blog. But this week Netflix’ director of API engineering Daniel Jacobson stated that the company will stop including expiration dates in the public API. Here’s the full statement:
Starting today, we will no longer provide expiration dates for any of our titles in the public API. We will continue to publish the field to the REST API and the catalog index file to minimize the likelihood of breaking applications that use it, although all titles will now have “1/1/2100” as the date value. We are making this change because the expiration date can be inaccurate as a result of frequent, often last minute, changes in content flow. Netflix members will still be able to see the listed title expirations on Netflix.com on each individual title page.