The end of April suddenly became very stressful for Netflix subscribers, as it was widely reported that nearly 1,800 titles would be disappearing from its Watch Instantly service in the US. Unfortunately, it likely caused a lot of tension in Los Gatos as well and tonight the company revealed it’s changing its policies. Quickly dubbed “Streampocalypse,” some blamed it on competition like Warner Archive Instant, despite many of the listed titles actually being related to Netflix’s agreement with Epix. As we now know, on May 1st the sun rose once again and there are still some movies and TV shows to watch on Netflix streaming, but for just a few hours you might have thought that would not be the case.
The list came from the third-party site InstantWatcher, which we’ve long recommended to help users sort selections in ways not supported by the official page and apps including by year, Rotten Tomatoes rating or New York Times Critics’ Picks. Starting today however, that will not include the ability to list “expiring soon” titles. As Daniel Jacobson posted to Netflix’s API developer blog, it will stop including expiration dates in the public API. While we’re sad to see the amount of data available to the public reduced and are still peeved over the public API being shelved entirely, after last week’s incident we can certainly understand why. Netflix did not directly reference the incident in its statement (available after the break), but one can certainly connect the dots — read on for more information.