Amazon to blame for Christmas Eve Netflix outage

Netflix experienced a major outage for at least the second time this year

Netflix users hoping to sit down with their families and watch a classic Christmas movie on Monday, Christmas eve, may have been disappointed.

The streaming video service was plagued with outages across North America (and possibly beyond - TechRadar has reached out to Netflix to determine the extend of the issues, but the company hasn't responded).

Netflix blamed the Christmas eve service outages on Amazon, which experienced issues with its Elastic Load Balancing (ELB), which normally helps with traffic distribution, throughout the holiday.

With no Die Hard or Christmas Vacation to watch, some users were forced to interact with their families, while others took to Twitter instead to spew complaints in Netflix's direction.

It's a Twitter miracle

The official Netflix U.S. account tweeted on Monday evening, "We're sorry for the Christmas Eve outage. Terrible timing! Engineers are working on it now."

The @Netflixhelps account and Netflix Cloud Architect Adrian Cockcroft interacted with customers on Twitter late into the night and early in the morning on Christmas day.

One tweeter threatened to switch to cable, sparking an age-old debate.

Others asked Netflix for parenting advice, wondering what to do with their kids in the hours before bedtime and even threatening to sue the streaming video company.

A third group sat back and watched the drama unfold, criticizing outraged parents who seemingly couldn't be bothered to interact with their children.

Even we at TechRadar were not immune to the Netflix Christmas outage; it took almost half an hour of error messages to get Sherlock to play.

Santa did it

Amazon Web Services' Twitter account reported ELB issues in its US-EAST-1 zone on Monday evening, and there hasn't been another update since.

Nevertheless, Netflix tweeted on Tuesday morning that everything should be "back to normal."

TechRadar's hypothesis is that Santa took a break from home invasions and dropped by Amazon to fix the outage himself.

Monday's Christmas eve Netflix outage echoed an Amazon Web Services issue in October that took down reddit, Pinterest, Foursquare, Pitchfork, and even popular indie game Minecraft.

A similar issue occurred in June, when Instagram, Pinterest and, yes, Netflix went down because of Amazon.

Maybe it's time to consider an alternative?

Via Techcrunch

Michael Rougeau

Michael Rougeau is a former freelance news writer for TechRadar. Studying at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Northeastern University, Michael has bylines at Kotaku, 1UP, G4, Complex Magazine, Digital Trends, GamesRadar, GameSpot, IFC, Animal New York, @Gamer, Inside the Magic, Comic Book Resources, Zap2It, TabTimes, GameZone, Cheat Code Central, Gameshark, Gameranx, The Industry, Debonair Mag, Kombo, and others.

Micheal also spent time as the Games Editor for, and was the managing editor at GameSpot before becoming an Animal Care Manager for Wags and Walks.