Blog Post

The day Netflix met its heaviest user

Comedian Mark Malkoff chatting with Netflix CEO Reed Hastings.

Mark Malkoff just can’t help himself. The new York-based comedian is one of those people who find challenges in everything. So when a company like Netflix (s NFLX) offers unlimited streaming for $8 a month, someone like Malkoff starts to wonder about his own limits. Earlier this year, Malkoff embarked on his Netflix challengein an attempt to figure out how much value he could get out of his $8 subscription within a single month. 30 days later, Malkoff had watched 252 movies, beginning to end, including the credits.

Excessive use like this might have triggered automatic service suspension at other companies, but quickly Netflix realized the promotional potential of his challenge, and started tweeting about it. This week, the company even invited him to their headquarters where dozens of employees celebrated him as the most obsessive user the company ever had. “It was an interesting, interesting month for sure,” said Malkoff on stage one on Netflix’s on-campus theaters, adding that he hasn’t been able to enjoy movies the same way ever since.

Check out my interview with Mark Malkoff, or continue reading below:

This isn’t the first time Malkoff has taken on an endurance challenge like this. A few years back, he successfully visited each and every of Starbucks’ (s SBUX) 171 stores in Manhattan within 24 hours, consuming something at every store. Malkoff has also lived in an Ikea store for a week, and spent 30 days flying on an AirTran jet. In some cases, these challenges have been sponsored by the brands involved, but Malkoff didn’t even get in touch with Netflix until his challenge was over. “I am a loyal customer,” he explained Monday, adding: “I really like Netflix.”

During the challenge, Malkoff at first relied a lot on Facebook (s FB) and Twitter for movie recommendations, but eventually figured that websites like Instantwatcher can do a better job. He also began to watch movies based on themes at some point of the challenge, and discovered unexpected joy in watching High School Musical and a Justin Bieber documentary.

His device of choice was an Apple (s AAPL) TV, he told his audience of Netflix employees. But after days of just sitting on the couch, he decided to take walk around the block – while watching Netflix movies on an iPhone, with his wife as a helpful guide so he wouldn’t bump into things.

Malkoff said Monday that he would be interested in embarking on a TV show marathon on Netflix as well, but maybe just keep it to a week. “A month is bad for your marriage,” he admitted. And of course, he might still hit other usage limits. Said Malkoff: “I think my Internet service provider hates me.”

Check out Malkoff’s Netflix challenge video below:

11 Responses to “The day Netflix met its heaviest user”

  1. I did embark on TV Series marathons on NEtflix for shows like Blue collar and Supernatural… makes me still wonder why i did it… but netflix does rock!!!

  2. John Garfield

    The whole idea here is more than silly. 256 movies – 30 days is 8/day or about 16 hours/day watching movies, not something human life enjoys; and let’s face it, he didn’t really watch them. I could easily “watch” movies 24/hr/day. big deal. I’ve actually watched more than 240 movies but it took me about four years.

    • Kevin Rhoads

      I don’t know maybe by the twitter recommendations or the third party website which provides recommendations as well.

      Oh wait, that was a zinger…should have realized with the lack of capitalization and double exclamation point.

      • movies

        Did you actually READ the list of movies he watched? There are a lot of good movies in there. (BTW, I say this as a non-streaming user of netflix.)