To stream everywhere, Netflix encodes each movie 120 times

netflix encoding

Xboxes, iPads, connected TVs: Netflix streams to a lot of different devices. More than 900, to be precise. And many of them have different screen sizes, bitrate requirements and codec support. That’s why Netflix is doing a whole lot of encoding: Each and every movie is encoded in 120 different versions, according to a behind-the-scenes video recently published by the company.

The video was originally made for a job fair, but Netflix shared it this week as part of a blog post that detailed some of the work the company has been doing to streamline the process of getting content ready for consumption via Netflix.

Digital Supply Chain VP Kevin McEntee wrote that the company built a new team to engage with content partners and help them prepare their movies and TV shows for Netflix. As part of that process, Netflix developed a set of so-called “Netflix Delivery Specifications” — essentially instructions that specify which kind of audio and video file formats Netfix is accepting. The company is now certifying production houses that support these specifications.

Why does this matter? Because for content owners, being able to deliver your goods in the right file format can mean real money. From the blog post:

“Frequently Netflix finds itself looking for opportunities to grow its streaming catalogs quickly with budget dollars that have not yet been allocated. Increasingly the Netflix deal teams are considering the effectiveness of a content owner’s delivery abilities when making those spending decisions. Simply put, content owners who can deliver quickly and without error are getting more licensing revenue from Netflix.”

McEntee also wrote that Netflix is launching a website for content owners in 2013 that will help them to verify that their content was delivered without errors.

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