Netflix offers thousands of titles for viewing on demand, but its library of available content changes on a regular basis. Although you’ll always be able to watch Netflix Originals, which the streaming giant produces in-house, syndicated videos that come from other television and movie studios have set expiration dates.
You don’t want to find an episode you were about to watch has disappeared unexpectedly, or miss watching one of your favorite films because you never realized it had become available. Here’s how to keep track of what’s coming to and leaving Netflix.
Ironically, Netflix is not the best source for telling you what’s available on the streaming service. However, it does have a couple tricks you can use to learn about new content. For information about soon-to-expire titles, on the other hand, you’ll need a third-party service (read on to find a good one). Netflix doesn’t share this data on the site itself, presumably to avoid drawing attention to how frequently videos rotate out.
Through Netflix, you can visit its just-added page, which shares new titles that became available in the last week. The site sorts this content based on your personal history: what you’ve watched and liked on Netflix in the past.
Confusingly, you can also visit a separate recently-added page. This gives you a similar list of titles, but sorts them into clearer sections, including Netflix’s genre categories and what’s popular with other users.
There are a couple other ways to find new content, but neither is ideal. You can regularly look up your favorites with Netflix’s integrated search tool, but this is time-consuming and easy to forget about. Alternatively, you can follow Netflix on Twitter, an account that shares some new titles as they join the library. However, it doesn’t tweet about every new addition.
Once you discover a new movie or show you want to see, you should remind yourself to watch it before it expires. So save it to your personal list: Click the Plus button or the Add to My List button next to the title. If you start every visit to Netflix on this page, you won’t forget about the content you need to catch.
Third-party services actually do the best job of informing you about available content. For example, the well-organized database Reelgood provides a straightforward catalog of everything currently on Netflix, HBO, and Hulu.
Crucially for our purposes, this site has a specific section for new arrivals and another for titles that are about to leave Netflix. Each is sorted by week, so you can plan your viewing in advance. You can also search for specific keywords or filter the list by genre, year of release, or user rating.
While anyone can check out the site (or the app version, available for iOS only), we recommend you register for a free account to keep up with library changes. Account holders can bookmark shows and movies they want to see, and receive alerts when Netflix adds new episodes of favorite shows.
New On Netflix
Similarly to Reelgood, New On Netflix offers a full catalog of everything currently on Netflix, which you can browse by genre, release year, and rating. To avoid surprises, it shows each title’s expiration date, when this information becomes available. The service also includes a list of newly added content, and for ongoing television shows, it displays the launch date when a new season will show up.
How do the two compare? On the pro side, New on Netflix lets you search the database by additional parameters such as title or actor. For each item, you can also check out comprehensive individual listings, which give you just as many details as Netflix does, including a description, cast list, and run time. However, it lacks Reelgood’s visual polish, and it doesn’t include non-Netflix streaming services.
Overall, you can’t go wrong with either option. Like its rival, New On Netflix lets you sign up for email updates that will inform you about new expiration dates and removals, and alert you when content that interests you becomes available. Alternatively, you can get updates on new arrivals by plugging the service’s RSS feed into your favorite reader.
As we mentioned earlier, Netflix’s built-in search tool leaves much to be desired. If you prefer an intuitive search engine to an update-sending service, then you might choose Flixable over options like Reelgood and New On Netflix. It lets you search by genre, rating, and year with ease. Plus, the search results come back with the titles that are newest to Netflix right at the top of the list.
Flixable also includes valuable information about each title on its list. You can see how popular something is on Netflix, the average rating it receives, and the genres that you might use to categorize it.
On top of its search capabilities, Flixable boasts a clean and easy-to-navigate interface, with separate pages for new arrivals and upcoming departures. The opening page displays the movies that recently turned up, and from here, you can click to individual pages of new TV shows or soon-to-leave content.
Last but not least, consider InstantWatcher, which functions much the same as the other sites we’ve included. Two major things set it apart: It includes Amazon Prime video listings, which should endear it to that service’s subscribers, and it maintains an excellent Twitter feed, which gives you one more way to stay up to date on new Netflix comings and goings.
Another area where InstantWatcher excels is its comprehensiveness. You can filter your keyword searches by user rating, release year, genre, maturity rating, run time, and even awards received. To scan your search results more quickly, you can customize the page layout to limit the details and thumbnails that appear. Once you click on a title, you get even more information, including links to Netflix and IMDb, as well as embedded YouTube trailers.
Like the other options we’ve mentioned, you can view all the titles that are new to Netflix on one page. If you’re having trouble deciding what to see, and you trust in the wisdom of the crowd, InstantWatcher also has pages that serve a mix of new and currently-popular titles.
Written By David Nield