Netflix has been an entertainment staple to countless people over the years, even to the point of thousands of cable/satellite customers cancelling their service to only stream via Netflix (and possibly other services like Amazon and Hulu). Although it may seem like a rash move to cancel satellite or cable service to some, others see it as the only decent solution when an average cable bill is $75 per month (that’s $900 a year), and they can pay $10 per service (Netflix, Prime & Hulu) per month and cut their cost by a third ($360 a year). It’s staggering to think about when you break it down like this so you would imagine that with the popularity of the streaming service the content would just be piling up. But the fact of the matter is that over the last 3 years nearly 40 percent of available content has disappeared.
So what’s going on?
Starting back in 2012, Netflix had nearly 9,000 titles listed and searchable in the United States. This over-saturation led to many viewers facing a quandary of being unable to decide what to watch, but in 3 years nearly 4,000 titles have vanished from those available to stream. Every country is a little different in titles available, but even some countries that have just been added to the streamable are also seeing a decline in total title count in a matter of months.
As Netflix has grown to being the largest streaming service, they have made enemies in the cable industry. Since viewers are leaving cable providers in search of lower costs, it makes sense to move to Netflix or Hulu as their source of entertainment; especially if they provide nearly the same content.
Netflix is making a conscious choice to work towards developing a massive library of original shows and movies rather than rely on third party providers to keep subscriptions high and viewers happy.
Several years ago it was nearly impossible to pick something to watch on Netflix because the options seemed endless. Now it seems like there just isn’t that much to choose from.
This is a common sentiment among Netflix subscribers, and as part of a poll done through Exstreamist, it was noted that 54% of subscribers wanted “the old Netflix back.” Even though Netflix is creating excellent original series and movies, viewers are becoming irritated with the lack of selection.
What does the future look like?
Well, Netflix is far from death. This decline in total title volume makes sense when you think about how adamant they are in terms of developing incredible original content. Currently Netflix purchases content at varied premiums from the various studios and then allows it to be streamed. So by cutting total titles, it allows Netflix to redistribute their money towards bigger ticket items like the $90 Million they just made a deal to develop a Will Smith/Joel Edgerton cop thriller, Bright. Add to that the partnership Netflix has made with Happy Madison Production for a four picture deal, as well as the Brad Pitt-starring film, War Machine.
Netflix is growing, and even though it may seem as though the content is dwindling, it’s making space for bigger and better original content to fill the gap. Just look at all the original content that we've seen already:
- House of Cards
- Hemlock Grove
- Marco Polo
- Marvel's Daredevil
- Marvel's Jessica Jones
- Orange Is the New Black
- Master of None
- The Ranch
- Beasts of No Nation
- Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny
- The Fundamentals of Caring
Considering how much we've already seen, and what else is still on the way it's easy to still have faith in Netflix's direction.