The number of TV shows and films on Netflix has shrunk by 50%, a new report claims.
Exstreamist has investigated the US version of the service, looking at the number of shows and movies on the site in September and found 5,302 available for streaming. Contrast this with four years ago, when, according to sources at Netflix, it was closer to 11,000.
There's a reasonably sensible explanation for this apparent decline, according to the report. Firstly, it claims Netflix has fallen out of favour with distribution companies, making it harder to license third-party content and driving up the price of content that is available for licensing.
Secondly, Netflix has started producing its own 'Netflix Originals', which it owns the rights to. That means after-production costs are low and there’s a boatload of money to be made by licensing the shows to other companies after their initial run on the streaming service.
So while it's not great when popular third-party shows get removed, at least they’re being replaced by quality content. For example, Narcos, House of Cards and Stranger Things have proved hugely popular Netflix Originals.
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What’s more, Netflix's international expansion has encountered problems with complicated streaming rights, again making it more financially viable and easier in some cases for the company to make its own shows.
You probably haven’t been affected by the "collapse" too much, though. Netflix prides itself on using data that's fed back to it by loyal watchers. So it’s almost certainly dropping titles that aren’t being watched, while increasing its more popular Netflix Originals.
It’s a thin line though, as there’s great third-party TV on Netflix which if axed might be tough for users to be able to watch elsewhere.
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