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Netflix drops more classic movies as it focuses on original content

By midian182
Oct 13, 2016
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  1. If you’re a Netflix subscriber, you may have noticed that finding decent movies to watch on the streaming site is getting harder. This isn’t a case of your tastes evolving: not only is company’s catalog shrinking, but many of its highest-rated feature films are disappearing.

    The Streaming Observer did some investigating into the matter. It looked at the Internet Movie Database’s (IMDB) top 250 movies to find out which ones appear on Netflix. Surprisingly, there were only 31, or about 12 percent.

    Two years ago, Redditor Clayton_Frisbe carried out the same check. It showed that there were 49, or 20 percent, of IMDB’s top 250 movies on Netflix. Meaning the figure has dropped 8 percent in just two years.

    There are two reasons behind this decrease: the cost of licensing deals and Netflix’s focus on creating original content. Speaking at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference last month, company CFO David Wells said Netflix wants half its library to be made up of original productions over the next few years. He added that it’s already “one-third to halfway” there.

    Creating its own productions may be expensive, but it’s a one-off expense and the shows/movies stay in Netflix’s library indefinitely. Whereas licensing deals with distributors come with recurring costs, and if a contract’s allowed to lapse, the content is gone.

    While some of the best shows on Netflix come from the company itself – Stranger Things, House of Cards, Luke Cage, Daredevil, Orange is the New Black – and it is now producing some top-quality movies, such as Beasts of No Nation, not everyone is happy with the move away from content created by outside studios.

    When Netflix’s contract with Starz expired in 2012, it lost more than 2000 movies, though CNN reports that Starz content accounted for just 2 percent of viewing time. The site lost more high profile movies last year when its deal with cable network Epix was allowed to expire, leaving Hulu to pick up the contract.

    Outside of the States, the problem of diminishing movies is even worse for Netflix subscribers. Licensing agreements mean the selection is severely limited compared to the US, hence the use of (and recent crackdown on) VPNs to circumvent geographic restrictions. The problem could get worse if EU proposals forcing Netflix to show more European movies and TV shows are given the green light - potentially pushing out popular US content.

    But the fact remains that Netflix continues to boast more subscribers than any other movie streaming service, so expect more original shows and fewer Hollywood blockbusters as time goes on.

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  2. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 2,549   +852

    Yea and I havent really been interested in most of their content so at some point ill drop it if this keeps up...its getting a bit dumb how literally every movie I specifically look up on netflix isnt on netflix
     
    thelatestmodel and stewi0001 like this.
  3. Raoul Duke

    Raoul Duke TS Guru Posts: 930   +354

    I'm unhappy, but not desperately unhappy. I watch very, very, very little of the Netflix Original stuff. If they keep up with this and adding TV shows I will be more unhappy, but they have to fall quite a way to not be worth $9.99 a month.
     
    ikesmasher likes this.
  4. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 1,660   +767

    Netflix has, like those before it, hoped to be the end all and be all of movie collections. As others have found, such a catalog is enormous and when some movies rarely are seen, the business side kicks in and they cull these. It is grossly unfair for the students that are learning about Mass Communications and the the older folks that simply want to see an "oldie but goodie" movie of their youth. I have often wondered if such a project is so large that only the Library of Congress could be large enough and have enough funding to be the ultimate collection and storage of so many movies.

    It would be interesting to see the criteria by which Netflix is making these decisions. It could be one of the first signs of a near death service that is struggling to keep up their memberships. Were I on their board I would vote against culling the library, but push for expanded service in order to entice more cable cutters to subscribe to Netflix as their primary source of news, entertainment, and current events. The company that can accomplish that without the outrageous costs and limitations of cable service will certainly be leaps and bounds ahead of their competitors. We know it's coming, now it's just a matter of time to see who will be first & best.
     
    thelatestmodel and dms96960 like this.
  5. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,475   +2,033

    Apparently Netflix is not worth the money you pay here. Not that this is a slightest concern to me, I wouldn't bother with it anyway. If it's not sports or documentaries on TV then I'm not interested.
     
  6. thelatestmodel

    thelatestmodel TS Enthusiast Posts: 86   +22

    With this and the VPN restrictions I'm very close to canceling mine. The things I signed up for are gradually being eroded away.
     
  7. Jstepz

    Jstepz TS Rookie

    I rarely enjoy watching something twice so I love the original content on Netflix.
     
  8. Igrecman

    Igrecman TS Enthusiast Posts: 91   +47

    That is going to make Kodi or FreeTelly even more popular.
     
  9. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,311   +617

    IMO, much of the 'original content' is the same kind of stuff I dropped cable; dumb, violent, special effects and no story line.
    Looks like netflix will be next on my chopping block (after many enjoyable years too).
     
  10. LiveResistance

    LiveResistance TS Booster Posts: 85   +64

    I cancelled my Netflix a few months back when the 7.99 price I had been grandfathered into expired. I really haven't missed it and at this rate, may not be back anytime soon.
     
  11. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Guru Posts: 860   +272

    "The Streaming Observer did some investigating into the matter. It looked at the Internet Movie Database’s (IMDB) top 250 movies to find out which ones appear on Netflix. Surprisingly, there were only 31, or about 12 percent.
    Two years ago, Redditor Clayton_Frisbe carried out the same check. It showed that there were 49, or 20 percent, of IMDB’s top 250 movies on Netflix. Meaning the figure has dropped 8 percent in just two years."

    That's just the drop in total %.... the relative drop is actually 31/49 or 63% - far more compelling....

    More relevant, of course, would be the actual drop in total non-original content (ie: Netflix used to have 10,000 movies, now it has 5,000)... anyone have those numbers?
     

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