December 3, 2019
Netflix’s catalog of feature-length movies is shrinking. The SVOD behemoth had 40% fewer movies (2,600 titles) to stream in November than it did during the same month five years ago.
As major studios pull back content for proprietary distribution and Netflix greenlights original feature-length titles, the service had 3,848 movies to stream as of Nov. 20. That compared to 6,494 titles in March 2014, according to new data from Streaming Observer.
NBC Universal, Fox, WarnerMedia, and Disney all continue to pull content from Netflix to underline their own streaming service ambitions.
While Netflix’s domestic movie offerings have been in decline, the tally meets or exceeds the service’s feature-film catalog in its foreign regions:
Australia – 3,480
Canada – 3,844
Germany – 2,704
India – 3,515
Japan – 3,046
Mexico – 2,839
New Zealand – 3,436
United Kingdom – 3,710
Streaming Observer cites growing competition in the SVOD market for the movie drain. Until recently, just Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu had the resources to license movies from studios — with Netflix outbidding the others for premium titles (i.e. landmark Disney deal).
Now with Disney+, NBC’s Peacock, HBO Max and Hulu in or entering the OTT market, their studio parents continue to pull movies from Netflix and compete with it for any available properties.
As a result, Netflix has shifted its focus to developing proprietary movies and TV series rather than licensing outside content, spending billions over the last several years in the process.
While Netflix has significantly upped spending on original movies, production not surprisingly fails to match combined Hollywood output. The opposite is true for TV shows. Netflix has actually rebuilt its TV show library over the past few years from 1,197 shows in 2016 to 1,784 titles today.