Netflix is still the most popular site in the world for streaming television and movies. However, it appears that the amount of choice that viewers once had isn't nearly as great as it once was. A new report says that the total title account available from Netflix has been cut in half over the last four years. The reason for this appears to be a decision by the company to spend their money on original content, rather than to negotiate deals with third party companies in order to bring their content onto the platform.
The sheer amount of original content produced by Netflix has become so massive that it's impossible not to notice that it has become a huge part of what's available while you search for something to watch. Unfortunately, it would appear that the focus on this content has meant less overall material is now available online. Website Exstreamist says they have spoken to former Netflix employees who claim the library was nearly 11,000 titles in 2012, but now is something around half of that number. While many of Netflix's original series and movies have been quite successful, it's far from clear that the decision to focus there is a beneficial one.
Creating original content is quite simply more expensive than making deals with other networks. What's more, the trade off isn't simply one to one. When Netflix decides not to renew their deal for a popular show, like Doctor Who, that deal alone doesn't save them nearly enough money to afford a new season of Daredevil. The result is that in order to create all their new content, they have to drop deals for entire batches of content, shrinking the total volume of what subscribers can watch.
There's certainly an argument to be made that quality is more important than quantity. On the whole, Netflix series and films have been commended for their quality. Several of their shows have won Emmy awards, and their movies have been nominated for, and won, numerous major film awards. The recent launch of Luke Cage was so popular it apparently broke the service.
Of course, all that is of little consolation when your favorite movie gets pulled off Netflix apparently never to be seen again. For many, it's not a question of whether or not good stuff is available to watch on Netflix. It's simply a question of whether the thing you want to watch right now is available, and that's certainly more likely when there's more content to choose from.
What do you think of the current state of the Netflix catalog? Ae you happy with the options, or do you wish there was more to choose from. Which original series would you love to trade in order to get your favorite movie back?