How Much Movie Content Has Shrunk On Netflix

Mute Alexander Skarsgard Leo walking through Berlin's mean streets

It used to be that Netflix was the place to go for a wide selection of movies available streaming. However, over time, it began feeling like the world of films on Netflix's platform was getting smaller. And sure enough, a recent analysis has proven that over the course of eight years, the movie library has indeed shrunk by a sizable margin. To be specific, the available movie content on Netflix has shrunk by 21% between 2010 and 2018.

Running through the numbers at large, movies used to take up 93% of Netflix's streaming library as far back as 2010, as 6,755 movies were available to stream at that time. Fashing forward to today, that figure has wound down to a current total of 4,010 films, which means about 72% of the big red envelope's digital queue is taken up by movies. While that's still a pretty major majority of their content, that's still a sizable drop in regards to where the movie library once was, according to BGR.

The current state of Netflix's business model has indeed seen a ramp up in television production, and one can't blame the company for doing so. Netflix's biggest opening into the awards circuit has been through its TV branch, not to mention the investment in television would seem to be an easier one to recoup, thanks to the advent and subsequent popularity of binge-watching whole seasons in one sitting. Regardless, that's not to say that the attention is completely drawn in the TV direction, as Netflix has started developing its own library of original movies, as well.

Let's not forget, 2018 is the year of Netflix's pledge to have as many as 80 original movies debut on the platform. That's a mix of originals like Mute and Game Over, Man that Netflix has directly produced, as well as acquisitions from studios like Paramount -- which delivered The Cloverfield Paradox to Netflix directly, and made a deal to debut Annihilation on its serves internationally. Not to mention, the third key to Netflix's stable, movies library (although there are fewer titles now than there were previously) is the constant addition of recent theatrical releases in a reasonable window -- an example would be what Netflix has been doing with Disney content, although that deal will be ending after this year.

As noted, that last portion of the model won't last forever, as the dip in titles reported will only grow when agreements like the one between Netflix and Disney end. That deal in particular will sting, as Disney is looking to become the next big streaming giant with its own platform. Combining both the studio's own original content debuting exclusively on the streaming service, as well as any other legacy content that's unveiled exclusively available through the new Disney portal, there will be one more competitor out to race against in the name of content.

While Netflix's film library may seem to be shrinking, the streaming services ambitions of delivering more frequent and better quality original films is undimmed. From a numbers standpoint, it may seem like a huge loss; but if there's more big ticket originals landing on Netflix and fewer films like Avengers Grimm being introduced into the pot, that subscription should seem like money better spent as each month goes by. It'll be interesting to see how things progress for the streaming giant, and you can bet we'll have a keen eye on what's to come here at CinemaBlend.

In the meantime, titles like Mute and The Cloverfield Paradox are just some of the Netflix Originals available for your viewing pleasure in 2018. Feel free to check out the list of titles coming to their line-up in March, as well as our list of titles we're looking forward to through this year, and beyond.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.