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By now, everyone knows that Netflix is one of the best places to go if you're looking to find something to entertain you at any time of the day or night. The streamer has thousands of TV shows and movies available in every possible genre, so it's long been an easy go-to, no matter what people are interested in watching. With so many hours of content on offer, you might think that Netflix has similar amounts of movies and television shows ready for subscribers to watch, but it turns out that TV content far outweighs movies. The question now is whether or not this is a smart move for Netflix.
First, let's get into some numbers. According to Streaming Observer, Netflix's movie titles have dwindled to 40% of what they were in 2014. Back in March of that year, subscribers could log in and wade through a whopping 6,494 movies when investigating entertainment options, but, as of a few weeks ago (November 20, to be exact) that number is down to 3,849 titles. At the other end of the spectrum, television shows have grown on the service since 2016, from 1,197 to the current 1,784 series available to stream.
Netflix has made a lot of noise over the past several years about spending billions to license content from the US and abroad, as well as produce originals, both in movies and TV, which the company clearly sees as a way forward to keep itself relevant. Obviously, some of the reasoning behind the dip in available movies on Netflix is the ever-growing streaming wars. We've already seen that some popular shows like Friends and The Office will be leaving as they head to different streamers, and the same has been even more true of movies.
Consumers (and mega-conglomerate entertainment companies) are truly about to enter the deep end of streaming competition. Amazon and Hulu have made great strides in the past several years against testing Netflix's dominance, but now we also have Disney+ stealing away our favorites from Marvel (and Disney...and Pixar...AND Star Wars), and are coming up on Peacock (run by NBCUniversal) and HBO Max (WarnerMedia) doing more of the same with the content those companies own.
So, is Netflix doing the right thing by investing more in TV shows instead of movies? I can attest to the fact that I'm much more likely to re-watch an entire television series than I am to revisit a movie, even one I really enjoyed. And, with the uproar caused when fans found out they'd have to stop relying on Netflix for comfort viewing old-faithfuls like Friends, not to mention original favorites like Stranger Things pulling in some awesome viewing numbers, it would seem that many others tune in for the TV shows more than the movies.
It should also be noted that even if Netflix had several movies which classified as comfort viewing, at most those would each keep us pinned to our seats for two to three hours. But, we all know that if the streamer pads its viewing options with enough popular, long-running shows, many fans will be unlikely to cancel their service because they want to do a full re-watch, or always have their favorite episodes available whenever they need them.
I would say that Netflix seems to be on the right track when it comes to trying to keep subscribers happy in the battle between the number of movie and TV options. But, if those movie choices drop too much more, those behind the service might want to watch out.