Do you know that feeling when your scrolling through Netflix and you seem to see the same shows or movies pop up and you wonder why it feels so limited? It turns out the content on the online on-demand portion of Netflix’s library has been slowly dwindling over the past four years and now has about 40% less to offer than it did in 2012. The content loss of their mail in service is still unknown.
Back in 2012, Netflix’s online library boasted nearly 9,000 titles for subscribers to choose from. Now, according to a report from Exstreamist, the site has just over 5,100 available shows and movies, marking a drop of over 40% in content. This percentage is not universal for all Netflix subscribers. Since the streaming service went global back in January of this year, many countries have only seen a rise in content compared to the 0% they had earlier, but countries like Germany have seen a steady decline of around 15% in just the past three months.
Subscribers should not feel personally scorned by the site entirely, a majority of content they provide belongs to third party content owners, and if they are not happy with their contract or decided not to renew it in order to pursue more lucrative options, a large chunk of material is suddenly wiped from the library. Back in 2011 Starz announced that in order to “protect the premium nature of [their] brand” and to preserve the “appropriate pricing and packaging of [their] exclusive and highly valuable content” they would not be renewing their contract with Netflix and all their content would be pulled by February 28, 2012. In the same year they lost the rights to content from A&E as reported by The Hollywood Reporter. Since then, subscribers can often find shows disappearing from their list, even while they are in the middle of the season. I found myself staring blankly at the screen in disbelief and heartbreak when Battlestar Galactica had been removed back in 2014. With Netflix rising in popularity amongst entertainment consumers and taking away profits from satellite and cable providers, third party content owners have become a little less friendly with Netflix and a lot less willing to help them get more money.
Recently, Netflix has been creating a huge amount of original content that has generally been positively received by consumers. Shows like House of Cards have captured the drama audience, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Master of None have comedy fans locked down, and when you feel like just watching some classic, decent sitcom entertainment to wander in and out of shows like Fuller House and The Ranch have got you covered. Netflix executives have stated that they are intent on creating a giant library of original content for their subscribers to enjoy that will be owned by the company, ensuring that the content will remain on the site. With the success they have seen so far, audiences can be fairly confident that the site will still be a hub for quality entertainment, but that cannot replace fan favorites and classics.
A deal between Netflix and Disney back in 2012 is set to kick in this fall and will add content from Disney, Marvel, Pixar, and Lucasfilm to the site and will provide customers with access to classic films from the studios and brand new content such as Finding Dory. Netflix is also close to Finalizing a deal with the CW that will bring the networks shows, such as The Flash and Arrow, to the network within two weeks of the shows season conclusion.