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Netflix Content Has Dropped 50% Since 2012

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Netflix is one of the most popular streaming services in the country and around the globe. When the service started, it used to offer a library full of licensed content to its subscribers. But, for almost four years now, the service has steadily added a number of original titles as well. However, another interesting development has also taken place during this time. In 2012, Netflix was hosting the highest number of titles ever, around 11,000. However, at this very moment, Netflix is not even hosting half the number of titles. As the streaming blog Exstreamist recently reported in September, the number of titles in Netflix library had reached 5302.

So, why is Netflix cutting down on its library size?

There are two reasons for this move. The predominant reason for the decline in the title count is the increased focus of the company on creating original content. So, Netflix is not interested in simply ballooning its library now, and wants to offer more of exclusive and high quality content to its subscribers. It all started with House of Cards. This political drama initiated Netflix into producing original content and the huge success of the show encouraged Netflix to produce more original content. Since then, the streaming service has been on a roll producing popular shows like Orange is the New Black, Bloodline, Stranger Things, and many more. All these shows have been appreciated by the critics and widely loved by the viewers.

The Chief Financial Officer of the company, David Wells himself said that the company is aiming towards an equal distribution of original and licensed content. Evidently, the company wants to offer more original content and is not really interested in keeping a lot of third party content. Consequently, Netflix is not renewing many of its content licenses. It is shedding weight so that it can make place for more and more of original content. Also, since the company has to invest some big bucks on creating its own content, it has to cut the spending on licensing deals and that is exactly what it is doing. In fact, the company claims that by the end of 2016, it will have already delivered over 600 hours of original content. This content will last a binge watcher’s 25-days marathon, without eating or sleeping. That’s a lot of high quality content to enjoy.

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Netflix has taken a conscious decision to invest its money and resources towards producing more and more original content. If you look harder, you will see the direction in which the company is steering. It has made multi-million dollar investments on its upcoming shows. While Baz Luhrmann’s The Get Down is rumored to have a whopping $120 million budget, the Will Smith feature Bright will take a good $90 million to be made. These investments clearly indicate towards the future of the company. Netflix wants to keep itself relevant in the highly competitive streaming market by offering content that other providers cannot. It is now creating a library of content that is not available anywhere else and it is offering all of this to its users starting at just $9.99 per month.

So, the trend of dropping licensed content is a well-executed strategy that the company intends to follow in the future as well. So, Netflix subscribers can expect to see quite a lot of titles missing from their Netflix accounts. At the end of the day, it all boils down to the user – whether or not they are ready to make the tradeoff. For that to happen Netflix’s original content should be superior to the wide variety of third-party content that is absent from its library. If the subscribers do find it to be the case, then the company will keep fueling its plans. However, if the content drop negatively affects the subscriber base of Netflix, then it will be forced to rethink its strategy.

The content drop is a well-thought out plan by the company and one that is going to shape the company’s future in the streaming industry. It might become a pioneer once again in steering the industry towards a new future or it may be committing a huge blunder that will dethrone it from the leadership position it currently enjoys in the streaming industry. Either way, only time or viewers hold the key to the company’s future. It will be interesting to see what the outcome of this radical move will be.

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