There was a time when Netflix was without any doubt the only network that people went to when they didn’t want commercials and they didn’t want to feel as though a cable company was charging them for everything under the sun when all they wanted were a few channels. Netflix was and still is a streaming giant, but movies are becoming a little more scarce on the network than they used to be for various reasons, namely the networks competitors are realizing that they too can come up with their own streaming networks and be just as popular, while at the same time taking back the movies that they loaned out to Netflix to begin with. Ryan Belltram of We Got This Covered has a point when stating that when the network started coming out with original series and movies that a lot of people probably moved right past them to the titles they knew something about. I can remember watching countless movies on mail order DVD’s and being psyched when they arrived. When the network started to moved away from DVD’s as one of its primary sources however a lot of us started to take note of the original series and finally started watching.
The trend with losing movies, and Netflix has lost a lot really in the past year, comes from the competitors taking their properties back. Disney and AppleTV are two huge competitors that have been taking properties back, but it’s obvious that Netflix isn’t feeling the pinch quite yet. Thanks to the number of original series and movies the network is still able to compete in a big way with its competitors since at this time Disney+ and AppleTV are still new kids on the block and Amazon and Hulu are still around but haven’t quite hit the same popularity as Netflix has enjoyed. It does feel however that one day or another Netflix will likely experience a serious decline in subscribers if only because it’s not going to be able to offer any movies apart from its own. While that might not hurt the numbers it will certainly change things since the older and more established movies that people have come to enjoy over the years will only be accessible on one given site since at this time it’s becoming obvious that each competitor wants to take over their own corner of the market and thereby take what’s theirs and run with it. You can’t blame a company for wanting to do this after all, since loaning out properties and getting paid for them isn’t quite the same as holding onto the properties and seeing every dollar make its way into your pocket. This is just one reason why so many streaming services are coming up at this time, as the need to control one’s own property is a matter of profit and pride with many people.
One thing that the new competitors are doing with their own original series, and this is smart, is that there have been some shows that are only being released one or limited episodes at a time. This is one practice that Netflix might need to learn from since it does keep people coming back so long as the story is worthwhile and can lead a person forward. People typically have at least one or two subscriptions at this point since there are so many different networks that they want to watch their favorite shows but can’t compile them all into one channel. In that light they’ll sign up for their favorites in order to see their favorite shows, and in doing so will become yet another part of the streaming wars that are currently in full swing. It’s easy to think that people aren’t even noticing the decline in movies on Netflix at the moment since they’re being inundated on a regular basis with new shows, new original features, and are being given so many different choices that it’s hard to really figure out with way to turn these days. The fact though is that Netflix has lost around 40 percent of its movies at this point and is going to keep losing them as other networks are taking them back slowly but surely and Netflix will have to pick up the pace to make sure that it can stay on top of the competition and still offer people what they want to see. One kind of has to wonder at what point movie theaters will become less of a luxury and more of a chore and if the blockbusters we enjoy in the theater will eventually be passed along to the streaming networks in a bidding war. It seems like a far-fetched idea at this point, but given how much people enjoy streaming movies and TV shows on their various devices it doesn’t seem like it’s too far out of bounds. Eric Kohn of IndieWire has more to say about this.