Although Netflix seems more popular than ever, some users seem to believe that the streaming subscription service has a lot less content than it carried in the past.
And it's not in their imagination: a new report recently revealed that the number of movies and TV shows on Netflix has declined in the past few years.
Exstreamist pulled numbers from uNoGS (unofficial Netflix online Global Search) and discovered that in the United States, Netflix only has a little more than 5,000 movies and TV shows available to its users. However, in early 2013, the service offered nearly 9,000 movies and shows, signaling a 40 percent drop in content.
So what's going on with Netflix? One of the main reasons that content has dropped is the pushback from content providers: many of the networks and big movie studios have grown concerned about Netflix pulling customers away from their programming and movies. Netflix even angered big movie studios and major theater chains by releasing its original movie, Beasts of No Nation, on both Netflix and in movie theaters on the same day.
This, along with increasing numbers of consumers cutting the cable and satellite cord, make content providers nervous, meaning that they are far less likely to offer their content to Netflix, instead focusing on maintaining their dwindling viewership numbers.
Another reason, though, is because Netflix has started to focus on its own original content. The service not only offers its own original movies, but also has critically acclaimed TV shows it can focus on. And that original content continues to grow, thanks to growing partnerships with Marvel and other properties.
It's a case of Netflix wanting to offer quality over quantity. A few years ago, many users would log in to their accounts and spend hours trying to figure out what to watch because there were so many choices. Now, with fewer options, Netflix's customers will probably watch more of the service's original shows.
In the meantime, Netflix allowed other partnerships to end, including a deal with Epix that keeps big movies like The Hunger Games off of its site. That begs the question: does Netflix even need those big movies to compete?
The answer is probably no, especially after a weekend where many binge-watched the latest season of Orange is the New Black on the service. Most might argue that's better than watching a 10-year-old TV series or big budget Hollywood movie. Perhaps quality over quantity is the way to go.
All is not lost, though, for viewers who want more Netflix stuff to watch: the service recently sealed an exclusive deal with Disney to stream its movies, including Marvel films.