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Netflix Original Content Production Down 12%, Other Platforms Struggling to Keep Up

Aubrey Meister

When the pandemic first hit the United States and stay-at-home orders were put into place, it became apparent that TV and movie production would be affected. Throughout the crisis, many people subscribed to streaming platforms to keep them busy, and thankfully, the movies and shows kept flowing. Now that the pandemic has been going on for a year, it’s looking like the supply of streamable movies and shows is starting to dry up.

Kasey Moore, writer at What’s on Netflix, recently discovered that Netflix is unable to keep up with its typical production of original content. This is likely due to the pandemic restrictions put in place. Regular coronavirus testing, quarantines, and other precautions have been taken to protect the cast and crew members. While these rules are meant to keep everyone safe, they are causing a delay in content production.

Typically, Netflix will film an entire original series a few months prior to releasing it. At this point, a year into the pandemic, any previously filmed series have already been added to the Netflix library. It appears they may be nearing the end of their stockpile. New shows and movies are added regularly, but not at the same pace as they were before the pandemic.

Moore explains, “The number of originals Netflix has released so far this year has declined 12% from a year ago. This might seem slight, but seeing as Netflix ramps up its output quite a bit each year, that decline is notable. The number of licensed titles has dropped a whole lot more, which reflects other studios pulling their programs back for their own services.”

Netflix isn’t the only streaming platform impacted by the pandemic though. Platforms including HBO Max, Disney+, and Hulu are releasing very few new shows and movies. By picking up titles from other studios, they are able to keep content coming in, but it’s nowhere near the platforms’ previous capacities.

While original production appears to be down, there seems to be a light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. Numbers are improving and the vaccine is becoming more accessible. So, it shouldn’t be long before filming and production totally return to normal, which should expand Netflix and other platforms’ libraries. If you’re looking for a new show or movie to stream, you likely won’t have to wait too much longer.

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