Report: Netflix Originals More than 50% of Streamer’s U.S. Library; 75% by 2024
While Netflix has been the streaming leader in the United States and around the world for the past decade, as of March 2022, the platform reached a new milestone on its path toward long-term customer satisfaction and stability. According to a new report from research firm Ampere Analysis' Joe Hall, the streaming giant finally has more original and exclusive content than licensed programming — which could (and likely will) leave the platform when various deals expire.
Of Netflix’s roughly 7,000 titles available to domestic subscribers, over 3,700 are branded as Netflix Originals — this is content created by the streamer’s in-house studio and that made by outside studios specifically for Netflix streaming. As the service saw the current consolidation of streaming coming, Netflix began transitioning from 100% licensed content to investing heavily in original programming years ago.
And while the platform is still seeing increasing cancellations due to price and content concerns, customers can now stream knowing that a sizeable portion of what they can watch on Netflix isn’t going to disappear; although Netflix still has a growing reputation for canceling shows early.
Dating back nearly six years, Netflix Originals and Exclusives accounted for only 5% of the streamer’s U.S library as of September 2016. That is when former CEO David Wells set the goal to have a 50-50 content split on the platform and began investing billions of dollars in producing originals. That investment has paid off in spades as the originals and exclusives percentage has grown rapidly every year since. While the number of streaming titles is now north of 50%, the total number of content hours on the streamer is expected to rise from 45% in Q1 2022 to over 50% during Q4 of this year.
While there have been concerns amongst customers and industry analysts about Netflix’s lack of consistent hits, according to Ampete’s Popularity Score, the streamer’s originals and exclusives accounted for 12 of the top-100 most popular titles in the first quarter of this year, the highest of any subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service, thanks in no small part to the final season of “Ozark” and the second season of “Bridgerton.”
One of the complaints about Netflix’s strategy with original properties is its insistence on releasing full seasons at once. While the binge method gives consumers options in how to view series, it also means that the excitement and buzz for shows is more limited than traditional weekly releases that build momentum throughout a season. However, as the service did with the final season of “Ozark” earlier in the year, Netflix is releasing the fourth season of “Stranger Things” in two parts in hopes of extending the watercooler window for the hit series.
Netflix’s percentage of original programming is second among major streaming services behind only Apple TV+ which has a dramatically smaller library having just launched in late 2019 focusing on a more A-list quality over quantity strategy. Conversely, long-time streamers Prime Video (9%) and Hulu (4%) are still far more reliant on non-original content, but both streamers are in slightly different positions than Netflix.
As Hulu is owned by Disney, a large percentage of its offerings were created by corporate siblings even if those shows and movies aren’t Hulu exclusives. Similarly, given Amazon's recent purchase of MGM, while Prime Video might not have originally financed that century-worth of movie history, they do own and control it now, making it a very valuable piece of Amazon’s offerings.
If Netflix continues its current rate of original and exclusive production (as well as the anticipated end of many deals for licensed content), Ampere anticipates that three-quarters of the streamer’s U.S. catalog will be originals or exclusives by the end of 2024. All of that should mean that as long as the service doesn’t continue to alienate customers with price hikes and premature cancelations, Netflix might just be able to right its ship before Disney+, HBO Max, et al. pass it in terms of streaming supremacy.
Netflix is a subscription video streaming service that includes on-demand access to 3,000+ movies, 2,000+ TV Shows, and Netflix Originals like Stranger Things, Squid Game, The Crown, Tiger King, and Bridgerton. They are constantly adding new shows and movies. Some of their Academy Award-winning exclusives include Roma, Marriage Story, Mank, and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
Netflix offers three plans — on 1 device in SD with their “Basic” ($9.99) plan, on 2 devices in HD with their “Standard” ($15.49) plan, and 4 devices in up to 4K on their “Premium” ($19.99) plan.
Netflix spends more money on content than any other streaming service meaning that you get more value for the monthly fee.