You’re not imagining things, dear Netflix consumer, the streaming giant really does have more television offerings than ever before. The third-party Netflix search engine Flixable has crunched some numbers (via Business Insider) and found that, since 2010, Netflix has nearly tripled its television offerings, while its movie picks have gone down by the thousands (and, yes, that includes their splashy “Originals” titles and big festival buys).
Business Insider reports that “in 2010, Netflix had 530 TV shows compared to 6,755 movies. Now, in 2018, the amount of TV shows has nearly tripled to 1,569, and the amount of movies offered has decreased to 4,010.” As the outlet notes, chief content officer Ted Sarandos has been open about how the streaming outfit tailors its picks to what audiences want — which is, increasingly, more television shows, both original and from other networks. It’s not just “Stranger Things” or “Black Mirror” or newbie “Everything Sucks!” that’s fueling the charge, it’s also syndicated picks like “Friends” and “The Office.”
As Sarandos explained in 2016, Netflix has always found that the minority of its audience total viewing is dedicated to movies. At the UBS Global Media and Communications conference in New York, Sarandos was asked about the seeming decline in movie picks on the site, to which he said: “No matter what, we end up with about one-third of our watching being movies.”
Still, Netflix isn’t backing down from the film side of things, instead investing in their own kind of “event” films, including original titles like “Bright” and the recent surprise release “The Cloverfield Paradox.” They will release 80 original titles in 2018 alone, a pricey proposition that will inevitably slice into spending for other, non-original titles. The hope is that the film side of things will help fuel to the rest of outfit, even if it’s not the biggest winner on its own.
“Making arthouse films and Sundance movies on its own can never be a sustainable big business,” Sarandos told IndieWire last August. “But the economics of it are the same. We can draft off a bigger business, so people come in for something else and you have their attention and, ‘Oh, I want to see this new thing.’ You don’t know the star or the director, you just know the premise, and you have this algorithm that they are putting in front of you that you trust, so you try it.”
You can check out the Flixable report (with some very telling graphics) right here.