Netflix and Amazon Prime are set to receive a major boost to their catalogs of original content over the next few years. In the early days of the online streaming subscription service, emphasis was very much on previously released, established content brought in from other studios for a fixed period. As the model grew however, Netflix and its main competitors have shown an increasing interest in commissioning their own original content. Over time, the production values and budgets for these original productions have steadily grown, as has their ability to attract big name actors.
These efforts have resulted in a variety of hugely successful TV shows and movies such as Stranger Things, House of Cards, To All The Boys I've Loved Before and GLOW. Netflix also struck a deal to produce a number of Marvel-related series, beginning in 2015 with Daredevil. On the Amazon side, The Man In The High Castle, The Grand Tour and Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan have all made a notable impact, with a big-budget, highly anticipated The Lord of the Rings series also currently in the works.
Given these high profile success stories, it perhaps doesn't come as a huge surprise that both Netflix and Amazon are set to double the amount of original content available to subscribers. A study by Ampere Analysis (via THR) has found that Netflix are currently planning over 250 original productions to add to the 229 already released. Similarly, Amazon have just over 100 projects in the pipeline which will join the 105 currently on their roster.
There has been much discussion over how far streaming services can compete with established TV and movie models and this extensive increase in original material is perhaps an indication that the full potential of the platform has yet to be completely realized. If Netflix finds itself in a position whereby it can compete with the major Hollywood studios in terms of budget, advertising and ability to attract top actors then even more major releases could be distributed online rather than in theaters, similar to Andy Serkis' Mowgli.
With that said, perhaps Netflix and Amazon's planned increases in original material aren't so much an attempt to compete with the status quo but to fend off new competition from the likes of Facebook Watch, YouTube Red, Disney and DC Universe, all of which are growing or forthcoming streaming services that'll soon be looking to rival Netflix's crown. Disney in particular has the potential to be a strong contender due to the sheer amount of franchises under its umbrella and this could be another reason as to why Netflix is shifting emphasis onto original material - content that is owned by the streaming service themselves rather than another studio.