Netflix seems to be focusing on TV, with new data showing that the streaming service has thousands fewer movies than it used to. Netflix has come a long way since its beginnings as a mail-order DVD rental service (remember that?). Now, the streaming service has become a major competitor to traditional cable TV, and as well as providing thousands of movies and TV series on demand, recent years have seen a massive increase in Netflix Original Series as well.
There's no doubt that when it comes to original programming, Netflix does TV far better than it does film, with dozens of hit series created by the streaming service, and only a handful of films finding the same level of success. Now, new data shows how much the service as a whole seems to be focusing more on TV than film, with a massive drop in the amount of movies in its catalog, and a huge increase in the number of shows.
Data from Flixable (chart below) compares the number of titles available to stream on Neflix in 2010, and again in 2018. The number of films available has dropped from 6,755 to only 4,010, a drop of over two and a half thousand titles. Meanwhile, TV series have grown by over a thousand, from 530 to 1,569. Movies do still make up the majority of titles on the site, though, at 72% of the total titles available, but this is a massive drop from the original 93% of the Netflix catalog that movies used to command.
It's worth noting that this data is only for the U.S. Netflix site, which means that the same may not be true of sites for other countries. However, it's likely that the same trends will be seen worldwide. It's also important to note that these figures represent only the number of titles available to stream, which doesn't account for the length of a film compared to a full TV series. In terms of the amount of time a viewer might spend on the site, TV series may well account for more hours of viewable content than movies by this point.
The raw data doesn't reveal why Netflix is making this move, of course, but there are presumably multiple reasons for the shift. The huge successes that Netflix is having with their own original programming undoubtedly contributes to the change, as well as the ability to keep viewers spending more time on the site with binge-able TV shows. In addition, there is a much bigger buzz around TV series and original movies than films that have already been released in theaters, so it simply makes sense for Netflix to focus on the content that creates the most interest and keeps it growing in the right direction.