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If it feels like there’s never anything to watch on Netflix, it’s not your imagination.
While there’s a name for the hours we sink into streaming our favorite shows and movies, there’s not really one for the hours we spend scrolling through catalogs to find just the right title. Swiping through Netflix can often feel fruitless, and there’s a reason. According to a report by Exstreamist, which cites sources close to Netflix, its catalog has shrunk by 50 percent since 2012, from roughly 11,000 titles to 5,302.
This could be the result of distributors pulling streaming rights on titles, but Netflix also recently revealed its plans to have original titles make up 50 percent of its catalog in the next few years, and so it’s attempting to funnel more money into shaping that content than negotiating third-party content. There are also more streaming platforms now than there were four years ago, which makes finding older titles less of a Netflix-only affair.
But if Netflix wants to keep people coming back for those originals, it probably has to figure out how to avoid crashing the weekend one of its most popular titles comes out.
Audra Schroeder is the Daily Dot’s senior entertainment writer, and she focuses on streaming, comedy, and music. Her work has previously appeared in the Austin Chronicle, the Dallas Observer, NPR, ESPN, Bitch, and the Village Voice. She is based in Austin, Texas.