The selection for the streaming giant’s U.S. subscribers has gone from 8,103 titles (494 movies and 1,609 TV shows) in January 2014 to 5,532 titles (6,494 movies and 1,609 TV shows) as of March 23. That’s a 33.2 percent drop in the number of movies and a 25.6 percent drop in the number of TV episodes.
The reasons aren’t hard to fathom.
In August, when Netflix tried to renew its deal with the cable network Epix, it was outbid by Hulu, causing it to lose a list of high-profile films including Hunger Games: Catching Fire, World War Z, and Transformers: Age of Extinction; along with scores of other titles from from Lionsgate, MGM, and Paramount, including franchises such as the James Bond films, Rocky, Star Trek, Paranormal Activity, Beverly Hills Cop, and Friday the 13th.
At the time, Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos posted a not-so-assuring blog, in which he wrote, “While many of these movies are popular, they are also widely available on cable and other subscription platforms at the same time as they are on Netflix and subject to the same drawn out licensing periods.”