Netflix Viewership On the Rise, but Licensed Content Migration May Prove Otherwise

For longtime Netflix members, the switch to original content was a somewhat difficult transition:  after all, the original purpose of Netflix was to bring make Hollywood movies more accessible to your living room.  From a business standpoint, it makes tremendous sense that Netflix would move towards original content as licensing from major studios cost quite the pretty penny.

But since Netflix made the jump, they have released some of the best original films and series in the business, today.  And that is a very good thing since the price increases—in contrast to less and less licensed content—made Netflix appear less and less attractive; at least, for a while.

If the present numbers are any indication, however, Netflix’s original content is here to stay.  In October, original content accounted for 37 percent of all Netflix streaming, which is a big jump from the 24 percent last year, and an even more impressive jump from 14 percent in January 2017.

This strategy, then, might prove to be make-or-break for the streaming-distributor-turned-fledgling-production-company. You see, major content suppliers like Disney and WarnerMedia are currently looking at starting their own membership-based streaming services, and they will start by first pulling their original content from other streaming networks (like Netflix).

And, of course, with Netflix dissolving its partnership with Marvel Entertainment (which Disney owns), viewership for popular comic book films and episodic content will certainly drop as well, as users migrate to Disney+ (the suggested name of Disney’s streaming platform).

For example, programming from Fox studios represented nearly a quarter of all Netflix streams in January of 2017; but after many of those titles migrated to Hulu (the next biggest streaming platform), Fox original programming only occupied 4 percent of engagement by October of 2018.  And that massive drop was even amidst a rise in overall viewership on Netflix.

Of course, another way to look at Netflix’s success is share price.  In July, Netflix’s share price was probably the hottest thing on the market.  In the six months prior, share prices hit record highs by soaring 107 percent!  But after July, Netflix stock corrected down 37 percent.
And Disney is also about to absorb Fox, so fans of Fox shows like “Family Guy,” “How I Met Your Mother,” and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” may also be making that switch as well.