Netflix removed hundreds of movies in 2016 as a result of their decision to end deals with numerous content producers and distributors.
The action was brave and a result of their new plan to be the source of original content, in times when many competitors like Hulu pounced on the chance to pick up the titles that Netflix abandoned.
Instead of being the regular supplier of already existing movies and shows, the top streaming site aspires to be the place where viewers discover and consume new and exclusive shows.
Netflix had changed its course; from paying studios to obtain rights for existing content, they now choose to spend their money on acquiring new shows like Stranger Things, The Crown, Luke Cage, and the remake of Gilmore Girls.
The year 2016 turned in favor of the company as the term “Netflix Originals” got its recognition for quality.
The streaming giant revealed for last year that more than 600 hours of original content was released, which they intend to raise up till 1000. Their budget for this ambitious endeavor is $6bn which is a billion more than last year’s.
For putting their faith in the original content Netflix was rewarded well. With the news release of their 7.05 million new subscribers in the last 3 months of 2016, the company saw a 9% growth in their stocks yesterday. The number of new subscribers was far above the earlier anticipated number of 5.2 million and the company closed the year with a total of 93.8 million subscribers which should reach the milestone of a 100 million by March.
With that, 2016 saw Netflix take in $8.83bn (£7.1bn) in revenue – with a profit of $186.7m (£151.6m).
However with all the gains, Netflix is concerned about expanding and serving its subscribers in the other 189 countries outside the U.S and the growing number of competitors. They believe that major channels like BBC and HBO are giving up the linear TV – one episode a week – trend and are adapting the “binge-watching” model.
As their international expansion has been rapid, with majority of new subscribers coming from outside the U.S, Netflix is introducing non English show like the Portuguese “3%” whose dubbed version was also watched by English viewers creating a new audience set.
Hence, the company has made it clear that it’s no longer interested in signing up content to show only in select markets but instead is focusing on deals that can be shown in every country.