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Analysis: Originals, Exclusives dominate Netflix US catalogue

May 31, 2022

In March 2022, the number of Original and Exclusive titles in Netflix’s US catalogue accounted for more than 50 per cent of all available content for the first time in the company’s history. According to Ampere Analysis’s Subscription Video on Demand (SVoD) tracking data, there are now over 3,700 Original-branded (i.e., Original and Exclusive) movies and TV seasons in the Netflix US library, which has consistently offered around 7000 titles over the last three years.

Among the major SVoD platforms, Netflix is second only to the much smaller Apple TV+ in its focus on Original-branded content. It’s far ahead of fellow longstanding streaming incumbents Amazon Prime Video (9 per cent) and Hulu (4 per cent).

Originals have been a major focus of Netflix’s content strategy. In September 2016, when Originals and Exclusives accounted for only 5 per cent of its US catalogue, the then CFO David Wells set a target of a 50/50 split between original and licensed titles within the next few years. This transition to majority original titles is a product of Netflix’s market-leading spending. Ampere’s Markets: Content data shows that the Group has outspent every other SVoD company on original content each year since 2013 and has consistently increased its yearly investment. Netflix’s original content spend peaked at $6.2 billion (€5.8bn) in 2021, more than double the next highest spender, Disney+, with $2.8 billion.

Such investment has helped make Netflix a prominent distributor of popular content. Ampere’s proprietary Popularity Score indicates that across Q1 2022, Netflix Originals and Exclusives accounted, on average, for 12 per cent of the 100 most popular titles available on SVoD in the US, the highest share of any SVoD platform. Notable titles include the final season of crime series Ozark and the second season of period drama Bridgerton, which recently became the most-watched English-language TV series on Netflix.

“Netflix’s increasing content self-sufficiency is necessary for today’s streaming market,” advises Joe Hall, Analyst at Ampere Analysis. “The rise of studio-led direct-to-consumer platforms has led to a shrinking pool of licensable content as studios prefer to keep productions in-house. Original content also allows platforms to offer exclusive titles internationally without additional licensing costs. This is particularly important as Netflix sets its sight on acquiring more international subscribers to compensate for maturity in developed markets.”

Under current growth rates, Ampere estimates that 75 per cent of the movies and TV seasons available on Netflix will be either Originals or Exclusives by the end of 2024.

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