- Netflix’s original programming in the US increased from 4% of the service’s content in December 2016 to 11% in December 2018.
- Netflix has been focusing more on original content and less on licensing deals as more companies jump into the streaming war.
- Amazon and Hulu have a majority of licensed content, while HBO Now/Go has the biggest percentage of original content (relative to licensed).
As the streaming wars heat up and more companies set plans for their own platforms, Netflix has focused more on original content.
The streaming giant’s original movies and TV shows increased from 4% of the service’s entire US catalog in December 2016 to 11% in December 2018, according to a report from Ampere Analysis released on Thursday.
85% of Netflix’s new spending in 2018 went toward original content production. In 2019, Netflix is expected to spend up to $3 billion just on original movies, according to a Barclays report in January.
“Netflix’s strategy is clearly moving towards a self-sufficiency model,” Ampere analyst Lottie Towler said in the report. “Its focus on growing the proportion of original content in its catalogue shows no sign of slowing down – in fact Ampere’s analysis shows the streaming giant is reaching a point where it produces almost all the new and fresh content, while only the older content is licensed.”
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Netflix is already starting to feel the effects of incoming competition.
Netflix and AT&T struck a deal in December to keep the popular sitcom “Friends,” which ended 15 years ago but has found new life on the streaming platform. AT&T has the option to also include it in its own upcoming streaming platform. Netflix is paying up to $100 million for the series, The New York Times reported.
Exclusivity has been an essential part of Netflix’s strategy, but as more companies jump into streaming, it will become more difficult, and expensive, to keep exclusive rights to licensed content, like “Friends.”
Even NBCUniversal plans to launch its own ad-supported platform in 2020, and could pull “The Office” from Netflix once its licensing deal expires in 2021. “The Office” is one of Netflix’s most popular shows for subscribers, according to analytics company Jumpshot.
Disney ended its licensing deal with Netflix this year, and all of the company’s theatrical releases, starting with “Captain Marvel,” will make their way to its upcoming streaming service, Disney+.
HBO Now/Go has the highest percentage of original content of all streaming services at 34%, but has a smaller library of total content compared to Netflix. Amazon and Hulu have maintained the same small percentage of original content, both staying at 1% from 2017 to 2018.
The chart below shows the percentage of original content each streaming platform has in the US:
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