What does the future hold for the streaming service?
Netflix started out in the late 90s as a DVD-by-mail service. It could be argued that it was providing users content on demand before that became a thing. In 2007 they made the leap into the streaming space. This move proved to be a game-changer for businesses, consumers and production companies around the world.
Let's cut to the chase here; Netflix is not dying. As of 2016, the service has 75 million subscribers. Other are desperately trying to catch up to the destination selected by the American giants. Figures published on AllFlicks, however, show that the amount of titles hosted on the US version of the site has decreased by 2,500 in the last 2 and half years. Why?
When Netflix began streaming they purchased licenses which allowed them to host content from a host of content providers and producers. This was a win-win for everyone involved. People still consumed live TV and rented DVDs so the producers were happy. Consumers had tonnes of choice, so they were happy. Netflix were at the forefront of the future of media consumption, so it's safe to assume that they were happy.
That's how things remained for quite some time, and then the panic began. Consumers started to embrace the notion of "pick up and play" technology. People began to expect content on demand. Habits changed because of Netflix and traditional media, for the most part, had no choice but to watch it happen.
As Netflix's figures grew and grew, networks and content producers started to look at their own media players and content hubs. They copped that they could host their own content without Netflix. That's what these figures are showing us.
This isn't great news for the consumer - it means we have to go to a number of locations to get good content, rather than just visit Netflix.com. It doesn't make a bit of difference to Netflix however.
In 2013 they released the first of their self-produced content; House of Cards. Unless you've been living under a rock, you'll know just how huge House of Cards has been. This seems to be where their focus is; producing excellent content rather than purchasing licenses from others. They do it so well and the big stars know this is where the future is.
Amazon's on-demand service seems to be the biggest threat to Netflix, but it's still some way off the mark. It's also worth noting that anyone else who comes along will be compared to Netflix who have almost a ten year head-start.