Over the last year, Netflix has been fighting an uphill battle against production companies and distributors as well as making major changes with them that put the Netflix library in jeopardy. In May of 2013 alone, Netflix will be losing over 1000+ titles from its library due to changing contracts and negotiation failures. However, independent sources say the number of titles being lost is closer to 2000.
How does this effect Netflix customers?
You may have noticed if you use Netflix streaming that many older titles started saying they’d no longer be available after May 1, 2013. Those titles, for the most part, were ones involved in this latest loss to Netflix’s library. Most of the titles are classics or titles released before 1990 who’s licensing rights are often up for grabs more often than the stringent processes surrounding more current titles.
Licensing issues have always been a problem for Netflix, along with other streaming services, as the changes in the Internet, distribution and syndication rights evolve as more users to take to the Web to get their TV, documentary and movie fix. Traditional distribution outlets, like TV stations, movie studios and good old fashioned brick and mortar movie rental locations are trying to work out better deals for rights to stay in business. This can lead to issues with the licensing involved in streaming services, too.
Where can you watch titles dropped from Netflix?
Depending on why the titles were dropped from Netflix, you may be able to follow them wherever they went. This could be the traditional movie store or other online archives popping up.
Warner Brothers launched the Warner Archive Instant for $9.99/mo so you can watch classics from their movie vaults. Many of these titles were pulled from Netflix this month as part of the purge, so if you sign up for Warner Archive Instant, you can get access again but for a price.
More archives will no doubt start to take advantage of the same strategy Warner Brothers has acted on to include streaming archives in addition to more traditional vaults in the future. Classic movie buffs may jump on the bandwagon and see it as an opportunity to watch titles that never made it to Netflix in the first place, as well as the titles that were taken out of its library.
How will Netflix cope with losing 1000+ titles?
Netflix has assured customers that the titles being lost are mainly older features controlled by Epix. Epix is a conglomerate of movie studios that distribute films to streaming services, such as Netflix. Epix still provides a lot of more recent titles that have come to Netflix, such as The Hunger Games.
For some reason, this loss has been getting more news than others to the Netflix library and of course, people are jumping all over it. Netflix has always recovered from losing titles, this time will be no different for customers.