In March 2022, the number of Original and Exclusive titles in Netflix’s US catalogue accounted for more than 50% of all available content for the first time in the company’s history. According to Ampere’s SVoD tracking data, there are now over 3700 Original-branded (i.e. Original and Exclusive) movies and TV seasons within the Netflix US library, which has consistently offered around 7000 titles over the last three years. Among the major subscription video-on-demand (SVoD) platforms, Netflix is second only to the much smaller Apple TV+ in its focus on Original-branded content, and far ahead of fellow longstanding streaming incumbents Amazon Prime Video (9%) and Hulu (4%).
Netflix USA catalogue share by original status, 2016 – 2022 (%)
Originals have been a major focus of Netflix’s content strategy. In September 2016, when Originals and Exclusives accounted for only 5% of the US catalogue, then CFO David Wells set a target of a 50-50 split between original and licensed titles. This transition to majority Original titles is a product of Netflix’s market leading spending, with Ampere’s Markets—Content data showing that Netflix has outspent every other SVoD company on original content each year since 2013 and has consistently increased its yearly spending. Netflix’s original content spend peaked at $6.2bn in 2021, more than double the next highest spender—Disney+ with $2.8bn.
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% 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 in today’s streaming market, where the rise of studio-led direct-to-consumer (DTC) platforms has led to a shrinking pool of licensable content, as studios prefer to keep productions in-house for their own services. Original content also allows platforms to offer exclusive titles internationally without additional licensing costs in each market. This is particularly important as Netflix looks to acquire more international subscribers, with growth in developed markets flattening.
Under current growth rates, 75% of the movies and TV seasons available on Netflix will be either Originals or Exclusives by the end of 2024.The catalogue’s total content hours – which is currently 45% Originals or Exclusives – is forecast to cross the 50% threshold by Q4 2022. Ampere Analysis