In recent years, Netflix has practically overwhelmed subscribers with a slew of new movies hitting the platform monthly. This approach has led to some flicks that have made a significant splash. Yet it’s also resulted in a lot of movies that have done little but further bulk out of the streamer’s already bloated content library.
It seems that Netflix is aware this approach might not be the most sustainable, as Bloomberg reports that the world’s most popular streaming service is restructuring its movie division and intends to release fewer original projects. The publication claims that “Netflix will combine units that product small and midsize pictures," so while the number of larger tentpoles (think The Gray Man or The Adam Project) won’t drop expect to see fewer small/midsize movies such as Windfall.
All change at Netflix
Unfortunately, this strategic change does involve a “handful” of layoffs, as well as the exit of two prominent executives. Lisa Nishimura, who oversaw documentaries and small-budget films, and Ian Bricke, the former VP for films, have both left the streaming company after more than a decade working at Netflix.
Netflix has previously touted a goal of releasing at least one new movie a week, but this restructuring will presumably alter that quota. There’s no word yet on exactly how many movies Netflix will aim to produce each month, but expect the amount of original content hitting the service to drop in the coming months.
Analysis: Netflix wants more quality movies
It’s been reported that the primary reason for Netflix adjusting its movie release strategy is to improve the overall quality of films released on the streaming service. Netflix Film chief Scott Stuber is reportedly keen to ensure that the streamer’s feature division is producing more high-end projects.
As noted, over the last two years, Netflix has released a lot of original movies, and while some have received strong critical praise and rocketed up the most-watched list, an awful lot have landed with barely a whimper. You don’t have to search far to find a Netflix movie with poor reviews and an equally subpar reaction from subscribers. Now the goal seems to be focusing on larger big-budget products and letting the mid-tier movies fall by the wayside.
On the surface, the idea of getting less for your monthly subscription fee might not sound appealing. But, if Netflix can refocus its efforts on movies that make a noticeable pop culture impact, this could be a worthwhile trade-off. Of course, just because a movie makes waves doesn’t guarantee its quality. However, the streamer has been keen to release content that also receives awards recognition in future years; see its efforts to win big at the Academy Awards in recent years as proof.
Here’s hoping this does end up being a positive change overall for Netflix, and that we soon have several new entries for our roundup of the best Netflix movies. In this case, it seems that fewer might just mean better after all.