"Ozark" (Netflix Original)
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 Analysis’ SVOD tracking data, there are now over 3.700 Original-branded movies and TV seasons within the Netflix US library, which has consistently offered around 7.000 titles over the last three years. Among the major subscription streaming 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 Prime Video (9%) and Hulu (4%).
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 $6.2 billion in 2021, more than doubling the next highest spender, which is Disney+ with $2.8 billion.
Such investment has helped make Netflix a prominent distributor of popular content. Ampere’s proprietary Popularity Score indicates that across the first quarter of 2022, Netflix Originals and Exclusives accounted, on average, for 12% of the 100 most popular titles available on SVOD in the United States, the highest share of any SVOD platform.
“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,” said Joe Hall, Analyst at Ampere Analysis and the author of the report.
Moreover, according to Ampere, 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 the fourth quarter of this year.