Movies

Netflix originals have fallen 12% this year as pandemic-driven production delays catch up with the industry

  • Netflix’s original programs have fallen by 12% since this time last year.
  • The shortage of original content comes a year after the pandemic began delaying production.
  • Still, Netflix has said it plans to release an original film every week in 2021.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

We’re finally seeing the effects of pandemic-driven production delays in the streaming world.

Original Netflix programs have fallen by 20% since this time last year, according to Kasey Moore, who writes for the the website What’s On Netflix.

The streaming giant released 180 original pieces of content between January and April 2020, according to Moore. In 2021, that number is 159, as the company and its competitors feel the squeeze from a shortage in originally-shot content. Moore told Insider, however, that the data broadly indicates a trend and has its limitations. He also said the data is specific to the US market.

Netflix did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

As Bloomberg notes, Netflix insiders have said Q1 and Q2 of 2021 will see the biggest effects from pandemic-related closures and restrictions. The company shoots its shows and movies months in advance, per the outlet, which is why 2020 offerings seemed as though they were unaffected by the pandemic. However, as production was largely dormant through much of last year, viewers are now seeing a slight dip in the new original content on the platform.

The amount of originally produced content debuting may be down, but Netflix still has a bevy of highly anticipated programs hitting the platform this year. Season 2 of “The Witcher” is slated to debut, and the company said in late 2020 that it plans to release at least one original film every week in 2021.

Netflix customers saw a variety of popular original programs in 2020. The hit show “Bridgerton” landed on the platform in December and went on to become Netflix’s fifth-biggest original series yet.

The company enjoyed a surge in subscriber growth in the front half of 2020 as people driven into their homes by the pandemic turned to socially distanced means of entertainment. That growth appeared to slow starting in Q3 — analysts expected Netflix to add 3.3 million new paid subscribers, but the company reported 2.2 million.

The streaming world at large also saw a boom during the pandemic, with Netflix and its competitors taking up a crowded market. Disney Plus, HBO Max, and Amazon’s Prime Video are just some of the company’s fellow streaming platforms that are vying for viewers’ attention.

Disclosure: Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Business Insider’s parent company, Axel Springer, is a Netflix board member.

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