Bethany Biron
March 26, 2016 9:28 am
Lionsgate Televison/Netflix

Netflix has recently arisen as a bastion of quality original programming, bringing us protagonists like the menacing Frank Underwood of House of Cards, and Marvel comic hero Jessica Jones. For that, we are forever grateful, but now it appears there’s a bit of a backlash to this improved original content- fewer and fewer movies are available through the service.

According to AllFlicks, an online tracker for available Netflix offerings, Netflix’s catalogue has decreased dramatically in the past two and a half year, down 2,500 titles, a 31.7% decline. Their data shows there were 6,494 movies and 1,609 television shows available in January 2014, compared to 4,335 movies and 1,197 as or March 23 of this year.

While this slump may appear shocking, it’s largely the result of increased competition to acquire streaming rights, particularly among sites like Hulu and Amazon. For example, Netflix was unable to renew its deal with the movie channel Epix last fall, which required removing major blockbusters like Wolf of Wall Street, according to Time.

But if you’re concerned about your Netflix and chill options, you shouldn’t be, so long as you have a preference for new material. Instead of racking up deals on new releases or expanding nostalgia content, the company is continuing to focus on expanding its original shows and movies, with 600 hours of programming expected to release this year.

Though Netflix has not provided an official statement about the shrink, chief content office Ted Sarandos told investors in 2015 that ultimately original programming “has been more efficient dollar for dollar,” Seventeen reported. Regardless, the strategy appears to be working, as Netflix reportedly added an additional 12 million U.S. subscribers over the past two years.

Movie shortage aside, if that means more Judd Apatow produced shows about dysfunctional modern romance and even more stories about the ladies of Litchfield, I can’t say I mind.

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