20th Century Fox
Madison Vanderberg
December 12, 2017 2:25 pm

If you’ve tried to find a holiday or Christmas-themed movie to watch on a streaming site recently and came up with nada, you’re not alone. A quick search for “Christmas” on Netflix reveals mostly made-for-television flicks that you’ve never heard of. Not that there’s anything wrong with made-for-TV holiday films, but when you’re in the mood for Home Alone, it’s not really the same thing.

Beloved holiday films often fall into the category of “older films,” which Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos says is not their core strategy at the moment.

“We have them and people enjoy them, and it’s fine, but…we don’t put that much marketing behind it, because people really don’t value us much for it,” Sarandos told investors at a recent meeting (via Bloomberg).

Also, classics like A Christmas Story or National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation are not as easy or affordable to acquire for a streaming site, especially when most streamers are making a push to create original content rather than acquire other studios’ back catalogs.

It’s suggested that the entities who hold the rights to popular holiday movies believe they can get more bang for their buck if they give the film rights to broadcast networks, rather than streaming sites. Per Bloomberg:

"It’s a Wonderful Life is slated to play on NBC on Christmas Eve this year, right about when TBS kicks off a 24-hour marathon of A Christmas Story. Walt Disney Co. will show Elf 14 times before Christmas on Freeform, a cable channel aimed at young viewers. The channel is giving a similar treatment to Clark Griswold’s exploits in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation."

So if you find yourself lamenting that there’s no good holiday fare on Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Hulu this year and can’t explain the complicated economic ecosytem of Hollywood to your 3-year-old niece this Christmas, you can always buy the movie on YouTube or iTunes, they’re usually around $4.

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