Netflix Changes Content in 2021

Mera Seifu, Staff Writer

     Netflix is really taking this whole “new year, new me” thing seriously. According to ET, just this month alone, over 50 movies and TV shows are being removed from the platform, some of which were fan-favorites, like The Office. In replacement of them will be dozens of Netflix originals. What’s up with all the rapid change? Before we get to the bottom of this, let’s take a look at how Netflix got where it is today.

Photo courtesy of Netflix.com.

     Netflix was established in 1997 by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph, co-founders who intended to create a service where films could be purchased via mail instead of in-store. Ten years and a billion mailed DVDs later, it transformed into an on-demand internet film service, one that would further the evolution of TV. Instead of waiting an entire week for episodes to air, viewers were now receiving content that allowed for them to watch entire series in one sitting- what we now refer to as binge watching, a concept which has become normalized. 

     Binge watching combined with the technological advancements that took place during the 2010s made for a drastic increase of viewers. Originally, Netflix provided only shows from other networks, but by 2013, the platform released its first original, House of Cards, which encouraged the development of several other Netflix originals such as Outer Banks, BirdBox and Never Have I Ever, all of which found success on the network. The streaming service continued to grow popular, and by April 2017, it had surpassed 100 million subscribers, about 50 percent of whom lived outside the U.S. 

Photo courtesy of Netflix.com.

     Despite the company’s success, there were many challenges to overcome. As Netflix continued to grow its platform, competing streaming services began forming, for example, Hulu in 2007, YouTube TV in 2017 and, most recently, Disney+ in 2019. 

Photo courtesy of Netflix.com.

     Because many companies were now making their own streaming services or selling their content for better deals, some of the shows and films originally in the Netflix library are now being returned to their original owners. For example, Disney has been transferring its films on Netflix into their own streaming service, Disney+, as a way to continue to expand their own brand. 

     Despite new streaming services and better deals being major factors in the removal of certain films on Netflix, these changes weren’t the only reason. Some shows got removed simply because they had lost viewers or didn’t turn out to be as successful as expected. Regardless, the company is working to provide new content, many of which are originals. Some of 2021’s upcoming films to look forward to include To All The Boys 3, The Winx Saga and 17 Again.