Although most expected Netflix users to watch original content on the streaming platform, studies show that 80 percent of viewers apparently watch licensed content instead. Netflix has invested a great deal of money to create new content for users to watch, but viewers seem to be more attracted to re-runs of favorite shows or new movie releases.
According to an analysis by 7Park Data per Variety, only 20 percent of users watch original Netflix shows and movies. Netflix may be a little disappointed after analyzing these recent statistics, considering they’ve spent millions of dollars on original content within the past couple of years. In comparison to their rival streaming platform Hulu, licensed content viewership seems to be a common trend amongst both companies.
According to Business Insider, “97% of [Hulu] subscriber streams were from licensed content, and 89% of first-streams were licensed content” while Netflix had “42% of US subscribers watch mostly licensed content (95% or more of their total streaming), while just 18% of US subs focus on Netflix originals (40% to 100% of total streaming).”
These statistics can be attributed to various factors, but it makes sense why there is a higher viewership for licensed content rather than exclusive original content. The cost for cable television and other premium television deals is incredibly high in comparison to a monthly subscription to streaming sites like Netflix.
Instead of being tied down to a contract and potential penalties, Netflix provides an alternative to this overbearing issue by supplying its users with a vast selection of licensed content of their favorite movies and shows, as well as upcoming original content like Stranger Things. In reality, it will take time for Netflix to create more recognition and interest for their original content, but they’re slowly making that transition.
Netflix may feel discouraged at the moment about these findings, but these statistics must be put into perspective of Netflix’s rising success with original content. With prolific content like 13 Reasons Why, Black Mirror, and Narcos, Netflix will be in good shape for the years to come, but it may also be in their best interest to make a few minor adjustments along the way.