How the mighty have fallen – the tragic decline of Netflix’s film selection

How the mighty have fallen – the tragic decline of Netflix’s film selection

The competition between streaming services for film quality is becoming a battle of the titans and Netflix is being punched repeatedly in the stomach.

This year’s big Christmas addition on Netflix was Love Actually. On Amazon Prime it was It’s a Wonderful Life. It’s hard to find a better way to exhibit the starkly differing paths on which the two streaming services find themselves. Amazon are churning out a blistering array of classic and modern masterpieces (both mainstream and indie) while Netflix appear to be festering in the spoils of its former glory, seemingly ignorant of the slow rot of mediocrity that threatens its existence.

 

It essentially comes down to a matter of resource allocation – Netflix are pouring all their money into the production of their own content, churning out a seemingly endless number of series (the quality of which vary in quality and many have been successful) and almost entirely neglecting new content from other sources. They’ve kept up enough to slip under the radar of less diligent viewers but it is becoming more apparent that it’s content slipping far away from Amazon’s consistent attention to quality and demand.  

 

Here are Netflix’s most successful acquisitions and productions in film of 2017:

 

The Meyerowitz Stories (Netflix Original)

Okja (Netflix Original)

La La Land

 

When compared with Amazon Prime’s film contributions of 2017, Netflix pales in comparison:

 

A Monster Calls

Lion

Moonlight

Land of Mine

Free Fire

I am Not Your Negro

A Man Called Ove

My Life as a Courgette

The Red Turtle

Jackie

The Handmaiden

Manchester by the Sea

Tony Erdman

 

It seems bizarre that there was so much great film produced in 2017 which Netflix forfeited in order to produce another season of Ozark.

‘[Netflix have] kept up enough to slip under the radar of less diligent viewers but it is becoming more apparent that it’s content slipping far away from Amazon’s consistent attention to quality and demand.’

A basic Netflix subscription starts at £5.99 a month which means a subscriber is paying a minimum of £72 annually for access to this stagnant selection. By contrast an Amazon subscription will set subsribers back £39 per yeat as a student which includes free next day delivery and a membership to Amazon Music. The comparison of the two providers seems to make the decision for you and while there are other players in the streaming game NowTV’s provision of films falls behind and Disney Life is limited in its scope.

 

It boils down to this: for binging TV nuts Netflix will still scratch any itch. They have gone all in on their original series and the quality, quantity and variety of these series dwarf Amazon’s offerings in regards to TV. Yet for anyone interested in film and its art-forms who first signed up for the massive library of exciting flicks all those years ago, Netflix and its viewers are headed for an impasse. Change and originality can be good, but please Netflix, don’t forget where you came from.

Alec Sims

(Image courtesy of Make Use Of)