Another big milestone in Netflix’s history as the Netflix Original library has now swelled to the point where they make up 40% of the library. That means that every 2 out of 5 titles you see on Netflix in the US will carry the Netflix logo.
The trajectory of Netflix Originals making up a bigger portion of the Netflix library is not new and has been growing rapidly in recent years.
In recent weeks, Netflix crossed over 2,400 Netflix Originals out of a total of close to 6,000 titles including both Originals and licensed content.
In February 2020, Netflix Originals made up 25% of the library total. That percentage rose to 35% in December 2020 and now just over half a year later, it’s reached 40%.
If the trajectory continues as it has done since February 2020, we could expect Netflix Originals to hit 50% in October 2022 and 75% in May 2025.
If we assumed Netflix ended all licensing arrangements completely (it hasn’t and very likely won’t), it’d hit 100% by November 2027. The reality is that this number will level off at some point but at what number is unknown.
Netflix began its Original program back in 2013 (although it did have a film unit before then but closed it down to avoid competing with Hollywood studios). Its Originals have become its primary driver as other studios and networks claw back their titles in favor of their own streaming services.
Not all titles are created equally
Of course, not all titles are made equally. It’s hard to compare the removal of all 9 seasons of The Office with the arrival of a stand-up special for instance.
Also if you’re thinking if the percentage increase is down to the library shrinking, you’d be wrong. The Netflix US library has actually grown in recent years. If we rewind back to 2017, the Netflix library in the US was around 5,500 titles. Now it’s consistently around 6,000 titles.
There are more caveats too. The definition of a Netflix Original is sometimes a bit iffy given it’s a very broad term. You can put most Netflix Originals into four categories.
As a result of there being multiple types of Netflix Original, you’ve got to consider that not all Netflix Originals will be available on the service permanently. In fact, over the past year, we’ve seen an increase in the number of Netflix Originals leaving the service.
There’s also a big argument to be made that the amount of Netflix Originals can often be overwhelming. Last week, we argued that Netflix should be branding its Originals within separate silos using their already established social media brands.
Not all regions have reached the 40% just yet it’s worth noting. Netflix in most other regions are still behind as they still get healthy doses of licensed content from providers who have otherwise pulled back from the US.
According to NewOnNetflix.info, Netflix’s UK library is 36% made up of Netflix Originals despite the fact that the Netflix Original total is about the same.