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Netflix faces shortage of new shows to stream online because Covid pandemic

Netflix has 159 original titles of content between January and April 2021, as against last year when it had 180 pieces of original content, according to a website that reports on developments on the OTT platform.

twitter-logoIndia Today Tech | April 6, 2021 | Updated 15:33 IST
(Picture: Reuters)

Highlights

  • The first two quarters of 2021 are expected to be the worst hit because of the pandemic-related closures.
  • Original Netflix programs have fallen by 12 per cent since last year this time.
  • Since Netflix shoots its shows and movies months in advance, it did not have issues releasing titles in 2020.

Netflix is falling short on content in 2021 as the pandemic rages on. Original Netflix programs have fallen by 12 per cent since last year this time, according to data on What's on Netflix which covers developments of the OTT platform. The website noted that Netflix has 159 original titles of content between January and April 2021, as against last year when it had 180 pieces of original content.

"The number of originals Netflix has released so far this year has declined 12 per cent from a year ago. This might seem slight, but seeing as Netflix ramps up its output quite a bit each year, that decline is notable. The number of licensed titles has dropped a whole lot more, which reflects other studios pulling their programs back for their own services," Kasy Moore wrote for the website.

However, the data is specific to the US market and has its limitations, Moore told Business Insider. Bloomberg cited sources who stated the first two quarters of 2021 will be the worst hit because of the pandemic-related closures. Since Netflix shoots its shows and movies months in advance, it did not have issues releasing titles in 2020. The platform also brings out all episodes of a show in one go, unlike its competitors.

Last year, during an analytics call the chief content officer of Netflix had predicted that this would happen as uncertainty loomed large over content creation because of global lockdowns. "We work really far out relative to the industry. We don't anticipate moving things around." Netflix had noted that the shutdown of film and TV production around the world had temporarily increased its free cash flow but could result in the delay of programming.

"No one knows how long it will be until we can safely restart physical production in various countries, and, once we can, what international travel will be possible, and how negotiations for various resources (e.g., talent, stages, and post-production) will play out," the company said in a letter to shareholders.

In the first quarter of 2020, Netflix reached a whopping 15.8 million paid subscribers owing to the coronavirus pandemic which forced people to stay indoors. Meanwhile, Netflix is working on a test that would restrict users from sharing account login information. This would restrict users from sharing their password switch friends or family unless they are living with them.

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