Internet streaming giant Netflix has announced a sizeable cut to its film library after the service decided not to renew its deal with Epix, a distributor.
As a result, thousands of films, including Transformers and the Hunger Games, will be removed from its library, as Netflix looks to focus on exclusive content. The deal had been worth £650m reportedly, and will continue up until the end of September, at which point the films will be removed from the service.
Hulu, a video on demand (VOD) service rival of Netflix, will instead form a deal with Epix to show the distributor’s content.
Writing to explain the ending of Netflix’s deal with Epix, Ted Sarandos said: “While many of these movies are popular, they are also widely available on cable and other subscription platforms at the same time as they are on Netflix, and subject to the same drawn out licensing periods.”
A number of exclusive shows, such as new work from Adam Sandler, Idris Elba and Ricky Gervais, will be coming up on Netflix he added.
The move by Netflix is being seen as a calculated gamble by industry analysts, with Jim Nail of Forrester saying: “Netflix is a very smart data company. They didn’t make this decision without looking at how many people are viewing these titles. They’re not trying to please everyone. They’re pleasing people who want premium content. That’s not all of America.”
It is generally accepted that no single company will be able to completely dominate the online streaming market, but Mr Nail added: “Netflix is thinking about what they want their role in the viewers’ video consumption to be, as opposed to thinking they can monopolise all video consumption.”