I hope you weren’t planning on watching Goldfinger anytime soon. The Bond classic is just one of a mind-boggling 1,794 titles vanishing from Netflix Instant Watch as of today. I mean, you probably could watch it somewhere else, but considering how much of my own media consumption is Netflix-based, I don’t even know where you’d start looking to watch a thing somewhere else. Do they still make DVDs? Are those still a thing?
On a quick look at the full list of titles on InstantWatcher, there are some ways this isn’t all that big of a deal — I mean, it’s not like you were watching the dozens of Barney episodes that are getting the ax. In other ways, though, it’s more telling — and more troubling for the long-term health of the service. Today’s exodus from Instant Watch comes as the company sees its deals with studios like Warner Brothers, MGM, and Universal expire, suggesting that other studios may be looking for more ways to get in on the streaming action themselves, rather than remaining content to cede the market to Netflix.
That said, reports that the films departing Netflix will be showing up on Warner Instant when that service launches later this month appear to be incorrect. At least Warner is denying them via Twitter:
We aren’t involved in Netflix’s business decisions & our content is drawn solely from WB’s library & aren’t streaming Universal/MGM content
— Warner Archive (@WarnerArchive) April 30, 2013
While we’re turning into big fans of Netflix’s original programming, they’re going to have to drastically up their production schedule if they want to replace all the material they’re losing just today. If they can’t find a way to work with studios going forward, the future of Netflix could become a whole lot murkier.
- The Netflix family plan will let you watch less programming on more devices
- It’s looking less and less like Netflix will ever get off the Internet and on cable
- And man, don’t even get them started on Canadian Internet speeds…