You probably did not notice this change the streamer made

It’s not quite a “great reset,” but a confluence of factors has brought about a significant moment of change for the world’s biggest streaming service. Netflix is ​​facing more adept streaming rivals than ever, for example, while subscribers have had enough of price increases. Meanwhile, a password-sharing crackdown is coming, and junk titles (like crappy reality shows) proliferate more than ever on the platform. Netflix movies have also been disappearing from the streamer over the last few years – in a big way.

As a matter of fact, the degree to which Netflix has pared down its movie library might actually surprise you. The website What’s On Netflix has published an analysis of Netflix movies in the US – which found, among other things, that back in May 2015 there were 4,751 movies available to stream. The US distinction is important to point out, by the way, because Netflix is ​​a global streaming service and boasts tens of millions of users around the world.

Netflix’s shrinking movie library

That said, the US is Netflix’s biggest market. It’s also where, as of today, the number of movies available to stream is down almost 40 percent from 2015. There are only a little more than 3,000 films today for US subscribers to enjoy, with 1,735 having left the platform since mid-2015.

That might sound like a big drop, but you also have to keep something else in mind.

Over the same period, Netflix has ramped up its own original movie production, delivering for subscribers movies like Red Notice, The Adam Projectand the current # 1 English-language Netflix movie globally, 365 Days: This Day. In other words, the pairing-down of Netflix movies from the streamer’s available inventory actually looks even more pronounced if you back out the originals that Netflix has added to the pile over that same period.

More importantly, though, what’s the implication here? Well, to some subscribers, this could make them feel like they’re paying more for less over time. Especially if those subscribers are cinephiles – and movies, remember, were what Netflix was largely built around in the early days (heck, it’s right there in the name of the product itself, in the second syllable).


What are the Top 10 Netflix movies?

Over time, of course, the balance has also gradually shifted such that Netflix now gets far more attention and scrutiny from the press and from global users for its TV shows, as opposed to its movies. Just look at the latest Netflix global Top 10 lists for proof.

Let’s compare the Top 10 English-language Netflix shows with the Top 10 English-language Netflix movies globally for the 7-day period that ended May 1. Adding up the figures from Netflix’s latest publicly available data, the aforementioned Top 10 Netflix mobies globally garnered a little over 158 million hours of viewing time.

Netflix TV shows, though? Almost 270 million hours of viewing time.

The onus now is really on Netflix’s own original content, including movies, which afford the company a way of exerting more control over its destiny. That content includes the Netflix originals below, which comprise the Top 10 English-language films globally on the streamer over the most recent 7-day span.

  1. 365 Days: This Day – 77.9 million hours viewed
  2. Silverton Siege – 20.2 million hours viewed
  3. The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes – 15.3 million hours viewed
  4. 365 Days – 10 million hours viewed
  5. The Vault – 6.6 million hours viewed
  6. How It Ends – 6.6 million hours viewed
  7. The In-Between – 6 million hours viewed
  8. The Adam Project – 5.6 million hours viewed
  9. Sonic the Hedgehog – 4.9 million hours viewed
  10. Shrek – 4.5 million hours viewed

More Netflix coverage: For more Netflix news, check out our coverage of the latest new Netflix movies and series to watch.

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