Why Netflix doesn’t really care if its movies are good
Netflix has a lot of bad original movies, but quality isn’t an issue for a platform that prioritizes quantity. Here’s why the model works so well.
Although the majority of his original films are of poor quality, Netflix is still the reigning king of streaming services. In fact, part of the platform’s success can be attributed to the exact strategy of producing as much content as possible, regardless of the quality. This is why Netflix doesn’t care as much about the quality of its movies as they are present and plentiful.
The current wars in streaming services dictate that Netflix can no longer rely on licensed material to win over subscribers. Luckily for the original streamer, Netflix has been around long enough to slowly present its own original movies and TV shows and retain the majority of its subscribers who signed up years ago. This ability to mold and adapt to a new entertainment market is why service is still the most recognizable last name, even in the midst of intense competition. However, Netflix doesn’t have the benefit of relying on as many pre-existing popular IPs as, say, Disney + or DCEU home HBO Max, and has to constantly create new content in the hope of making it successful. .
As a result, viewers see a lot more of the Netflix Original Tags when browsing the service than in the past. It’s also because Netflix intentionally advertises its own branded content rather than suggesting third-party licensed material. While the COVID-19 pandemic seemed at least temporarily to curtail film and television production, Netflix is making up for lost time by releasing at least one new movie every week, an ambitious plan that proves the company shows no signs of slowing down its growth . In addition, the streamer has also created his own marketing event in the form of TUDUM to promote his growing offering of original IPs. All of this equates to an ever-growing library of Netflix content, intended to both retain existing subscribers and attract new ones.
Netflix does a lot of bad movies
Netflix has built its reputation as a formidable rewards machine, having produced and distributed an impressive number of critically acclaimed films and series. For each Irish Where Rome, however, there is a crop of generic and flat action flicks such as the critically derided film The Last Days of American Crime, or at least five low-effort Adam Sandler vehicles like Murder Mystery. Even the streaming platform’s efforts to woo the prize crowd don’t always work with success, as decried Hillbilly elegy Where Starling provide evidence for. Put simply and bluntly, Netflix’s mediocre content trumps its notable selections.
Looking at the 2021 releases of the platform alone proves that most of the original lineup ranges from forgettable and bland to downright horrible. The fact that the streamer is following through on his ambitious plan to release a movie literally every week of the year makes the volume of duds less surprising. A small handful of recent Netflix originals are big budget projects such as Army of the dead and the next Dwayne Johnson vehicle Red Notice, but there are many more unremarkable titles that inevitably get lost in the algorithm.
Netflix movies are still watched (even if they are bad)
However, bad Netflix movies aren’t always doomed to digital ether. In fact, a significant margin of those critical hiccups turn into real hits for the streaming service. The list of the top ten most watched movies on Netflix fluctuates daily, but even the worst movie has a chance to land a spot there, especially as Netflix’s algorithm pushes its own original content onto the licensed material. Recently the completely useless He is all that, a remake of the 1999 romantic comedy, with a genre swap, became the number one most-watched feature on the service during its first week of release. Jason Mamoa’s Head Nice girl, another critical misfire, jumped to first place on his first day of duty.
These numbers don’t necessarily mean that audiences watch these films from start to finish, either. Netflix has at least two minutes of viewing time in audience statistics, enough to indicate “the choice was intentionalThis means that the average curious subscriber who chooses to stop watching a movie altogether will always count towards the total number of views. That was not always the case; Netflix used to ‘tag movies as “watched” if users performed at least 70% of the runtime, as was the case when Bird box caused a sensation in 2018. However, the current data-crunching system is supposed to more accurately reflect the overall interest of an individual subscriber in the chosen content and thus feed the algorithm more efficiently.
Why Netflix doesn’t care if its movies are “good” (and will continue to do more)
All of this means that Netflix subscribers will “watch” an original movie if the algorithm pushes it hard enough. Gone are the days when buying a movie ticket for a potentially bad movie was a financial risk for both the consumer and the studio. Lower quality content is not enough to make people unsubscribe from Netflix, so poor quality is less dangerous than for big theatrical releases that rely on box office performance. On the contrary, Netflix only has more subscribers to gain from the more popular original releases, and simple math dictates that the more original content is available, the more people will end up checking out the new releases.
This model explains why Netflix now releases films on a weekly basis, a classic case of prioritizing quantity over quality. It also means that there is an oversaturation of content on the service, although it certainly won’t impact subscribers’ willingness to keep paying or Netflix’s fast-paced distribution strategies. It just means there’s a lot more chance that the last movie that appears on the homescreen will be a disappointing or even miserable watch. But a watch is a watch, and it’s the most important factor in Netflix’s streaming war campaign.
However, there is a silver lining to this seemingly cynical method of distribution. The sheer volume of Netflix content produced means there are more opportunities for mid-budget projects that a Hollywood studio wouldn’t normally give the green light. It also allows the service to be more adventurous in the type of projects it approves of, taking risks on provocative or unusual material. Although the streamer’s approach gives a lot of hiccups, by netflix strategy can also unearth hidden treasures.
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