If still synonymous with movies, Netflix is now primarily in the business of streaming TV shows. “TV series now account for more than half of all Netflix viewing,” as The New York Times reports. That fact, as NYT reasons, should lesson the loss this week of Startz content, including “Scareface” to “Toy Story 3.” Not that Netflix didn’t benefit from the three-and-a-half-year deal with the network, as it likely persuaded millions of consumers to sign up for its Internet streaming service.
Yet, while the end of the Starz deal isn’t good news for Netflix, “given the significant increase in TV viewing, it’s not the catastrophic event that everyone thought it would be a year ago,” Richard Greenfield, an analyst at BTIG Research, tells NYT. More broadly, “analysts say the prioritizing of television partly explains why the company has been able to retain about 21.7 million streaming subscribers in the United States -- totaling one in four households that have broadband -- despite complaints about an inadequate feature film selection,” NYT reports.
TV, however, might not be a long-term solution for Netflix. Rather, to differentiate itself from Hulu and Amazon, NYT suggests that it follow HBO’s lead, and branch further into original content.