Netflix’s clear focus on original content has been underlined by a new report which revealed the streamer launched about nine times as much original programming as primary competitor Amazon Prime Video.
According to new figures from Omdia’s Original Online Production Report – 2020, Netflix released 2,701 hours of original programming in 2019, compared to 314 hours from Amazon Prime Video.
The research also found that Netflix offered a total of 657 first-run original titles in 2019, a significant amount more than the 70 new titles from Amazon Prime Video.
Netflix also increased its hours and titles of original programming by 78% and 70% respectively compared to 2018. By contrast, Amazon’s hours declined by 18% and titles decreased by 5%.
Omdia research director for channels and programming Tim Westcott said: “Rather than competing head-on, Netflix and Amazon are in very different businesses –as illustrated by the original programming results from 2019. Netflix is a pure-play subscription streaming business that needs to fuel its continued international growth; Amazon is first and foremost a retailer, using video as an add-on to its Prime delivery business. In pursuit of its streaming strategy, Netflix is evolving into a Hollywood-style studio, building its defenses against the likes of Apple and Disney+ by offering an increasing volume of original programs.”
Amazon has also increased its amount of live sport, including the UK broadcast of 20 premier league matches.
Meanwhile, Netflix has focused its efforts on non-US productions. The streamer uploaded 1,562 hours of shows and movies from outside the US, up from 578 hours in 2018. The 1,139 hours of production sourced from within the US in 2019 was also an increase, up 20% from 2018. This means that, for the first time, the majority (58%) of Netflix’s original content was produced outside the US.
This was reflected in the increase of subscriptions. Netflix ended 2019 with 109 million international subscribers, making 64% of its overall total and a year-over-year increase of 24%. Growth in the US grew a modest 3%.
Westcott added: “Netflix sourced a majority of its original content outside the US in 2019, but there is more to this phenomenon than simply driving international growth. Of course, local productions help to drive international growth, but Netflix is a global platform seeking content that can appeal to audiences all over the world. Non-US productions tend to be a lot cheaper, giving Netflix a more cost-effective way to address audiences in the United States and across the globe.”
International Netflix originals of note highlighted by the report included La Casa de Papel, Sex Education and Our Planet, which attracted 44 million, 40 million and 33 million views respectively between October 2018 and September 2019.
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