Netflix is clearing nearly 1,800 movies from its library this week. The service is dropping certain titles due to expiring licensing deals with studios MGM, Universal and Warner Bros. The list is largely comprised of lesser known, older titles and is not being viewed as significant as when Netflix lost many newer films after it failed to renew its streaming agreement with Starz. However, the move may still be seen by some as a sign of future change.
It was originally reported that many of the films from MGM, Universal and Warner Bros. would become available through the $10 a month Warner Archive Instant service. That caused Warner Archive to respond 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.”
“While this purge might not be of Netflix’s most important titles, it could be a sign of things to come,” suggests Mashable. “Earlier this month, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said that he was considering letting a broad television deal with Viacom Networks lapse. That would mean that shows from Nickelodeon, MTV, VH1 and BET could all disappear from the service at the end of May.”
“Netflix is a dynamic service, we constantly update the TV shows and movies that are available to our members,” responded Joris Evers, director of global corporate communications at Netflix. “We will add more than 500 titles May 1, but we also have titles expiring, this ebb and flow happens all the time.”
The statement also noted that the majority of titles in question were older features aggregated by Epix. Netflix emphasized new additions to its catalog including “ParaNorman,” “Hunger Games,” “Safe,” “MI:2” and “Bachelorette.”