Detailed by Netflix watchdog InstantWatcher, Netflix will be eliminating approximately 1,800 titles tomorrow as licensing deals with studios Warner Bros., MGM and Universal lapse tomorrow. The more notable movies leaving the Netflix library include classic James Bond titles Dr. No, The Spy Who Loved Me, You Only Live Twice and Goldfinger, Oliver Stone’s Platoon, Woody Allen’s Stardust Memories, Billy Wilder’s Kiss Me, Stupid and One, Two, Three. Other more recently released films leaving Netflix tomorrow include Mulholland Dr., Big Daddy, Cruel Intentions, Finding Forrester, Adaptation, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, Snatch and Joe Dirt. Both seasons of cult classic Sports Night will also disappear tomorrow.
Some of the films will become available in the Warner Instant Archive, but that service requires a monthly subscription of $9.99 to access the content. While the primary viewing platform is on the Web, Warner Instant Archive subscribers can alsdo access the older content through Roku set-top boxes. In addition, Roku users can access 720p and 1080p streams of the content; a feature that limited to the set-top boxes.
In addition to the massive quantity of titles leaving Netflix Instant tomorrow, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings is considering allowing a deal with Viacom to completely lapse at the end of May. If this happens, Netflix will lose fifteen seasons of the popular Comedy Central animated show South Park along with a large quantity of Viacom shows that air on Nickelodeon, MTV and VH1. Parents that rely on Nickelodeon content for their children’s entertainment may need to seek out an alternate service for streaming video.
Referencing tomorrow’s exodus of content, Netflix corporate communications director Joris Evers released a statement indicating that a collection of new titles will be added to Netflix tomorrow. Specifically, the representative stated “Netflix is a dynamic service, we constantly update the TV shows and movies that are available to our members. We will add more than 500 titles May 1, but we also have titles expiring, this ebb and flow happens all the time.” Evers wasn’t specific about the titles appearing tomorrow beyond the mention of Tom Cruise’s Mission Impossible 2.
It’s quite possible that Netflix is allowing these type of broad licensing agreements to lapse in order increase the company’s investment in original content. After the success of Kevin Spacey’s House of Cards, the company may attempt to direct more funds into developing original comedies and dramas.
Next month, Netflix will release the fourth season of Arrested Development on Memorial Day weekend and debut the comedy Orange is the New Black approximately six weeks later on July 11.
Netflix is facing competition from other streaming video providers when it comes to developing original content. Amazon recently debuted a collection of comedy pilots, one or two of which could eventually be produced into a full series. Hulu also recently announced the company’s schedule of new original programming in 2013. This includes an animated show about superheroes called The Awesomes from Seth Meyers and Michael Shoemaker coming out on August 1 and a half-hour sitcom starring Eva Longoria called Mother Up! coming out during Fall 2013. Hulu also announced a western comedy sitcom called Quick Draw and a high school drama called East Los High that will both be released during the summer.