Have you ever attempted to re-watch a favourite movie or TV show on Netflix only to discover the title has mysteriously disappeared from the menu? You’re not alone. Each month, Netflix quietly removes hundreds of hours of content across all genres and categories.
While there’s always something new being added to the streaming giant’s library, there’s a bunch of content leaving. We now have an explanation as to why this keeps happening, direct from the horse’s mouth. (Not, not Bojack Horseman. A PR person.)
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Over on the Netflix Help page, the streaming giant helpfully explains why that show you wanted to catch up on is no longer available. (Which suggests they receive this question quite a bit.)
Here’s the full explanation as it appears on Netflix’s blog post:
Netflix licenses TV shows and movies from studios and content providers around the world, and those licenses can expire if we don’t renew them. Though we strive to keep the content you want to see, we acquire licensing rights for TV shows and movies for a certain period of time – not indefinitely – so some titles do leave Netflix. If a TV show or movie you love is leaving, it indicates that our licensing agreement with the content provider is about to end.
Whenever a TV show or movie is expiring, we evaluate whether or not to renew it using the same criteria we apply to potential new content. We consider factors like:
- Are the rights to renew the licensing to stream still available?
- What is the popularity and cost of a particular title?
- Are there other seasonal or localized factors?
If a TV show or movie is renewed, it remains on our service for you to enjoy. If a TV show or movie is not renewed, we’ll give you a heads up on our website that it’s about to expire.
So there you have it. If a title leaves Netflix, it’s because it wasn’t popular enough, was too costly to renew or got snapped up by another streaming service prior to the expiration date.
The good news is that this only applies to third-party content (i.e. – the movies and TV shows that were produced by other studios.)
Your favourite Netflix Originals, like Black Mirror, House Of Cards, Stranger Things and BoJack Horseman, won’t be going anywhere. This includes any shows that have completed their runs or were axed by Netflix – the old episodes will continue to be stored indefinitely.
This article has been updated since its original publication.
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