Majority of People Just Want the Old Netflix Back – 54% Want More Quality Titles, Less Originals

netflix originals survey

“I miss the Netflix library with endless choices, I would stare at it and have a hard time deciding what to watch because there were so many options. Now I stare and can’t pick anything because a lot of it is terrible.”

Netflix shocked the US television market in 2013 when a service once known for mailing DVDs released one of the best political thrillers of the past decade as an original series. Seemingly out of nowhere, the growing popularity of Netflix’s streaming service had given them a large enough distribution network to support a Kevin Spacey-led series. David Fincher liked the concept of working with Netflix, who compared to other networks, had promised him a lot of autonomy and creative freedom to run wild.

This seemingly massive bet turned out to be a very heavy data-driven decision, with Netflix using viewership habits to basically guarantee the show would be successful (turns out we all love David Fincher, Kevin Spacey, sex, and political thrillers). With such success, it thrust Netflix into the conversation regarding the future of broadcast television, drew countless comparisons to HBO, and drove massive subscriber growth for the service over the past three years.

And since then, Netflix has only continued to execute on this strategy, delivering shortly thereafter dozens of new original titles in 2014 and 2015. This year alone, the service will break over 100 exclusive and original titles.

But has some of the magic worn off? We wanted to find out if people were will as in love with their Netflix accounts as they were in 2013, and the majority of responses ended up matching our hunch. With so many originals, Netflix has had a hard time distinguishing the “big winners” from their niche offerings, which have drastically increased the signal-to-noise ratio.

These original shows and movies have massive price tags as well. Netflix paid over $90 million for the mediocre ‘Marco Polo,’ has ordered movies starring both Brad Pitt and Will Smith costing $60 million and $90 million respectively, and seems to be doubling down on spending for countless other more independent series.

For the cost of those three titles alone, Netflix could have easily outbid Hulu for the entire ‘Seinfeld’ series, or perhaps ordered at least a few dozen “Triple A” titles of recently released blockbusters. Sure, there’s an appeal to owning all the content for themselves, but that is a much different proposition when their content library continues to shrink, limiting it to just these originals.

We took a survey of Netflix subscribers to get their thoughts on the current Netflix library. The questions were:

  1. What of the following options do you feel is MOST true about your Netflix subscription

    1. I like the direction Netflix is going with more originals, I do not miss the movies and TV shows being removed
    2. I do not like the direction Netflix is going with more originals, I miss the TV shows and movies being removed
  2. The quality of Netflix originals is… [Pick one of the following]
    1. Better than HBO’s original shows
    2. About the same as HBO’s original shows
    3. Worse than HBO’s original shows
    4. I am not sure / I do not watch HBO shows

Here are the results:

  • 54% of subscribers are unhappy with the direction Netflix is heading with more originals. Many people seem to prefer a bigger content library with a sprinkling of originals.
  • 49% feel Netflix originals are better or equal to the quality of HBO originals, but we kept hearing that ‘Game of Thrones’ is untouchable.
  • There were a lot of varying opinions about the recent price increase, with some people upset that they’re paying more now for a smaller library, with others hoping Netflix would at least use the new money to buy more third party titles and less originals.

Some commentary from the survey:

“I miss the Netflix library with endless choices, I would stare at it and have a hard time deciding what to watch because there were so many options. Now I stare and can’t pick anything because a lot of it is terrible.”

“The price increase seemed kind of silly, but maybe if they can buy more shows with it than that’s ok.”

“Too many niche original shows, stick to the hits, Netflix!”

“Netflix is still worth what I pay every month, but it used to be the steal of the century.”

“I really miss the days of having tons of shows to choose from. It feels like their library is shrinking really fast.”


people happy with netflix

hbo versus netflix

What are your thoughts? Do the Netflix originals make up for the lack of third party content? Do you think HBO originals still hold the throne over Netflix originals? Is Netflix still worth it for you?

Let us know below!

  • Mark Gilbert

    Although I didn’t see nor take your survey, my thoughts are that I like the way that Netflix is going. Their streaming service has always been light on recent new movie releases….so it has always been the other content that drew me. Most of their new series are quite good (hooked on House of Cards, Grace and Frankie, Daredevil) and the price is very reasonable. They have a good mix of recent TV shows from various outlets which are much better to binge watch without commercials. I think that Netflix is one of the best values for folks and led me to becoming a cord cutter a year ago….although it was only when HBO Now started that I actually cut the cord. I find that I watch primarily (1) Netflix (2) HBO Now (3) Sling TV (4) OTA TV and have more than enough to keep me entertained (and saving big bucks)! My only desire is to see Amazon bring its video to Apple TV as I have long been a prime member….I prefer Apple TV over my Roku (better interface) and don’t really care to use airplay from my phone. Thanks for your website, it is very informative. Keep up the good work.