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Netflix Takes a Gamble--Decides Not to Renew Epix Deal

At the end of September, a deal will expire between Netflix and Epix that will result in thousands of movies being removed from the Netflix catalogue. Among the removed selections are hits like the Hunger Games and the Transformers films, as well as hundreds more.

The move is definitely a gamble for Netflix, whose more than 60 million subscribers may end up considering alternatives to the streaming giant. With the deal not being renewed, rival Hulu has jumped at the opportunity to seal a deal with Epix and will take on the thousands of movies after hearing complaints from their subscribers that their selection of recent big movies was lacking.

Netflix’s logic in letting the existing deal expire is that the Epix films are all readily available on cable and other subscription sites, so spending upwards of a billion dollars didn’t add up. We’re now in the era of big data, where extraordinary calculations can be computed to determine where budgets should be allocated, and many are speculating that this risk is very much calculated.

It is now likely that Netflix will take the approach of trying to offer high-quality movies and TV shows, as opposed to being known for having a huge library. While the move would certainly attract a particular audience, it could put them in jeopardy of losing the masses.

Netflix is also counting on the growing popularity of their original series’, which continue to garner attention. This year, Netflix has 34 nominations, compared to only 12 for Amazon, another major competitor in the video on demand (VOD) industry. The decision to not renew the deal could indicate that there will not be one dominant player in the game. The future of VOD is coming upon us, and we’ll have to wait and see who’s in the best position to win.

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