Netflix schedules massive purge for January 1st

Death and Taxes:

A Reddit sleuth posted this list of movies and TV shows that will be purged from Netflix in January, 2014. If you have time off from work between now and January 1, it might not be a bad use of your time to binge-watch some blockbusters (“Braveheart,” “Top Gun,” “Platoon”), art house flicks (“Being John Malkovich”) and the entire series run of “The Kids in the Hall.”

I wonder if it’s less a “purge” as is being reported (it really doesn’t make any sense for Netflix to remove movies) or rather, Netflix’s contracts/agreements for those films are expiring.

Regardless, some of you may have some Netflix binge-watching to do New Year’s Day!

  • It’s a reminder that Netflix shouldn’t be seen as a repository of every movie ever, but rather a subscription service that tries to have enough appealing stuff to be worth $7/month to you. They recently said it was Netflix’s goal to become HBO faster than HBO can become Netflix, and if you think of Netflix as an on-demand HBO, you’re on the right track.

    If you want every movie ever, you should be looking at rental/purchase services like iTunes, Amazon Instant, and Google Play, rather than subscription services like Netflix (with the caveat that Amazon Instant is a little of both).

    • DanPierce

      I thought the HBO comment was in reference to creating original programming. If Netflix has more content like “House of Cards”, “Orange Is The New Black”, they will achieve that goal rather nicely.

      • While you’re right about the source of that quote, in reality HBO’s model is to have one or two shiny new things (Game Of Thrones, Girls, etc.) and then 20 hours a day of back catalog stuff. Netflix started with the back catalog, now they’re adding the shiny new things (House of Cards, Orange Is the New Black).

    • Joseph Blake

      Actually this is a reminder that digital “cloud” services are not a replacement for physical media. As we saw with Disney’s Christmas movies on Amazon, even if you “buy” them on a digital service there’s no guarantee you’ll have them forever.

  • Billy Razzle

    I thought that’s what they meant by “purge”.

  • Sigivald

    It is, in fact, contract expiration.

    I know a little birdie that works at Netflix, and contract expiration is the only reason they ever remove content.

    As you say, it makes no sense for them to remove content they don’t have to remove; the marginal cost of keeping them around rounds to zero, and anything that gets or retain customers is good.