Surviving the Great Netflix Purge

By: Heather Seebach

Well, we survived Streamageddon. Early this morning, nearly 2,000 titles from Warner Bros, MGM, and United Artists were pulled from Netflix. I listed some of the best genre films disappearing in this post. To serious cinephiles, May 1st marks the Great Netflix Purge of 2013, or "Streamageddon." My personal instant queue dropped from 300 to 400+ titles down to just 115. Ouch. 

This is not the first time it's happened - just last year, Starz pulled all their movies from Netflix. To most people, that hit was a lot worse because it saw the loss of countless popular, mainstream films. This latest purge has been dismissed by some because only the lesser-watched films are being knocked off. However, to fans of cult/exploitation/obscure/etc. like myself, this is devastating. 

So why has this happened? Well, it was believed the films were being pulled to join Warner Archive Instant, but Warner Bros denies that. Apparently it's simply Netflix's usual licensing lapses. 

From Joris Evers, director of global corporate communications at Netflix:

"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."

"We are selective about what’s available to watch on Netflix. We often license TV shows and movies on an exclusive basis, so we can provide a unique experience. We’ll forego, or choose not renew, titles that aren’t watched enough. We always use our knowledge about what our members love to watch to decide what’s available on Netflix. Our goal is to be an expert programmer, offering a mix that delights our members, rather than trying to be a broad distributor.”
 Hopefully this means those great titles will come back eventually, just like all the other movies that have always come and gone on Netflix Instant. In the meantime, keep checking back for my Netflix articles that will keep you posted on what films are expiring (and arriving) on streaming. Expect the next one later this week!

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