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Why Netflix Is Releasing Fewer Original Films in 2023
January 24, 2023

Why Netflix Is Releasing Fewer Original Films in 2023

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Compared to previous years, Netflix’s 2023 movie lineup is considerably smaller. Here are a few reasons why.

Netflix is set for the year after releasing a promotional video of its upcoming original films in 2023. However, compared to 2022, Netflix is releasing over 50% fewer original films. Here’s why you’ll see fewer new original films on Netflix in 2023.

Netflix Releases Its 2023 Movie Lineup

To attract those still on the fence about getting a Netflix subscription, the streaming company has released a list of its upcoming films in 2023. Netflix’s 2023 feature film slate consists of 49 titles, over 50% less than its 2022 list.

For context, the streaming company announced 89 films in 2022, a clear indicator that the company is playing it safe in 2023. Despite that, the company’s lineup has some impressive films worth waiting for.

Some of the notable films in the list include Extraction 2 (a sequel to the identically named action thriller released in 2020, featuring Chris Hemsworth), The Mother starring Jennifer Lopez (originally set to release in 2022), They Cloned Tyrone featuring Jamie Foxx, and Idris Elba-starring Luther: The Fallen Sun.

Why Is Netflix Releasing Fewer Films in 2023?

Netflix’s 2023 list of original films is nothing short of less, and the fact that the company will release about 55% fewer original films than in previous years deserves some explanation. And, of course, several pointers explain Netflix’s lean 2023 movie lineup.

1. Netflix Had a Rough 2022

In case you missed it, the company lost subscribers two quarters in a row in both Q1 and Q2, the first time since 2011. Increasing competition, account sharing, and adverse global economic circumstances are some of the reasons why Netflix lost subscribers. In the wake of the new reality, Netflix’s had to lay off some of its workers in 2022.

2. Netflix Doesn’t Need to Release So Many Movies Anymore

Secondly, Netflix seems happy with its portfolio of original programming that it has massively invested in for the past decade, as revealed by its January 2023 letter to investors. While marking 10 years since the release of its original programming initiative, the company says it’s past the most cash-intensive phase.

In a letter to its shareholders on January 19, 2023, Netflix said:

‘Now that we are a decade into our original programming initiative and have successfully scaled it, we are past the most cash intensive phase of this buildout. As a result, we believe we will now be generating sustained, positive annual free cash flow going forward.’

That means the company is shifting its focus, prioritizing quality over quantity now that it has a fairly solid portfolio of movies and TV shows to keep its subscriber base hooked. Of course, Netflix can’t abandon creating new movies entirely. It helps retain current users and get more to subscribe to Netflix.

3. Grim 2023 Global Economic Outlook

Finally, Netflix might also be considering the adverse ongoing global economic situation highlighted by job cuts and conservative spending habits by consumers. According to a survey by KPMG’s UK arm, one of the biggest accounting firms globally, 61% of consumers plan to cut discretionary spending in 2023.

Additionally, a 2023 economic outlook report by investment bank J.P. Morgan (released in December 2022) says the US economy is likely to slow down further and enter a mild recession. Similarly, Canada’s economic predictions are also grim for 2023, according to research by Oxford Economics. Elsewhere, economic predictions aren’t any better, given how the global economic machine is solidly intertwined.

The state of the US and Canadian economy is especially important to Netflix, which accounts for most of the company’s revenues.

Netflix Continues to Boost Its Portfolio of Original Programming

Even with the reduction in the number of original films set to release in 2023, adding 49 new titles to its portfolio is still solid. The truth is you have yet to watch most of what Netflix offers on its platform.

Plus, in the grand scheme of things, 49 new titles in 2023 mean Netflix is releasing a new film every week on average. If you combine new films with upcoming TV shows, Netflix’s original programming portfolio is only getting bigger.


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