Wave goodbye to Jennifer Lawrence, Americans, because the Hunger Games films won’t be appearing on Netflix US after September.
Netflix’s £650million deal with Epix ends at the end of the month, which means the removal of most of its films. The company's chief content officer Ted Sarandos explained the move, saying: "While many of these movies are popular, they are also widely available on cable and other subscription platforms at the same time as they are on Netflix and subject to the same drawn out licensing periods."
As the battle between streaming services rages on, US service Hulu is seeking a boost by taking on Epix's catalogue. "Our subscribers have been asking us for more, and more recent, big movies. We listened. Through this new deal with Epix, we are proud to now be able to offer a huge selection of the biggest blockbusters and premium films."
To the untrained eye, Netflix breaking up with Epix may look like an ill-calculated move, but Forrester analyst Jim Nail seems to think otherwise: "Netflix is a very smart data company. They didn't make this decision without looking at how many people are viewing these titles."
By doubling down on exclusive, high quality original content like House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Narcos, and upcoming feature-length movie Beasts of No Nation, Netflix looks to be redesigning itself as a luxury service rather than just a library of entertainment. Think a streaming-only answer to HBO.
VOD services aren’t short of exclusive content. At this year's Emmy awards, Netflix received 34 nominations while Amazon received 12. This is a pretty strong indication that no one single company is going to be able to completely dominate the market.
Netflix UK should remain unchanged for the moment, so until it gets sick of competing with Sky for movie deals and drops all our favourites, head to our list of the 35 best movies and TV shows on Netflix right now.