Only 16% of the Netflix Library is made up of Originals

Netflix Logo (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)

To kickstart 2019 we thought we’d take a look at how many Netflix Originals there are on the service going into the new year. Many believe that Netflix Originals dominate the Netflix library. Our calculations signify that’s not the case because only 16% of the library are made up of Originals. 

We’ve crunched the numbers and used numbers from multiple different sources (including our own library database) to come to the conclusion that on January 1st, 2019, the Netflix library is comprised of only 16% of Originals, at least in the United States.

This number is quite a significant decrease in Netflix’s target. In 2016, they said they wanted to have half of all titles on Netflix as Originals. It’s worth noting that the CFO David Wells who committed to that number stepped down in August 2018.

Netflix Originals listed on Netflix

In recent years, Netflix has released hundreds of Originals and they’ve come in all shapes and sizes. What constitutes as a Netflix Original is often sometimes blurry with international distribution deals, first-play runs and continuations also being counted as an Original title.

The library has always had to shift to Netflix Originals as Netflix grows. It’s a balancing act because as they grow, distributors can ask the service to pay more for their titles which would eventually strip Netflix of all its cash. Add that to increased competition from the likes of Hulu and Amazon plus major networks creating their own streaming services such as CBS All Access, you’ve got a situation where Netflix could’ve been kicked out of the market if it primarily focused on a licensing model.

The Originals library has exploded over recent years though considering we started off with zero only six years ago when Lilyhammer and House of Cards kicked off the expansion in 2013.

2019 is expected to be a big year too with hundreds of titles debuting or returning for new seasons throughout the year. Be sure to keep an eye on our coming soon page for announcements and 2019 lists.

Netflix US Library Stats for 2019

The average number of titles most libraries counted on Netflix US were 5934 and the number of Netflix Originals are 963. The Netflix library itself has actually grown significantly over the course of 2018 starting with 5409 and growing to 5930 titles. That’s after several years of decline, however. Back in 2015, Netflix’s library consisted of over 7,000 titles.

Naturally, a lot of titles that make up the Original library are made up foreign titles although we weren’t able to get a firm figure on how much of the library is made up of foreign titles.

What percentage of Netflix’s library abroad is made of Originals?

As Netflix Originals can be regional exclusives (Better Call Saul being an Original outside of the US for example) we thought we’d go through a few other libraries to see how it differed abroad.

  • United Kingdom – 936 Originals / 5624 Total (16%)
  • Australia – 936 Originals / 5317 Total (17%)
  • Canada – 941 Originals / 5630 Total (16%)
  • Netherlands – 909 Originals / 3581 Total (25%)
  • Italy – 882 Originals / 3249 Total (27%)

You can see that countries with a different primary language to English is reliant more on Netflix Originals. This is likely because Netflix doesn’t buy up as many titles as it’d be too expensive to translate into the countries language.

There you have it, Netflix’s continued dominance in the streaming world is partly because of their third party

With thanks to Flixable and Unogs for some of the data used here.