Neflix is bidding adieu to a slew of top Hollywood films from Epix as it continues to focus on hosting exclusive content on its service. A joint venture between MGM, Lions Gate Entertainment and Viacom’s Paramount, Epix is a big name in the industry.
In a blog post this weekend, the company’s Chief Content Officer, Ted Sarandos, explained that “a number of high profile” movies will leave the service next month as a result of Netflix’s decision not to renew the partnership. Films affected include ‘Hunger Games: Catching Fire’, ‘World War Z’ and ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’, which viewers have until the end of September to watch.
“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. Through our original films and some innovative licensing arrangements with the movie studios, we are aiming to build a better movie experience for you,” Sarandos wrote.
In other words, Netflix is fine with giving up content that can be found elsewhere — it wants to focus on offering exclusive shows and films. That, it hopes, will give customers a genuine reason to pay its monthly subscription fee. Netflix’s relationship with Epix did begin as an exclusive, but Amazon brokered a deal for its Prime Video service in 2012 when the two-year exclusivity agreement lapsed.
Netflix’s upcoming slate includes a range of exclusives (it, of course, makes its own content), while it will become “the exclusive US pay TV home of the latest theatrical movies from the The Walt Disney Company” next year. Its own programming takes time to come to fruition, but the company did say that new content from partners will come quicker than before thanks to new kinds of arrangements.
Netflix’s ‘exclusive or the high-road’ strategy is about to get its first major test. The same day as its announcement, Hulu revealed that it had struck a “multi-year” agreement with Epix to carry the very programming that Netflix is jettisoning from October 1. So, while Netflix demands exclusivity, Hulu (and Amazon) are happy to take the most popular content and compete with multiple rivals, including cable and DVDs, for attention.