Movie and Television Show Acquisition and Availability
How does Netflix get movies and TV shows to stream online?
We negotiate with movie and TV show content creators (studios) or resellers (distributors) to get movies and TV shows to stream instantly to you online. We don't actually own the movies and TV shows - we're licensing them, which is a bit like leasing a home or a car.
Our movie and TV show licenses have an expiration date, so we give members a two week warning when our license for a movie or TV show is about to expire.
- If we're able to renew the license, we take the warning down and members can continue enjoying the titles.
- If we're not able to renew the license in time or we choose to license different titles instead, we have to remove the movie or TV show from our library. We make decisions about which titles to acquire or renew based on a number of factors, which might include the availability to license the title in a given region, appeal of the title for our subscribers, and economic factors such as the licensing cost for a given time period.
How often do you add new movies and TV shows? Is there a schedule?
We're constantly working with studios and distributors to get the rights to the movies and TV shows you want to see. There's no schedule - we add new titles as soon as we get them, so we have a New Arrivals page to let you know what's new on Netflix.
- The "New Releases" include movies that have been released in theaters or shows that have aired on TV in the last 16 months.
- The "Recently Added" include movies and TV shows that have been recently added to the Netflix library.
Why do you have a movie but not its sequel, or only some seasons of a TV show but not others?
Although Netflix makes every effort to license complete series of both movies and TV shows, the rights to each particular title are separate and may not always be available for Netflix to license at the same time.
Why are some titles dubbed but not subtitled? Why do some movies or TV shows have no subtitles at all?
When we're negotiating our licenses, we request subtitles, alternate audio (e.g., dubs of other languages, 5.1 Surround Sound tracks), and maturity ratings, however, sometimes multiple formats don’t exist or are not available.
Why is a movie or TV show available in one country but not another?
There are many reasons a movie or TV show is available to audiences in one country or region, but not another.
- Regional tastes
We do our best to shape our service by region. For example, some movies and TV shows that are popular with our members in the United States may not be desirable to members in the United Kingdom, even though they're both English-speaking regions.
- Multiple rights owners
More than one studio or distributor may own regional rights for a movie or TV show. For example, we may have an agreement with a distributor to show a US-made movie in Latin America before we've signed an agreement with the studio that made that movie to show the movie in the US.
- No rights available for a region
Sometimes a movie or TV show simply isn't available in a particular region. We can't buy a movie or TV show for a specific region if no one is selling it.