Throughout the month of May, Netflix will lose streaming rights to a whopping 1,794 titles because of expiring deals.* A big chunk of them will expire tonight at midnight — and by the end of the month, Netflix Instant will have lost the whole lot. (You can see the whole list here.)
Nearly 2,000 shows isn't much compared to the reported 60,000 titles Netflix has in its streaming library. But considering people often complain about the lack of interesting choices on Netflix Instant in the first place, the new deletions won't help anything. Still, from the looks of that list, nothing too precious will disappear. To wit, not a single title with a rating of 4.5 or higher falls on the list. It's not as bad as the Great Starz Play loss of 2012 or anything. Of course, there are a couple of lower rated films, like Cruel Intentions and Dr. No, that some of us will miss.
This round of vanishing movies, after all, is more of a symbolic thing — a subscription to Netflix Instant doesn't come with much content stability, even if CEO Reed Hastings has fully recovered from the split of the company's two businesses. Netflix, on the other hand, is betting that the loss of a couple hundred not-so-great movies won't much matter to you and your binge-watching, what with all of Netflix's original TV series keeping your credit card busy. Of course, Netflix had this expiration date in mind when picking its Arrested Development premiere date, which happens to land on that long Memorial Day weekend — just as users might contemplate saying goodbye again.
Update: Netflix notes that it has added other, better titles as these ones expire, in a comment sent to The Atlantic Wire.
The vast majority of the titles that expire on Wednesday are older features that were aggregated by Epix. We recently added many great, more recent titles such as ParaNorman (Universal), Hunger Games (Epix), Safe (Epix) and Bachelorette (Weinstein). Tomorrow we will also add MI:2, among many other titles.
This "ebb and flow" happens all the time, Joris Evers the director of global corporate communications told The Wire.
*This post originally stated that the expiring deals were a result of expiring Warner Brothers deals. A spokesperson has clarified that this is a result of an Epix deal.