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Have you noticed the Netflix catalog of movies and television shows getting smaller in recent years? If so, we now know why, as the number of titles available on Netflix has shrunk in half since 2012.

This is according to Exstreamist, which has compared the number of titles available on Netflix right now to the number of titles available on Netflix in 2012. Its sources — people who used to work for Netflix — claim the catalog has shrunk in half over the last four years.

In 2012 there used to be close to 11,000 titles (movies and TV shows) available on Netflix in the U.S. Now, according to uNoGS, there are 5,302 titles available. If these two numbers are accurate, this means Netflix has shed more than 50 percent of its content in just four years.

Quality Over Quantity

The reason for this reduction in the number of titles is obvious. In 2012, Netflix only offered third-party content you could also watch elsewhere. But now, in 2016, Netflix is producing more original content 13 New Netflix Originals You'll Be Watching in 2016 13 New Netflix Originals You'll Be Watching in 2016 Netflix has released a lot of original content -- including House of Cards, Orange Is the New Black, Narcos, and Master of None -- but 2016 is slated to be Netflix's most exciting year yet. Read More , such as House of Cards, Orange Is the New Black, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage.

Original content doesn’t come cheap. Whereas buying in content that has previously aired elsewhere is generally much better value for money. So Netflix has chosen quality over quantity, removing old movies and TV shows to make way for (and fund) original programming.

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It’s a risky move from Netflix, but one that seems to be paying off. Its original shows are winning awards, making headlines, and (crucially) keeping people subscribed to the service. After all, if you ever want to see the second season of Stranger Things, you’re going to have to stick with Netflix.

What Do You Think of Netflix?

If should be noted that our writers have mixed feelings on Netflix. While there are some legitimate reasons to consider getting rid of Netflix 7 Reasons You Should Avoid Subscribing to Netflix 7 Reasons You Should Avoid Subscribing to Netflix Just as there are pitfalls to cutting the cord, there are downsides to Netflix you might consider to be deal-breakers. So before you sign up to Netflix, take a moment to consider these imperfections. Read More , there’s also a solid argument for paying more for Netflix Why You Should Be Happy to Pay More for Netflix Why You Should Be Happy to Pay More for Netflix Every time Netflix increases its prices, millions of binge-watching users balk at the prospect of paying a couple of dollars more. But this is dumb, because Netflix is an absolute steal. Read More . We recommend you read through both articles and make your own mind up.

Have you noticed a reduction in the number of movies and TV shows available on Netflix? Has Netflix removed one of your favorite movies or TV shows within the last few years? Do you watch any of the original content only available on Netflix? Please let us know in the comments below!

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