UPDATE, 3:10 PM: Clarifying statements from the involved parties have been flooding in since last night’s news about Netflix losing hundreds of movies from its streaming service beginning today. Reports originally said the vacating titles were from Warner Bros, but it turns out the majority were “older features that were aggregated by Epix,” a Netflix spokesman said this afternoon. Epix’s two-year exclusive deal with the streaming service expired in September; content from Epix — owned by Paramount, Lionsgate and MGM — also streams on Amazon Prime Instant Video. A source tells Deadline that that the number of expiring titles is closer to 1,000, rather than the 2,000 figure floating around online. “This ebb and flow happens all the time”, Netflix said. The company also said it is adding 500 more titles starting today, including Mission: Impossible 2.
PREVIOUS, 12:03 AM: Scores of countries around the world are celebrating May Day on Wednesday, but it might be more like “mayday!” for folks who make a habit of watching older movies on Netflix. That’s because the service’s streaming deal for hundreds of Warners-owned titles — a catalog that includes MGM movies from before 1986 — is expiring. Those titles eventually will become exclusive to Warner Archive Instant, the month-old service recently graduated from beta mode that lets users stream films and TV shows from the 1920s through the 1990s for 10 bucks a month.
For its part, CEO Reed Hastings‘ company will deflect the defections by adding hundreds more titles to its roster Wednesday, including Mission: Impossible II. “Netflix is a dynamic service, we constantly update the TV shows and movies that are available to our members,” spokesman Joris Evers told CNET. “We will add more than 500 titles May 1, but we also have titles expiring, this ebb and flow happens all the time.” As the subscription-service brawl over content continues, Netflix on Tuesday announced a July premiere date for Orange Is The New Black, creator-EP Jenji Kohan’s anticipated follow-up to her long-running Showtime hit Weeds. That continues the service’s strategy of staggering the release of its original series: House Of Cards (February), Hemlock Grove (April) and the upcoming Arrested Development (May).