Article: Does Netflix have a ‘long tail’?


This thread is to discuss the article entitled “Does Netflix have a long tail?”

I often find indie filmmakers to be the most pessimistic and yet strange optimistic people in the industry.  They decry the lack of support but at the same time hold out hope that the next inovation can be harnessed to help them and their projects.  Therefore, the SVOD explosion has been seen by many as a chance for indie filmmakers to finally reach their hitherto-denied full audience.

Whilst this still may be possible, it doesn’t seem that the major streamers will be the route for most.  The massive platforms need massive movies and audiences respond largely as they do in cinemas. On the plus side, this says nothing of the niche streaming sites such as Shudder, so maybe all hope is not lost just yet.

All thought welcomed.

Viewing 3 replies - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • #82886

    Stephen thank you very much for this very interesting and important piece. In Turkish theatrical landscape where national blockbusters are the king not only indie titles but almost everything behind the top ten is devalued and marginalized. For example in 2013 the ten most watched domestic films represent almost half of all the admissions and the first five Turkish films represent slightly more than the half of the domestic films attendance. In 2018, eleven films represent 38% of the boxoffice. But in home video, as far as we knew, among the most preferred DVDs there were also indie titles. I was hoping to see that in VOD too but Netflix Turkey’s movie catalogue proposes almost only the national blockbusters and that makes it impossible to speculate on a possible long tail…

  • #82894

    As always, great data and analysis. However, my question concerns the time component of the “long tail.” What I would love to understand (with real data) is this. Does an indie film that was not in the top echelon by Hollywood standards, but was well received, get views in the year or years after its release? And, I guess, the same question may apply to the high grossing films.

    In other words, if I’m a starry-eyed filmmaker, is it possible that my film will find a (admittedly small) audience that might persist over several years? Or is my one window of opportunity crushed by Hollywood regardless?

  • #82896

    Hi Jim. I’ll have a look at the data, but my first instinct is that the vast majority of filmmakers will not be ‘saved’ by time. If you’re lucky enough to have a major star at the start of their career, or a film which becomes a cult classic, then it might but these are very rare cases. I suspect it’s as likely as it has been with income from other sources in the past (i.e. not very!).

Viewing 3 replies - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

What is VOD Clickstream?

Our unique clickstream data allows us to analyse viewing patterns on Netflix between January 2016 and June 2019.

This data has some powerful qualities and unusual limitations so be sure to check out the details here.

This is wholly independent research. We’re not affiliated with Netflix or any other streaming platform or studio.