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Basically the movies that are streamed on Netflix aren't released in theaters, right?

So my question is - How do production companies make profit after streaming their movies on Netflix?

  • Of course, they would be paid money for streaming on Netflix.
  • All the marketing that Netflix does, the revenue generated would go in their pockets and not the production companies.
  • For any new movies coming to Netflix the subscriber doesn't need to pay extra money; so be it any movie, old or new, the subscriber simply has to pay his/her amount.

Now there are some cases where, had a movie released in theaters, it wouldn't have been a hit; and instead selling the rights to Netflix, they made profit.

But for some movies, e.g Bright, which had its own strong fan following, had they released in theaters wouldn't they have made more profit?

  • Production companies sell the rights(could be more than one) to netflix for money. – Vishwa Jun 8 '18 at 6:51
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    "the movies that are streamed on Netflix aren't released in theaters" This is an incorrect assumption. Netflix has plenty of movies that were available in theaters. Also, WRT "which had its own strong fan following": there is a massive difference between watching a movie "for free" on Netflix in the comfort of your home vs. spending the same amount of money or more, plus much more time and effort, to watch that same movie in a theater. – BCdotWEB Jun 8 '18 at 9:35
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    Related How do streaming services earn money? – Nog Shine Jun 8 '18 at 12:25
  • Regarding your last question, distribution to theaters can be very expensive, so a movie might make less of a profit if released to theaters. That's why there are straight-to-DVD movies. – Todd Wilcox Jun 9 '18 at 4:31
  • @NogShine The question you linked is different. – Mouvier Jun 9 '18 at 11:00
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They don't. The film or series is wholly owned by Netflix after production if it's a Netflix Original, or has had its licence purchased at a flat cost for a fixed period of time and may be renewed in future if it's popular.

Netflix apparently usually pay upfront for at least two seasons of a netflix original show, and have a business model comparable to more conventional subscription TV (like Cable) when dealing with series' that aren't Netflix Originals. That is, they buy the right to "air" it for a period of time.

In some cases maybe a netflix original film would be cinema suitable, but the series' likely would not, and by limiting the shows to their own platform they provide content that cannot be found anywhere else. Meaning they attract subscribers simply by exclusivity.

  • "content that cannot be found anywhere else" Several Netflix series, e.g. House Of Cards, Orange Is the New Black, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Stranger Things,... are also available on Blu-ray and DVD. – BCdotWEB Jun 8 '18 at 12:15
  • Fair point, though for example Stranger Things S1 was released on DVD (apparently as a Target exclusive) most of a year after its debut, presumably after the initial attention had died down a bit. At the point when it mattered, it was exclusive to the platform. The key bit is that Netflix is in control over the release of their shows on other platforms and can opt to maintain exclusivity if they believe it will help them. – Ruadhan2300 Jun 8 '18 at 13:02
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    Your answer covers only Netflix Original films which are not a majority of films on Netflix. What about all other not Netflix Original films? – Mouvier Jun 9 '18 at 11:06
  • @Mouvier am I missing something or do these lines cover that? '... or has had its licence purchased at a flat cost for a fixed period of time and may be renewed in future ... . ... That is, they buy the right to "air" it for a period of time.' – muru Jun 11 '18 at 3:56

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