Netflix has announced it won't renew a content-licensing deal with Epix, which will result in several blockbuster movies leaving the streaming service's catalog after September.
In a post on the company's official blog, Ted Sarandos, chief content officer, said Netflix won't renew the deal because it wants to focus on exclusive content. Netflix entered into its agreement with Epix in 2010, though Epix reached a similar deal with rival Amazon Instant Video just two years later. As a result, movies from Lionsgate, MGM and Paramount – the joint partners behind Epix – appear on both streaming services at about the same time.
The expiration of its Epix deal means Netflix will lose high-profile movies such as "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," "Transformers: Age of Extinction" and "World War Z" at the end of September.
Netflix says it plans to focus on original and exclusive content
"While many of these movies are popular, they are also widely available on cable and other subscription platforms at the same time as they are on Netflix and subject to the same drawn out licensing periods," Sarandos said in his blog post. "Through our original films and some innovative licensing arrangements with the movie studios, we are aiming to build a better movie experience for you."
Sarandos highlighted Netflix's original content and exclusive licensing agreements as a way the company plans to provide quality content to its subscribers even after its Epix deal expires. Netflix has increasingly focused on its own original content, with highly rated shows such as "Bloodlines," "House of Cards" and "Orange is the New Black" all set for additional seasons in the coming year. Netflix's deal with Marvel will also expand with a second season of "Daredevil" and new shows "Jessica Jones" and "Luke Cage."
Netflix plans to begin releasing its own feature movies through its streaming service this year, beginning with "Beats of No Nations" in October from director Cary Fukunaga, who helmed all episodes of the first season of HBO's "True Detective," and star Idris Elba. Judd Apatow, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt and Adam Sandler also have movie projects in the works at Netflix.
In addition to its own content, Netflix has an exclusive deal with Disney set to begin in 2016, which will bring Lucasfilm, Marvel and Pixar movies to the service, including the coming Star Wars movies.