Netflix's older acquired library content is rated more highly by users than its own originals, suggesting on-going access to studio archive could be key for the streamer's long term content strategy. An analysis of Ampere's proprietary Critical Rating score shows that titles released ten years or more ago (all of which are acquired titles) have the highest average Critical Rating at 67.1. This compares to 63.9 for titles one to two years old (of which nearly 30% are Netflix originals or exclusive acquisitions). In general, average Critical Rating decreases for more recently released titles; titles released between two and three years ago having the lowest average rating of 63.3. The most recent titles, released within the past year rate 65.23 (although this sample contains a smaller number of titles).The trend of higher ratings for older content is in direct contrast to the proportion of original content that makes up each content age group.
Further evidence of the importance of acquired content comes from an examination of the top 250 rated Netflix Originals compared to the top 250 acquired titles on the platform—acquired titles have a higher average rating of 82, compared to 77 for Netflix Originals. Breaking Bad, Friends, Pulp Fiction and Schindler’s List are among the highest rated titles on the platform, all of which were released over 10 years ago. As Netflix has refined its catalogue over time (reducing overall volume of older content in particular), it's likely to have focused on keeping only the highest quality older titles. The implications are clear: any loss of studio archive in the wake of new direct-to-consumer launches will have an immediate impact on consumer's perception of the content offer.