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The Decline of Indies on Netflix: Were They Amputated With the Long Tail?

by Anthony Kaufman.

Netflix was founded on the principle that it provided access to movies—all movies, including the most obscure indie titles. By promising to sell less of more, it was a new-economy poster child, a publicly traded argument for the long tail.

Today, it looks like Netflix is docking its tail with a more old-fashioned strategy: Give (most of) the people (most of) what they want. And while Netflix—and some of its suppliers—are quick to defend the company’s indie stance, it’s clear some smaller players are being pushed aside.

According to indie filmmakers and distributors, the shift began a year or two ago when Netflix changed their buying metric — the measure of how many DVD titles they purchase on individual films. One distributor says the company used to take smaller-title DVDs in relatively modest orders of 30-60 units, whereas they’re now focused on reordering only titles that can sustain hundreds of units. (Netflix corporate communications VP Steve Swasey won’t comment on the number of DVDs the company orders.)

Read the rest of this article from IndieWire.

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