Keeping up with Netflix originals is basically a part-time job now


Netflix released a ridiculous amount of original programming in 2018. How ridiculous? By Quartz’s measure, the streaming-video giant put out nearly 90,000 minutes—close to 1,500 hours—of original series, movies, and other productions this year. That’s nearly nine consecutive weeks of binge-watching. It would have taken more than four hours of streaming per day, every day of 2018, to watch all of it.

These are rough estimates based on a list published by Netflix of more than 850 titles that are streamed exclusively on Netflix, including originals and first-run titles that the company syndicates and premieres in some of its markets, as of Dec. 31, 2018. Quartz tallied up the titles for only the Netflix originals (not the first-run titles) with global premiere dates in 2018—about 345 of them—and checked those titles and dates against Netflix’s US site and the Internet Movie Database. The run times were pulled from the US version of Netflix.

Overall, series made up the vast majority of the original content added to Netflix this year. There were more than 58,000 minutes of original series added in 2018, including new seasons of shows like House of Cards and Fuller House, and new series The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and Maniac. Netflix also stepped up its supply of international dramas, adding thousands of hours of telenovelas like La Reina del Flow and Korean dramas like Mr. Sunshine (as it is listed in English).

Netflix also released more than 10,100 minutes of original documentaries, about 8,500 minutes of movies, 4,800 minutes of kids programming, and 3,600 minutes of stand-up comedy.

The company did not confirm or deny Quartz’s estimates.

The total only includes titles listed by Netflix as US “originals.” with run times listed on Netflix US. The streaming giant doesn’t produce all of its original programming, but rather licenses some series and movies from other studios. As such, some Netflix originals, like the anime series Lost Song, aren’t branded as originals in every market. That show is only licensed as a “Netflix original” outside of Japan.

Not all of the titles counted by Quartz are available on Netflix everywhere in the world, either, as the company’s library varies globally. There was one title that appeared to be released in 2018, but was not included in the final count because Quartz could not obtain its run time through Netflix US.

Netflix originals also earned the company a great deal of acclaim in 2018, including series Stranger Things, The Crown, Ozark, GLOW, and Queer Eye, and movies like Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs from Joel and Ethan Coen. The company leaned into its originals, spending the much of its $8 billion content budget on them, just as studios like Disney began reserving their own movies and TV shows for proprietary streaming services.

In 2018, Netflix also became the first network in 17 years to dethrone HBO in Emmy nominations, and matched the premium-TV network in wins. Netflix proved it is not just a platform for watching content, but a home for world-class creators, which in turn drove subscribers and the company’s stock.

Back in May, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos estimated the platform would have more than 1,000 originals by the end of 2018. The goal was to make sure each of Netflix’s 130 million members found content that appealed to their unique tastes. Or to give you a reason to dump all your New Years resolution’s.

Correction (Jan. 2, 2019 at 10am EST): This article previously misstated minutes as hours for the category counts.

Want a better understanding of Netflix and other streaming giants? Check out our guide to the streaming-TV wars.