If Netflix Watch Instantly streaming acts as your personal movie collection, then you just lost 1,000 movies — and many of the blockbuster ones, too. Netflix had a deal with traditional cable TV movie channel Starz that gave you access to tons of movies, and that deal just expired, taking all of those films with it.
The films included Tron Legacy, Toy Story 3, That Thing You Do! and many more recent Blockbusters. This is no big surprise for those who’ve been paying close attention; Starz said way back in September that it wouldn’t be renewing the agreement.
All that said, Netflix still has plenty of movies for you to watch, and this doesn’t affect many TV programs, which are the main draw for a lot of people. Netflix is planning to add original programming to fill the gaps — including new episodes of the cancelled recent classic Arrested Development. Hulu is focusing on original programming for the web too, so expect to see more and more online-exclusive shows.
Of course, Netflix has faced some big PR problems lately. It raised its prices and then tried to spin off its DVD business to another brand, and both of those things angered some customers. The company hasn’t had a good year in the public eye, but it’s still one of the best places to get lots of shows and movies online for a relatively small subscription fee.