How Does Netflix Make Money Off Its Cringeworthy Holiday Movies?

Netflix used to be known as a place where you can find shows and movies from many different entertainment companies. However, these days Netflix has been releasing a lot of original content in a variety of genres, and it seems that the streaming giant is very serious about joining the business of making holiday movies.

Netflix has a reputation for creating high-quality entertainment, but these holiday movies tend to be low-budget and even cringe-worthy. As such, many fans are probably wondering why Netflix would even bother making and promoting them, especially if they might never get the same recognition as the service’s more popular offerings. Here’s what we know about Netflix’s plans for its holiday films.

Netflix has been releasing many holiday movies in the past few years

Netflix logo on a phone screen
Netflix logo | Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Netflix first joined the holiday movie business in 2017 with the release of the rom-com A Christmas Prince. The film attracted a lot of attention, though not all of it was positive.

In any case, Netflix decided to follow up with the movie by releasing A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding in 2018 and A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby in December 2019.

In 2018, fans also saw a rise in Netflix’s original holiday movies with titles like The Holiday Calendar, The Princess Switch, and The Christmas Chronicles.

In 2019, Netflix decided to debut a new movie every week in November. Films like Let It Snow, Klaus, The Knight Before Christmas, and Holiday in the Wild have been getting a lot of buzz, and viewers are beginning to see Netflix as a platform that can deliver on holiday movies.

How does Netflix make money off these holiday movies?

Netflix makes much of its money from selling subscription services, with accounts costing between $8.99 and $15.99 a month. In order to get people to sign up, Netflix offers a large amount of high-quality original content that cannot be found anywhere else.

Of course, viewers do question whether these low-budget holiday films are worth it for Netflix, especially since the company could easily spend the money on shows and movies that are objectively better. However, it does not seem like Netflix is betting on these cheesy holiday titles to win awards and accolades.

In fact, Netflix most likely does know that the films are of rather low quality, but they are getting attention from people nonetheless, which seems to be what Netflix wants at the end of the day. Karen Schaler, a writer for A Christmas Prince, said of her movie: “People were having so much fun picking on the movie. They were tearing it apart, and I think it’s great, because what I’m trying to do is bring people joy and happiness. I took it all as a compliment and I was just so happy people were watching and talking about it.”

Will Netflix beat Hallmark in the holiday movie business?

Given the fact that Hallmark has been making holiday movies for decades now means that there is a big audience that is hungry for these, and Netflix seems to have realized that.

It remains to be seen whether Netflix will truly be able to surpass Hallmark as the number one place for holiday movies. So far, Hallmark has Netflix beat in this business. Netflix will only be releasing a handful of films, but Hallmark has plans for releasing 40 of them. Hallmark also is not going to back down that easily.

“We own Christmas,” Michelle Vicary, Hallmark’s Executive Vice President of Programming, said in 2017. “We are going to do it in a bigger way and a better way and really speak to the spirit of the season that I don’t think any of our competitors do.”