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Hallmark vs Netflix: Christmas Edition

Updated: Jan 17

By Matt Chieco


The Christmas season has arrived and so have the Hallmark Christmas movies. With hundreds of movies including fifty-four being released just in 2020, the network has become synonymous with the holiday season. While they all sound different each movie has the same heartwarming formula causing one to bleed into the other, yet that's not necessarily a bad thing. These movies provide escapism (which is needed during 2020) and in 2017 the Hallmark Channel was predicted to bring in $390 million in ad revenue, not too bad for movies that only cost around $2 million to make.

Recently the network has attracted over 80 million viewers per year, beating Netflix’s The Irishman, Tiger King, and so many others on the streaming service. So what is Netflix’s response? Making moderate budget, formulaic Christmas movies...sound familiar. In 2017 the streaming service released its first attempt with A Christmas Prince.

While Netflix normally doesn’t release ratings for their content, in 2017 Netflix tweeted about the film, slightly hinting about its popularity.

As of 2020, Netflix has made around fourteen of these movies. The catalog includes The Princess Switch, The Knight Before Christmas, and their most recent release Operation Christmas Drop, which has been in Netflix’s top 10 list since premiering.

Now while it seems like Hallmark is the clear winner, Netflix has one very big advantage. Netflix has such a large streaming collection that if you originally open the app to watch one thing, it is very easy to get redirected to watch something completely different. For example if I’m watching Stranger Things as soon as the credits start rolling they can be playing ads for Operation Christmas Drop, while the Hallmark Channel’s advertisement is more limited.

Now if Hallmark released a streaming service for all of their movies there may be more of an even playing field with Netflix in regards to advertising. Yet, until then we’re gonna have to wait and see who can truly win this battle that will continue to intensify for years to come.

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