The cover art for Buffy the Vampire Slayer (as seen on Netflix) shows Buffy, Faith and Spike. Where one could argue that Faith is a major character, Spike is almost definitely nothing more than a recurring minor character. Likewise, the cover art for Angel shows Angel and Spike, even though Spike's presence is even less on that show (only a couple of episodes on the first season). Why doesn't the cover art for both of these shows feature more prominent characters (Xander and Willow for Buffy, Cordelia for Angel), and why is it specifically Spike? Any explanation, or was this just a one-off decision by the artists?
How many seasons have you seen of both shows? Spike is an important major character in both, at some points.
Spike becomes a part of the main cast starting with Ep.7 of Buffy's Season 4, with a complicated relationship with Buffy and the rest of the Scooby gang, culminating in the series finale at the end of Season 7.
After Buffy went off the air, Spike moved on to the last season of Angel, season 5, where again he became a part of the major cast, and injected some much needed levity into the lineup.
Also, Spike's cool.
I think it is because the cover art Netflix uses comes from the DVD cover art for a season box set for each show. The cover art they use for Angel is from the season 5 DVD. The cover art they use for Buffy is the season 5 DVD.
Here is Angel Season 5 cover art on Amazon:
and here is the Buffy cover art for season 5
I believe these are the same images used by Netflix. I don't know why they selected these images.
If it makes you feel better, the cover art for Angel season 1,2,3 and 4 are all Angel and Cordelia.
Here is season 4
So you don't lose too much more sleep, here is Buffy Season 6 DVD. All Scoobies: Buffy, Willow, and Xander...
but there is even more Spike for you in Buffy season 7's box
I guess the mystery is why Netflix selected season 5 cover art for both shows. Perhaps some catalog editor at Netflix thought those pictures were the best (maybe they love Spike or just liked the pictures). My guess, and it is only a guess, is an art director at Netflix thought the red tones in both images went best with the Netflix red color theme. So, they selected those two pictures from the available DVD cover art. The green of Angel 4 or the blue in Buffy 7 wouldn't have matched the Netflix red.
I think the cover pictures depicted what that seasons most prominent characters are. In season five of Buffy it seemed the story line was mainly about Dawn and Spike, hence the cover picture.