Netflix is planning to spend $7 billion dollars on content next year, up from $6 billion this year and $5 billion in 2016. Chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, expects ‘Bright’, starring Will Smith, to be a “defining moment for the film initiative”, he said in an interview with Variety.
”Defining moment for the film initiative”
With more than 104 million subscribers across 190 countries, Netflix continues to ramp up investments to tap into the global opportunity which is streaming TV. Investments in TV series have expanded to cover a range of genres, most recently big-budget movies.
Has Netflix’s Ted Sarandos rescued (or ruined) Hollywood, asks Variety. The company has undeniably changed the TV industry with its simultaneous global releases of full seasons but it is only getting started with movies. Sarandos is planning to spend $7 billion dollars on content next year to realize the company’s ambitions.
- “The vast majority is still licensed content,” Ted Sarandos told Variety. “We’re still a couple years from seeing it go 50-50.”
That kind of money is required to keep churning out quality material and to increase the film budget. Having already released titles such ‘Beasts of No Nation’ and ‘Okja’, Netflix now has its eyes set on upcoming releases such as ‘The Meyerowitz Stories’ and ‘Bright’, starring Will Smith.
- “I don’t want to set expectations too crazy, but I think [Bright] is going to be more of a defining moment for the film initiative. It’s undeniably a Saturday-night blockbuster.”
Four “must-see” movies per year
Sarandos’ plan is to, eventually, release up to four “must-see” movies a year; titles that can garner as much attention and conversation as theatrical releases such as ‘Wonder Woman’.
Netflix intends to ramp up investments in local content, too. It has 17 local series this year, including ‘3%’ (Brazil). That number that will grow to 70-100 in the “next couple of years”.
The chief content officer also commented on Amazon’s movie strategy, saying that he does not consider Amazon a competitor in the movie space before adding; “I don’t understand why perpetuating a model that feels more and more disconnected with the population is good”.
Despite a significant debt burden of $4.8 billion in loans and $15.7 billion in future content commitments, Netflix will continue to invest in new content, seemingly adding about $1 billion to the budget every year. The company enjoys explosive growth so it is obviously doing something right. So has Netflix rescued or ruined Hollywood? Read the full interview on Variety.