Netflix will in 2018 double-down on its plan to change the film industry, with 80 films slated for release. The streaming company is planning to spend up to $8 billion dollars on content next year.
Only the beginning
Netflix started producing original content only five years ago. Back then, it was seen as a risky move but shows like House of Cards became instant hits. Over the last few years, Hollywood studios have started pulling their content from the service, and the company has reacted by doubling-down on its original content strategy.
- “Five years ago, we embarked on our original programming strategy and we’re very pleased with our progress in transforming Netflix from a service with not just second run content but also must-see new releases, like Stranger Things, Orange is the New Black, House of Cards, Fuller House, Making a Murderer, Narcos, The Crown and 13 Reasons Why, among many others,” the company said.
Netflix is planning to spend up to $8 billion dollars on content next year, which is $1 billion more than first anticipated and $2 billion more than in 2017. It is leading a pack of other streaming players such as Amazon, Hulu, and HBO who are each spending billions on content. New players such as Apple, Facebook, and Google are also increasingly spending money on original content.
Half of the content library is expected to be originals by the end of 2018. A large portion of that will be original movies. Netflix has taken aim at the film industry’s theatrical release window model, which dictates that movies must screen at the theatre before they can be made available at home. Netflix instead premieres its movies on the same day worldwide.
80 films slated for release next year
Ted Sarandos, chief content officer, said that 80 original films are slated for release in 2018. This is a significant boost over 2017 where titles such as Okja and The Meyerowitz Stories have headlined the company’s program. However, to finance its ambitions Netflix has chosen to raise its prices several times over the last few years.
- “Our future largely lies in exclusive original content,” the company wrote in its earnings report.
Theatre owners have taken a hard stance against the streaming company, arguing that the window release model is the foundation under the entire film industry, a notion that looks increasingly fluffy for each passing quarter.
In addition to movies, Netflix will release lots of TV series, documentaries, comedy etc. It is also planning to release a lot more anime series next year, Sarandos said.
The company now has 109 million subscribers, of which approximately 53 million are based in the US and 56 million outside of the US. It expects to have 115 million subscribers by the end of the year.