Netflix will finance at least 82 films in 2018 in what seems like an incredibly aggressive strategy to bury their competitors deep under the sheer weight of their massive catalogue.
Warner Brothers is expected to produce 23 films this year, while Disney is projected to make just 10.
Netflix spent US$6.3 billion on content last year, and estimates made in October indicated they would increase their investment in original shows to $8 billion in 2018.
Just for comparison, in 2017 HBO invested $2.5 billion on content while CBS poured some $4 billion.
Now if Netflix’s cash dance isn’t outrageous enough, data from a recent Goldman Sachs assessment reveals that the streaming giant is projected to surpass the initial estimate, with estimates it will spend a whopping sum of between $12 and $13 billion on original content this year. WOW.
When Netflix launched House of Cards in 2011 – their first original show – industry insiders thought it was just a cute attempt at disrupting content production. Nobody in a million years could predict it was the first step of a systematic takedown of every paradigm in the entertainment industry.
Today, not only has Netflix managed to win Academy Awards and multiple nominations, but it has also been able to attract some of the best talent in the business including heavyweights like Jerry Seinfeld, Will Smith and David Fincher.
The company has also embedded its name in the history of cinema by funding the restoration of Orson Wells’ ill-fated final project.
On top of all the critical acclaim, the DVD rental service turned Silicon Valley behemoth is now the single most popular way to watch content on a television in the United States, eclipsing basic cable, traditional broadcast television and even YouTube. As of March 2018, the company registered 125 million users worldwide with 57 million subscribers in the US alone – and Down Under, Netflix Australia continues to grow.
All this means Netflix is seeing a hefty return on its hefty investment. The strategy is working so far and, unsurprisingly, there are no signs of them stopping.
Right now, the company is developing at least 700 new or exclusively licensed television shows that include scripted dramas, comedies, documentaries, children’s shows and, well, shows in practically every other genre under the sun.
According to the same Goldman Sachs assessment, Netflix’s spending spree will increase to $22.5 billion per year by 2022.
With Apple and Facebook coming into the streaming war and DC Comics and Disney planning to launch their own platforms, we can expect the battle of content to become even fiercer.
How will it affect us, the consumers, you ask? Time will tell.