Netflix will have 1,000 originals by end of 2018: Is the company dominating or churning?

Netflix will have around 1,000 ‘originals’ by the end of the year, according to the company’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos.

Speaking at a media summit earlier this week in New York, Sarandos revealed that the company will spend up to $8bn this year, with as much as 85% of its new spending attributed to original content, as reported by Variety.

Around 470 of the streaming service’s originals are set to premiere between now and the end of 2018, which equates to around two new releases a day on average. 80 films are among the new original content for this year, including everything from low-budget productions to “$100 million blockbusters”, Sarandos explained.

On Monday, the company revealed that it had commissioned a second season of “Lost in Space” along with a new horror series by Oscar-winning producer Guillermo del Toro.

Has Netflix won the streaming arms race?

Netflix’s heavy investment in its originals certainly appears to have paid off so far. Despite films produced by the company being banned from the Cannes film festival, Netflix continues to grow: it added 7 million new subscribers in the first quarter of 2018, bringing its total global subscribers to 125 million. Such is Netflix’s dominance of the streaming market that the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 are reportedly considering joining forces to have any chance of taking the company and the likes of Amazon and YouTube on.

Sarandos revealed on Monday that more than 90% of Netflix users regularly watch its original programming, so it’s hard to see how the strategy of making its own content could go wrong, beyond simply churning out too much content at expense of quality. 470 new originals between now and the end of the year does sound a little excessive, but when the margins are so much greater than on licensed content, not every single programme needs to be a hit.

Having said that, even if the business model works financially, there’s a risk the platform could end up being swamped with so-so TV shows, especially if its basic interface makes it difficult to find the best new content quickly and easily. For every Stranger Things and House of Cards there are a handful of disappointments like The Cloverfield Paradox. The last thing Netflix wants is for the service to be associated with churned dross.

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