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Television The Almighty Buck Businesses Entertainment

Netflix Plans To Spend $7 Billion On Content In 2018 (streamingobserver.com) 97

According to the Streaming Observer, Netflix plans to increase its budget by $1 billion dollars over the next year and spend over $7 billion on content in 2018. Previously, the company paid $6 billion in 2017 and $5 billion in 2016. From the report: While the internet freaks out about Disney ending its streaming agreement with Netflix, the company continues to forge ahead signing high-profile talent and throwing an enormous budget at its original programming. Just days after the Disney turmoil, Netflix's visionary Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos stated that the streaming leader plans to increase its budget by $1 billion dollars over the next year. As of now, Netflix currently has $15.7 billion in outstanding obligations in deals for new series and films over the next few years. With such an astronomically-large budget, media analysts are already beginning to wonder if Netflix is "rescuing" or "ruining" Hollywood by creating such a singular creator-producer-distributor model. Sarandos counters those claims, however, stating that Netflix is merely on the forefront of what's already a growing trend throughout the media industries: "I would say that the relationship between studios and networks has always been that of a frenemy. Everyone is doing some version of it already. They just have to make a decision for their companies, their brands and their shareholders on how to best optimize the content. We started making original content five years ago, betting this would happen."
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Netflix Plans To Spend $7 Billion On Content In 2018

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  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Thursday August 17, 2017 @02:07AM (#55032359)

    Yes Disney has some nice content. But looking over things it's not that much compared to what I get from Netflix in terms of original programs...

    Also the stuff from Disney tends to be in a certain style, while the Netflix content has been way more varied and differing in topic or target.

    I wish Disney good fortune in striking out on their own but I wonder if these days they are as valuable a content commodity as they imagine themselves to be... especially with Netflix spending some percent of that money on original YA programming with more freedom of creative control than Disney is willing to give.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Freischutz ( 4776131 )

      Yes Disney has some nice content. But looking over things it's not that much compared to what I get from Netflix in terms of original programs...

      Also the stuff from Disney tends to be in a certain style, while the Netflix content has been way more varied and differing in topic or target.

      I wish Disney good fortune in striking out on their own but I wonder if these days they are as valuable a content commodity as they imagine themselves to be... especially with Netflix spending some percent of that money on original YA programming with more freedom of creative control than Disney is willing to give.

      It's kind of like the iTunes/iPod thing is happening all over again except in TV world and this time more people saw the writing on the wall and there are more players than Apple in the game at the ground level. I have cancelled my cable TV subscriptions and mostly watch Netflix, Amazon Prime and YouTube on an Apple TV connected to a TV whose tuner circuitry's only use is to get cursed at whenever I switch to it by mistake when flipping between HDMI inputs. However I could be using any number of other TV st

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Tukz ( 664339 )

      Well, Disney owns Marvel, so I kinda care.

      I suspect this means all Marvel content will eventually be pulled from Netflix. I enjoy most of the Marvel series Netflix currently offer.

      And they also own Pixar. I'm a grown man, but I still enjoy Pixar.

      • I'm a grown man, but I still enjoy Pixar.

        There's a problem when someone does not like Pixar, whatever the age.

      • Different strokes for different folks. I, for one, will be quite happy to see all that comic book derived stuff gone.

        • Different strokes for different folks. I, for one, will be quite happy to see all that comic book derived stuff gone.

          So NF makes less money and can produce less stuff you might like?

          • To this day I have watched just two original netflix series so I guess I could live with that.

            • OR even buy less stuff you like
              • They already do that, by preferring the comicbook stuff. That was kind of my point in first place.

                • I don't get it. You prefer they produce less comic book content which would result in lower revenues, so they will then spend EVEN LESS on the other stuff you prefer. That popular content is propping up everything else.
                  • That popular content is displacing everything else.
                    Get it now?

                    • That popular content is displacing everything else. Get it now?

                      No, it is not displacing anything. It is enabling the purchase of more content you like than it could without the added customers.

                    • It is displacing because popular stuff is easy money.
                      Same crap with games - the Deus Ex frachise was put on ice because Square Enix works on games in the Marvel universe. This is how comicbook crap kills good content again and again.

                    • It seems the content you prefer is being reduced not because of money making content, but because the price of your desired content has risen more than NF can afford. That is what pushed them into content creation in the first place, they would not survive on the old model.
                    • Then I suppose it is time to cancel the subscription and go back buying blurays.

                    • Then I suppose it is time to cancel the subscription and go back buying blurays.

                      If what you want is theatrical movie releases then yes, because that ship has sailed for NF. That business model wasn't sustainable as the movie houses became greedy with their licenses. But if you like any of the original content that isn't comic book based, that inventory is growing, not shrinking.

      • Well, Disney owns Marvel, so I kinda care.

        I suspect this means all Marvel content will eventually be pulled from Netflix. I enjoy most of the Marvel series Netflix currently offer.

        And they also own Pixar. I'm a grown man, but I still enjoy Pixar.

        I think Netflix will have rights to keep the stuff it has already produced under the Marvel brand, but Disney can stop licensing of new Marvel series. But Netflix has figured out the formula and can produce Marvel-like content on their own, sans the brand name.

    • I think Netflix started off well, but they have been producing some real turds this year. Seems like they had a few good ideas to start with but have quickly degenerated into the same rut as other content producers.
    • by turp182 ( 1020263 ) on Thursday August 17, 2017 @06:01AM (#55032909) Journal

      I'm assuming you aren't a child.

      Every parent will buy most of their movies if they can. My wife loves the old ones, my kids the newer. They are freaky valuable.

      They have Star Wars, which sucks (sort of, they are working it and not poorly in my opinion).

      But my kids are over Phineas and Ferb (Disney), which is sad as I liked that a lot.

      Now we're into Teen Titans Go, which is not Disney, and is awesome for children and adults (they just did a 4 episode run based on the 1980s, a song, The Night Begins to Shine, basically for people my age, the kids liked it as well but didn't understand most of the references).

      Ebb and flow. But we won't be taking the Disney streaming river anytime (we have some through cable, but don't watch it much, Cartoon Network rules at this time).

      Netflix is kicking ass on original content. I prefer their expansion business model as opposed to the consolidation model existing companies use, Disney being the poster child for such.

    • by Xest ( 935314 ) on Thursday August 17, 2017 @07:32AM (#55033223)

      I don't like Disney, but the problem is they're hijacked so much culture now that it's hard to avoid them. This is precisely why Disney shouldn't be allowed to keep buying IPs - they're just too big.

      They started out and grew by taking popular public domain stories, wrapping their own designs around them, then claiming them as their own, even suing people who then dare to try and make their own adaptations of the public domain content in some cases, thus effectively engaging in cultural theft.

      But then they bought things like Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars with their ill gotten gains, so other major IPs are now controlled by them.

      Any other purchase of media companies by Disney should be blocked as anti-competitive in any sane market. You can argue this would go against the free market, but Disney's whole existence has been about manipulating the market to their own advantage with frivolous lawsuits and IP law lobbying to bend the free market away from being free in the first place. In a free market free of IP law manipulation by the likes of Disney, 90% of Disney's IP would now be just as free for making derivative works of as the stories Disney created most their IP from in the first place.

      Unfortunately even some of Netflix's originals are based on Disney IP, so Disney pulling out puts some of their best original content at risk. Disney is the too big to fail equivalent of the entertainment world, and if something is too big to fail it needs to be broken up until it's not.

      • No denying they have a large hold on things today.

        But doesn't it feel like that is slipping? When most of the major movies are sequels it starts to look more like a retrograde action where Disney spends more more money on propping up aging IP than creating new things. Meanwhile Netflix plots another BILLION dollars down on new content...

        I mean at this point who seriously cares about another Marvel movie?

        I love Star Wars myself but after just a few more years of new Star Wars every year, even that will pro

        • by Xest ( 935314 )

          I hope that's the case, but if you look at even things like Lego, a vast amount of Lego's IP (a majority?) is now Disney licensed stuff, I wouldn't be surprised to see Disney just buy up Lego at some point.

          So the risk is it's not just about video content, they could tie up the vast majority of the kids toy market too.

          Certainly there are growing challengers as you say - Netflix, HBO etc. but even if Disney aren't gaining any real ground now in terms of video content because of them I think they still hold wa

      • Great comment. (applause).
    • I certainly won't be following disney content to a separate monthly charge.

    • Is there an Internet law to describe how stupid and out of touch people who say, "who cares about... " on the Internet? Fuck, it's like you were never a kid, or too poor to watch any Disney movies. I hope you're not in charge of making decisions beyond what to order for dinner.
  • So, like most others, I assume Firefly will finally be coming back???
    • Yes, for about five minutes. then Netflix will remove it, like any other content they ever had that was worth watching.

  • is it? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SuperDre ( 982372 ) on Thursday August 17, 2017 @03:11AM (#55032531) Homepage

    Is it their budget only for content creation, or is it the budget for content creation AND buying licenses for 'old' content.
    To me, Netflix is going in the wrong direction, it was a good idea of having all old series (and movies) in one place, but now they are becoming more and more a boring content creater like any other network and we still can't see all the great series from the past which are a lot of times much better than the crap that's put out today.

    • Re:is it? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by swb ( 14022 ) on Thursday August 17, 2017 @06:18AM (#55032963)

      I still don't quite understand why old content owners are so reluctant to license content to Netflix, especially content that's pre-1975 or so.

      Outside of really notable films (Academy Award winners, etc), those films and especially TV shows aren't making any money sitting on the shelf at all and few copies are probably being sold on DVD/BD even if they are available on disc. It literally makes more sense to license them to Netflix than to do nothing.

      Even in the case where principals had lucrative deals that would allow them to hold up licensing to streaming/digital formats, a lot of those principals are dead and their inheritors probably aren't either going to object or will accept whatever extra is offered to them for a streaming deal. This would seem to get better as you go further back, not worse. Maybe in some cases it would be worth whatever risk to just run the risk of cutting someone out and pay them off if they object.

      Even if $Studio has some kind of vague plans for their own streaming services, we haven't seen any of them do it or if they're still planning to, it's slightly more complicated than just slapping up a web site, meaning there's years before they're able to do it and they could license their content out for a couple of years without risking their own service.

      I'm sometimes convinced that Netflix isn't even trying to license this content, they're trying to ween subscribers off other people's content so that in 5 years or whatever nobody (especially young people) will even know that Netflix actually had third party content. Or the other theory, that content owners simply don't want back catalog available because there's so much of it that's worthwhile that it would seriously degrade interest in their new content.

      • by houghi ( 78078 )

        They want to sell new content as those prices are higher. They think that if they sell the old content, people will not be willing to pay for new content.

        So they rather sell one item for 10 than 8 items for 1.

        Obviously these numbers are completely random. No idea if they are correct and even then it might be wrong how they think, but basically the reason is that this way they think they can make more money.

        And it could also be that on the old content, they still would need to pay others some percentage, so

        • by swb ( 14022 )

          Call me crazy, but I don't think they would have to price old content for less than "new" content, or at least not any less than they charge for a 5 year old major studio movie which they already discount.

          I have a hard time with the notion that there are a lot of stakeholders in older content. I think it's *new* content where everyone involved has a complex contract with percentages of a film or show in perpetuity, but in older films I think there were more people with just straight fees or payments and on

      • You can either (1) make your own content and get licenses in perpetuity (even if NF folds as a movie place, their content is still valuable) or (2) license content from studios which can change their prices on a whim.

        By depending on the whims of studios, Netflix makes a decision not to be subjugated into irrelevance when studios raise their prices (as they've been doing). Think of them like HBO now or something.

      • I still don't quite understand why old content owners are so reluctant to license content to Netflix, especially content that's pre-1975 or so.

        Because people would spend their time and money watching the cheaper content rather than watching newer more expensive content.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Give it a few years for most of the other streaming services to fail, and those shows will come back to Netflix. I think YouTube will become more popular for series too. Some networks already upload old episodes, and monetize them.

      It's either that or they don't get seen and produce no revenue.

    • by Xest ( 935314 )

      I'm finding Netflix's content less and less appealing, I felt like some class Vietnam war action the other day, but all they had was Hamburger Hill, it seems silly that classics like Platoon and Apocalypse now weren't even available (at least in the UK).

      With them cancelling shows like Sens8 just as it's actually getting good it does feel like they're losing direction. It feels like an awful lot of the content they have is just space filling drivel now, though in part I suspect this is because they no longer

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I hope they don't cancel too many shows when they turn interesting.

    For example, "Defying Gravity" started out lame, but it got better. And the last episode was great - lots of momentum and "What will happen now?". And in that episode, the characters on the spaceship found out what the mission was about, and they reacted with astonishment and delight. And that was the last episode that was shown in the US! We (the US viewers) never found out what the mission was.

    And the show "Alphas" ended on a cliffhanger.

    • When Netflix recently announced the cancellation of sense8 after season 2, they ordered one more two hour episode to allow for wrap-up.

      • by gfxguy ( 98788 )
        At least there's that.... far too many network shows just abruptly end on cliffhangers, and the networks don't give a crap. If ratings are down on the whole, it might be because people (like me) refuse to start watching a show unless we know it'll be around for a while.
  • by DeplorableCodeMonkey ( 4828467 ) on Thursday August 17, 2017 @07:30AM (#55033217)

    Integrate a one click purchase into the Netflix apps so that you can buy a physical copy from them directly. My wife and I have seen some shows there that we'd buy a blu ray copy to give away to relatives who don't want Netflix.

  • Can we please have the 1st 5 seasons (and the movies) of Futurama back?

  • Netflix, Disney, Amazon Video, Apple, CBS (Star Trek) and other legacy networks seeking relevancy. https://www.theverge.com/2017/... [theverge.com] All of your screens are belong to us..

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