Netflix has previously said it wants 50% of its library to be original content in the next few years.
Netflix has said it will be increasing its yearly spend to a cheek-slapping $US8 billion in 2018, as part of a larger push to have 50% of its library be originally produced content.
The figure, issued during the company’s quarterly earning release on Monday, marks a substantial leap from the $US6 billion planned for this year. It comes at a time when big powers like Disney have made decisions to pull content from Netflix, moving it into their own ecosystems. It looks like Netflix wants to fight the risk of more third-party content owners pulling their licenses, not to mention the competition from Amazon-produced original content.
"We have a good head start, but our job is to improve Netflix as rapidly as possible […] to stay ahead of the competition in the decades to come," the company said.
Netflix CFO David Wells said in September 2016 he wants half of the platform's library to be original programming in the coming years, with the other 50% being made of licenced TV shows and movies. According to Ville Salminen, who runs streaming news site Cordcutting.com, as well as Netflix tracking site AllFlicks, that figure looks like it may be a challenge to reach:
"Achieving a 50% mix between original and non-original content won't be easy for Netflix," says Salminen. "At least, not in 2018. Currently, Netflix has 432 original and 5,165 non-original releases in the U.S. To reach that 50%, the service would have to license/produce 4,733 new originals - if the number of non-originals would stay intact."
Two of the areas that are getting a big investment for 2018 are movies and anime. Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos said that the company plans to release “about 80” films in 2018, as well as 30 new anime series. Netflix has been increasingly pushing anime content in its library, from imports like Attack on Titan to original series like Neo Yokio.
If the move towards anime is likely to target younger viewers, the investment in movies will see the stream services gunning for a few prestigious awards. The Netflix-produced Meyerowitz Stories and Okja both screened at Cannes this year, but it has yet to bag on par with the Oscar-winning, Amazon Studios-produced Manchester By The Sea.