Netflix Will Devote $8 Billion To 2018 Programming Budget, Focus On Original Content
Netflix is set to spend a massive amount of money on original content next year with a budget that puts many networks to shame. The streaming media giant confirmed during its Q3 earnings report yesterday that it would be spending $8 billion on new content for 2018. That massive budget will allow Netflix to continue adding new and original shows, movies, and comedy specials that will help it to continue to grow its enviable subscriber base globally.
Along with the confirmation of the bigger budget, Netflix also talked about subscriber numbers for the quarter ending September 30. The breakdown shows significantly faster growth overseas with 4.45 million new subscribers added outside of the U.S., while 850,000 were added in the States. Netflix says that it now has 109.3 million subscribers globally.
Netflix will need its massive $8 billion war chest to lure in new content to its service at a time when traditional TV networks are pushing their own streaming platforms, limiting access to network TV shows for Netflix's catalog. CBS is pushing its streaming platform with exclusive access to shows like The Big Bang Theory and Star Trek: Discovery, with the latter not available on the normal network for fans to watch. The only way to see Discovery is to spend money on a CBS All Access subscription.
Disney has announced that it is pulling all of its content from Netflix and will launch its own streaming platform to get money right out of the pockets of fans. Facebook launched its Watch platform that will have original programming available for fans, but as of now, that content is free. Apple and Amazon have both announced that they will push into streaming in a bigger way. Apple plans to spend $1 billion on content for its own streaming platform.
The streaming giant notes that its investment in original shows was over 25% of its total 2017 content budget. Netflix wrote in the investor letter, "Our future largely lies in exclusive original content that drives both excitement around Netflix and enormous viewing satisfaction for our global membership and its wide variety of tastes." The downside to a massive content budget is that Netflix will have to raise prices to support its investment; the standard plan will increase to $10.99 monthly with the premium plan costing $13.99 monthly.