It's Netflix's world and we're just living in it. The streaming giant made a big shift several years ago and, instead of just housing content produced elsewhere, Netflix began making their own, original content. Now, that's the company's primary focus and their original content library has absolutely exploded. And don't expect it to slow down anytime soon. According to Netflix CFO David Wells, the company looks to have in the neighborhood of 700 original movies and TV shows in total by the end of 2018. That's a whole lot of content.
David Wells made the comment during the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference. He stated that Netflix will be in the "700-range" in terms of originals, after investing more than $8 billion in original content this year. 80 of those originals will be from outside the U.S., such as their recent hit German series, Dark. As Wells puts it, Netflix's shift to original content has sparked a growth in their subscriber base, which is why they don't feel the need to hit the brakes. Here's what he had to say.
"Let's continue to add content, it's working, it's driving growth."
He also says that, when it comes to amassing this truly impressive library of content, they don't care where the content comes from. "People don't care where the stories come from. We're about having the best content. We don't necessarily have to do it ourselves," Wells said. At the end of 2017, Netflix had a reported 117.6 million subscribers, which dwarfs the competition. Still, the streaming service feels they have a lot of room to grow, since there are 700 million broadband internet users in the world, not including China.
"There's more non-members than members of Netflix, that's our opportunity."
No other streaming service that currently exists can hope to compete with Netflix in terms of sheer volume of content at this point. Though, Disney may have something to say about that when they launch their streaming service next year. That said, quality is possibly a different discussion. Netflix has found great success with shows like Stranger Things and their Marvel offerings like Daredevil and Jessica Jones. They've also made some quality movies, like Mudbound and Okja. However, for every one of those hits, they turn out something that either mostly slips through the cracks, or something that is sorely lacking in quality. For example, their recent original movie Mute, an expensive and ambitious sci-fi movie from director Duncan Jones, has been mostly trashed by fans and critics.
They also scooped up The Cloverfield Paradox from Paramount at the last minute, which was a splashy PR move, but the movie disappointed many. So the question is, can they churn out more quality content while producing such a tremendous volume of content? Time will tell. David Wells also revealed that Netflix will spend a lot more money on advertising in 2018 saying, "We used to think every incremental dollar was best spent on content...we think marketing is a multiplier on the content spend." This news comes to us courtesy of Variety.