The reigning streaming giant is looking to get even bigger. During Netflix’s third-quarter investors interview, chief content officer Ted Sarandos revealed that they’re looking to achieve the kind of success they’ve found in television programming by upping their cinematic content in a big way. How big? According to Sarandos, Netflix plans to release around 80 original films in 2018. (h/t: Variety)
The streaming service is coming off a big Q3 win, growing its subscriber base by 5.3 million new members during the quarter; 850,000 members in the U.S. and 4.45 million members internationally. Netflix also reported a third-quarter revenue of $2.99 billion, up 30 percent from the same period last year.
The report comes on the heels of the announcement that it’s raising prices for the first time in two years, increasing the cost of its most popular $9.99 plan to $10.99 a month, and the $11.99 premium plan, which allows you to use four screens at once and provides 4K video, is increasing $2 to $13.99 a month. According to Sarandos, that move is part of a long-term plan to slowly raise prices in conjunction with increases in the services value, and that means increasing the amount of original content that can only be found on Netflix. To increase that content, Netflix plans to increase spending to $7-8 billion, up from this year’s $6 billion.
However, CFO David Wells clarified that “there’s no timing correlation between our intent to grow content and to grow content spending and the price increases.” He continued, “This has been planned for a long time.”
“I think people will start seeing the potential for this original movie initiative,” Sarandos explained, “that it could be done on the enormous scale we have on the television side.” As an example of the scope of films audiences can expect from their continued investment in original films, Sarandos pointed toward David Ayer’s Bright, the big-budget high-concept fantasy actioner starring Will Smith, which debuts on Netflix in December.
80 films is a huge investment of resources and money, far beyond what the service has allocated to their film branch, which ramped up production over the last two years. So far, 2017 saw the release of films like Okja, First They Killed My Father and Stephen King’s Gerald’s Game, and according to Sarandos, that diversity of content is one of the driving forces in the success they’ve found so far.
“We had three different films released this quarter that, if viewing was buying a movie ticket, would be sizable successes in Death Note, Naked and To the Bone,” he said, “and probably very little audience crossover between them.That’s the benefit of the great new original programming coming nearly every day on Netflix.”