The Week In Netflix: OTT Service to Increase Content Spend; ‘Ultra’ Plans Pondered

July 2-6, 2018: 'Economist' says Netflix to spend $12B-$13B in 2018; tests ‘Ultra’ plan in Europe; top platform among young audiences
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The Economist: Netflix to Spend $12B-$13B on Content in 2018

TWIN: The Economist has predicted that Netflix will spend between $12 billion and $13 billion on content this year, up from the $9 billion it shelled out in 2017.

Money stacks

MCN Take: That’s more than any other studio spends on movies, or any TV network spends on non-sports programming, The Economist said. And for that price tag, Netflix customers will get 82 feature films and 700 new or exclusively licensed television shows.

Read the full story at The Economist.

Netflix Tests ‘Ultra’ Service Plans in Europe

TWIN: According to several reports, Netflix is testing a higher-priced “Ultra” service plan in Europe that will offer 4K Ultra HD video quality and let subscribers stream the service on four devices simultaneously – up from the three currently allowed for 17 euros ($20) per month.

MCN Take: In the U.S., Netflix already offers 4K and four screens via its $13.99 per month Premium plan. But some reports said if the European plan catches on, it could lead to higher prices in the U.S. Still, most analysts believe Netflix has some pricing leeway in the U.S., as domestic subscribers shrugged off an October 2017 increase. Netflix had its single highest quarterly subscriber growth in that year’s Q4.

See the full story at USA Today.

Netflix Most Popular Platform to Watch Content

TWIN: Netflix beat out cable, broadcast, and everybody else in terms of the most popular platform by which to view content, according to a Cowen & Co. survey.

MCN Take: Netflix placed first as the go-to for overall viewing – 27.2% of all respondents said they went to Netflix most often to view content (basic cable was second with 20.4%). The gap was even wider with younger viewers. Nearly 40% of those respondents in the coveted 18-34 year old demographic said they look to Netflix most often (You Tube was second with 17%).

Read the full story at Syfy.com.

Netflix to Drop User Reviews Next Month

TWIN: Amateur critics will have one less online vehicle next month, after Netflix drops written user reviews of its content. The company said the reason for the action is primarily due to lack of participation.

MemberReviews

MCN Take: The action comes after Netflix dropped the five-star rating system from its apps last year. Netflix plans to stop accepting reviews on July 30, but they will be readable until mid-August.

Read the full story at CNET.

Netflix Nabs Mixtape, Musical Series Originally Eyed for Fox

TWIN: Netflix continued to gather up cast-off broadcast series last week, saving Mixtape, a romantic musical series originally earmarked for Fox.

Joshua Safran

Joshua Safran

MCN Take: This isn’t the first time Netflix has rescued a series from the broadcast chopping block – it took over production for Fox’s Lucifer after it was canceled in May. Netflix has ordered 10 episodes of Mixtape, keeping creator Joshua Safran (Gossip Girl and Quantico) and most of the original cast – only the main actor has been recast.

Read the full story at Variety.

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