Netflix is amping up its originals slate, putting 85% of all new spending toward content production, chief content officer Ted Sarandos said.
Speaking at MoffettNathanson’s Media & Communications Summit Monday (May 14), Sarandos said the SVOD service expects to have nearly 1,000 originals by the end of the year, about half of which have not yet premiered.
The OTT juggernaut added 7.41 million streaming subscribers worldwide in the first quarter, bringing its global customer base to about 125 million, and it leads the pack in a category forecast to continue booming. Following a gain of 41% in 2017, U.S. OTT revenue is expected to grow another 40% this year, reaching $16.6 billion, according to Convergence Research Group's study The Battle for the American Couch Potato: OTT, TV, Online.
Against that backdrop, Netflix apparently believes Peak TV's apex is still to come.
But while Sarandos evangelized Netflix's content vision, he dampened speculation that Netflix has aspirations in sports and news, saying the company has no plans at this time to pursue either.
New Production Deals
Among the most high-profile of Netflix's programming investments is an exclusive production deal with writer/producer/director Ryan Murphy that kicks in July 1. Two new Murphy-produced original series are already lined up, Ratched and The Politician.
Before luring Murphy away from his FX deal earlier this year, Netflix last summer signed prolific series creator Shonda Rhimes, long attached to ABC, to a multi-year production deal.
Recent new series orders include sci-fi drama Another Life, starring Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica), and multi-camera comedy series Mr. Iglesias, starring Gabriel "Fluffy" Iglesias, whose deal includes two stand-up specials as well.
Netflix on Wednesday (May 16) released its first look at season four of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which returns this month. The season will play out in two halves, with six episodes launching May 30.
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