Netflix will spend $7 billion USD on content in 2018 — up from the $6 billion USD that the streaming giant has pledged to spend this year on licensing and producing TV series and films.
Just after Apple announced it plans on spending $1 billion on original TV programming over the next year, Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos quoted the massive number during a new interview with Variety.
The vast majority of Netflix‘s budget is spent on licensed content, but the company is working towards balancing that out with more in-house content over the next couple of years, Sarandos said.
“The vast majority [of our expenditure] is still licensed content,” Sarandos said. “We’re still a couple years from seeing it go 50-50.” A large portion of these funds will be allocated toward driving international growth. Sarandos said that the company has 17 local series this year in countries like Brazil and Germany, though he expects that number to grow to “70 to 100 [international] series in the next couple of years.”
At present, Netflix has 104 million subscribers in 190 countries. In addition to scripted shows like House of Cards, as well as newer ones such as The Crown and Stranger Things, Netflix is starting to venture into original movies and reality TV.
Netflix’s increased budget comes at a potentially critical juncture for the company: Disney announced last week that, as of the beginning of 2019, it will yank all of its family-friendly films — as well as those by Pixar — from Netflix in order to launch its own streaming service. This makes Netflix’s original content strategy more important than ever.