As if wasn’t already hard enough to try and keep up with what’s worth watching in this era of Peak TV, where almost 500 scripted TV shows air across broadcast, cable, premium, and streaming platforms, Netflix is doubling down. It’s not enough for them to release a new series or new season or a new movie, comedy special, or whatnot every week now — they’re going for broke.
According to Variety, Netflix CFO David Wells spoke at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference Tuesday on the subject, saying that the streaming giant will have around 700 original TV shows and movies on its platform in 2018, to the tune of about $8 billion in costs.
When I recommend a TV show to a friend or acquaintance, the first question they ask me is “is it on Netflix?” Anecdotally, I see more and more people dedicating themselves just to Netflix, which is far cheaper than a cable subscription, and a place where a lot of TV shows end up anyway (and there are plenty of movies to choose from). But Netflix’s acquired library is shrinking a little (as back catalogue works move to Hulu and Amazon) as it focuses more on original content that it then owns and can profit off of exclusively. However, as Wells said,
There’s “no religion” at Netflix about the source of programming, although the company increasingly intends to produce its own content. “People don’t care where the stories come from,” he said. “We’re about having the best content. We don’t necessarily have to do it ourselves.”
So Netflix just wants everything. It wants to swallow everything and everyone. It recently struck exclusive deals with Ryan Murphy and Shonda Rimes, pulling them away from Fox and ABC respectively. And as the global giant starts eyeing potential subscriber bases in China and elsewhere, they could get even bigger. Netflix currently has 117.6 million subscribers, out of a potential 700 million broadband users in the world, excluding China — and you can bet your bottom dollar they’re going to go after each and every one of them. Andy Warhol needs an update: In the future, everyone will be a Netflix movie.