Original programming has never been more vital for Netflix’s survival.
With competitors circling the streaming pool, and home runs like NBC’s “The Office” (CMCSA) and Warner Media’s “Friends” (T) soon to be pulled off the platform, Wall Street and home viewers alike are demanding differentiation.
But just how much original content is the platform cranking out? Variety crunched the data and found that the media titan created 371 new TV shows and movies in 2019 alone, representing a 54.6% year-over-year increase from the 240 released last year.
“For context, this figure is greater than the number of original series that the entire U.S. TV industry released in 2005 (the last year Netflix managed to exceed the TV industry’s total). That includes broadcast networks, cable networks and premium cable networks,” writes Gavin Bridge, senior media analyst for Variety’s Intelligence Platform.
Just last week, Netflix received 17 nominations in TV categories and another 17 for movies, including “Marriage Story” and “The Irishman,” which are garnering just as much buzz — if not more — as a sole theatrical release.
But with flashy directors, producers, and talent comes a hefty price tag. Netflix has accumulated a massive debt pile, which hit $12.4 billion last quarter. Analyst Laura Martin at Needham even posits that the service could lose 4 million U.S. subscribers next year and suggests it introduce a cheaper ad-enabled option (which it has aggressively avoided).
Melody Hahm is Yahoo Finance’s west coast correspondent, covering entrepreneurship, technology and culture. Follow her on Twitter @melodyhahm.