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Netflix Spends Big On Content As Subs Fall

Netflix said it will spend over US$17 billion (about A$22 billion) “in cash” on newly produced content this year, according to its Tuesday letter to shareholders.

The company said that this spend will depend on the vaccine roll-out around the world and the safe return to scheduled production. Netflix also said it will “continue to deliver an amazing range of titles for our members with more originals this year than last.”

The world’s most popular streaming service has seen a dip in original content releases on its platform due to pandemic safety protocols delaying production for the majority of 2020. Original Netflix series in particular have taken the brunt, dropping by 20 per cent since the same time last year.

Though it saw record growth in 2020, Netflix saw a downturn in new subscriber growth during Q1 2021, and sees the dip in original content as the reason. The streaming giant added fewer than four million customers in the first few months of the year – falling short of its six million target – and said it will only add one million new paid members in Q2.

However, it appears that Netflix is reaching the light at the end of the tunnel, with its shareholder letter forecasting paid membership growth to “re-accelerate” in the second half of the year “with the return of new seasons of some of our biggest hits and an exciting film line-up,” including “a large number of returning franchises.”

The later months of 2021 look promising with some of Netflix’s most addictive and popular programs finally able to make their return, including Sex Education, The Witcher, You and The Kissing Booth finale.

Also coming to Netflix will be highly anticipated movies such as Red Notice starring Gal Gadot and Ryan Reynolds, and Don’t Look Up – a dark comedy with a massive all-star cast of Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Cate Blanchett, Meryl Streep, Matthew Perry, Timothée Chalamet and Jonah Hill.

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