Well, as the saying goes: You have to spend money to make money. But holy cow, guys, Netflix is taking that statement and running with it.
At this years Television Critics Association press tour, Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos announced Netflix’s 2016 budget and I’m still reeling: “We’re going to spend in 2016 about $5 billion dollars on content on a P&L basis, which means about $6 billion in cash.” That’s not a typo; b as in billion, guys. There are countries with less cash! Sandros continued, “We are running a global network, one that is not easily comparable either in business or cultural terms… We’re not courting advertisers, because we’re not targeting a single demographic.”
According to Entertainment Weekly, the six billion in funding (every time I write that number I do a double-take) will allow Netflix to create over 600 hours of original programming this year. That number also includes acquisitions from other networks, companies and channels, which includes shows like Between in the US, which was acquired from Canada and was not available for binge-watching when it premiered. Aspiring screenwriters and show-runners, take note!
Granted, it’s not exactly news that Netflix is willing to spend money. Netflix would be spending $150 million to produce six seasons of The Crown, a series about Queen Elizabeth that looks, in this writer’s opinion, amazing (and I’m not just saying that because my favorite Doctor Who co-stars in it). With 10 episodes per season, The Crown will cost an average of $2.5 million an episode. That sounds like a lot, right? Keep in mind that it’s less than an episode of Game of Thrones, which costs on average $6 million an episode. Still, we’re starting to get a sense of where all that money’s heading. Netflix is not shying away from making high-caliber, beautiful content.
So be prepared: Our ability to binge-watch shows is only increasing. Time to start collecting delivery menus. Now, if only I didn’t have to worry about my eyesight.
(Image via Netflix)