In an October 2017 letter to shareholders, Netflix said it planned to spend $8 billion on content in 2018. What does that massive figure buy? According to Netflix CFO David Wells, such spend is good for hundreds of TV shows and movies. Wells, speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference, said his company will have 700 original shows and movies on its platform in 2018.
Wells’ forecast includes both new and returning US-based programs as well as the ones Netflix has acquired internationally. In its coverage of Wells’ address, Variety noted that the latter of those two categories includes 80 properties, which continue to spread to more territories around the globe. Just yesterday, the leading SVOD platform announced Jinn, its first original series from the Middle East.
Building such a massive library of content has come at a steep price. Days after Netflix announced its $8 billion budget for its 2018 content slate, it revealed its plan to take on another $1.6 billion of debt to finance those operations. Wells, however, doesn’t see the platform slowing down its spending any time soon. “Let’s continue to add content — it’s working, it’s driving growth,” he said. “There’s no magic line where you know exactly where you are.”
Wells has point. Netflix’s most recent earnings report, which covered the fourth quarter of 2017, announced the arrival of 8.3 million new subscribers to the SVOD service’s shores. That was the most subscribers Netflix had ever gained in a single quarter, and the majority of those new customers came from the international territories, where Netflix is focusing a healthy portion of its content acquisition efforts.
In total, Netflix has more than 110 million subscribers around the globe.