If there’s one thing we know about Netflix, it’s that the streaming giant isn’t afraid to spend big bucks to keep its growing subscriber base happy. As a prime example, it’s widely believed that Netflix earlier this year agreed to pay Jerry Seinfeld upwards of $100 million for two brand new stand-up specials along with a smattering of scripted content. More recently, Netflix managed to poach Shonda Rimes, the creative mastermind behind hit shows like Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder — away from Disney. While terms of Rimes’ new production deal with Netflix weren’t disclosed, it’s believed to be well into the millions.
By the time 2017 comes to a close, Netflix will have released an astounding 1,000 hours of original content for the year. Coupled with the company’s existing library of previously released movies, TV shows, and documentaries, there’s no denying that Netflix is spending a fortune to ensure that its estimated 104 million subscribers never run out of things to watch.
To this point, Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos recently told Variety that the company will spend upwards of $7 billion on content in 2018. Notably, though, the lion’s share of that $7 billion will be used to license existing content.
“The vast majority is still licensed content,” Sarandos said. “We’re still a couple years from seeing it go 50-50.” As of 2016, Netflix CFO David Wells said that anywhere from 16-25% of Netflix’s library remained licensed content.
All told, it’ll be exciting to see how Netflix continues to morph and evolve in the years ahead. As we covered previously, the sheer volume of quality original content on Netflix is essentially unprecedented in TV history. Sure, HBO has had a number of hits, but they typically have 2-3 hit shows running concurrently at most. Netflix, in contrast, has so many quality shows running at the same time that it’s all but impossible to keep up.
Incidentally, a report from earlier today relayed that Apple has plans to spend $1 billion on original programming over the next few months.